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Social Work Theory in Practice

Social Work Theory in Practice

December 2020 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

A step-by-step guide to the underpinning theoretical knowledge in social work helping your students to confidently apply theory in practice.

-          Exercises will help them get to grips with the essentials and reflect on learning.

-          Case studies from eight fictional social workers located in a busy local authority office will allow them to explore a range of different practice experience, theoretical perspectives and approaches to understanding situations and identifying possible courses of action.

-          The authors’ own experiences will show the importance of reflection, supervision and continual learning to help them prepare for the reality of practice.


Part I Theory: explaining the world and understanding our practice
Chapter 1: Understanding theory in practice
Chapter 2: Foundations of theory in social work
Chapter 3: Economics, politics and the organisational delivery of social work
Chapter 4: Critical and radical theories
Chapter 5: Theories of human development
Chapter 6: Theories of systems and relationships
Chapter 7: Theories of risk and vulnerability
Part II: Practice: using theory in our work with people
Chapter 8: Applying theories in practice
Chapter 9: Children and their families
Chapter 10: Foster and Kinship Care
Chapter 11: Offenders
Chapter 12: Physical Disability
Chapter 13: Mental Distress
Chapter 14: Learning Disabilities and Autism
Chapter 15: Older People

This book provides a helpful overview of social work theory comprising theories from diverse disciplines. In line with the eclectic approach to theory, this comprehensive exploration of theories encourages social work students and practitioners to develop a holistic understanding of the experiences and/or behaviours of service users and carers in the current social context. However, theory is an essential and integral
element of social work practice that tends to alienate or be overlooked by students and practitioners alike, as they find it difficult to see the relevance of abstract theory to reallife practice. By using the Theory Circle and case study examples as tools, readers can
learn how to think theoretically and apply theories to practice. This book, hence, is a great resource for students and practitioners to refer back to as a guide to inform their practice.

I-Hsuan Lin
The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York
China Journal of Social Work

Social work theory is taught across all social work programmes. I adopted this book to support apprentices learn about theory to have a more practical text to draw on as most social work students find SW theory one of the more challenging aspects of the programme.

Ms Linda Daley
School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research, University of Kent
July 1, 2023

A really powerful book in relation to practice that is easy to read and accessible for students

Mrs Toni Benaton
Health and Social Care at Derby, Derby University
January 26, 2022

Helpful publication, offering updated, modern take on theory in practice, certainly useful read for those reviewing theory for social work practice.

Mrs Aga M Buckley
Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University
June 21, 2021

Sage College Publishing

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This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.