All social workers encounter complex and diverse forms of loss throughout their practice. Working with Loss, Death and Bereavement helps trainee and practitioners navigate these difficult situations by developing the skills and values necessary for effective and empowering practice. Each chapter is grounded in social work theory and is illustrated by practice scenarios, exercises, suggestions for further study, and contemporary cultural examples from novels and films.

Social Work Values

Social work values

Chapter Contents

  • Changing values in social work incorporating the GSCC Codes of Practice
  • Identifying personal and professional value systems, both generally and in relationship to loss, death and bereavement
  • The theme of ‘support versus surveillance’ as it emerges through the example of a death of a child at birth
  • The theme of ‘outcomes versus process’ explored through life limiting and chronic illness


This chapter focuses on social work values as they relate to loss, death and bereavement. On the surface, and as expressed in the GSCC (General Social Care Council) Codes of Practice (2002), these seem uncontroversial in their expectations. For example, we ‘communicate in an appropriate, open and accurate and straightforward way’ (2.2), ‘work openly and co-operatively with colleagues’ (6.5) or work with ‘conflicts ...

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