Social Work Models, Methods and Theories 2nd Edition - A framework for practice

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By Paul Stepney and Deidre Ford

Large format paperback, 328 pages

Published 2012

Now more than ever, social workers face the crucial challenge of balancing the need to be effective and evidence-based, while seeking to promote more critical and emancipatory change. Against a backdrop of the global economic recession which has led to severe constraints on welfare spending, the debate in the aftermath of the death of Peter Connelly, social work in England, the other parts of the UK and elsewhere has found subject to intense media inquiry and political scrutiny. In England, this has resulted in the Social Work Reform Board (the government body appointed to review professional standards) devising a new professional capabilities framework. The framework includes requirements for social workers to have a good knowledge of the social sciences and practice intervention. It is therefore vitally important to revisit the theoretical knowledge base underpinning practice, and to review and update a range of social work methods and models.

Against this challenging backdrop the second editions of this best-selling text has taken shape, Social work models, methods and theories assists undergraduate, postgraduate and post-qualifying students, lecturers, practitioners, service users and carers, policy makers - anyone who seeks to understand social work. Uniquely, it:

  • offers a systematic examination of different methods, models and practice theories by a range of respected academics and practitioners, several of them renowned world authorities

sets these ideas in a clear and accessible framework of practice in changing political, economic and social contexts

  • considers future developments in an international context influenced by themes such as critical social work, research minded practice and emerging political trends

Now thoroughly reviewed, updated and extended, it is 'an important contribution to literature... the chapters are scholarly and accessible and will prove invaluable as both an introduction to the field and as a resource for the more experienced practitioner'. Professor Nigel Parton, writing in the preface to the 2012 edition.

By contextualizing current practice and organizational dilemmas, it aims to:

  • make a contribution, both to the education and training of social workers as well as to their continuing professional development
  • create the conditions for critical thinking and critical reflection
  • provide the basis for finding more creative solutions to society's problems - solutions that balance effectiveness with a commitment to social justice

Social work: undergraduate, postgraduate and post qualifying students, lecturers, practitioners, service users and carers, policy-makers and anyone who seeks to understand social work - as well as the libraries that serve them.

Deidre Ford is a qualified social worker and lecturer in Social Work who for ten years combined an academic career at Exeter University with practice, working with people who have learning disabilities and mental health problems, prior to taking up a full-time post at Plymouth University in 2002. She had worked extensively user and carer groups in both social work education and practice. Recent research interests and publications stem from practice developments related to Safeguarding Adults, and Downs Syndrome and dementia

Paul Stepney has recently been appointed as an adjunct Professor of Social Work and Kone Foundation Research Fellow at the University of Tampere in Finland. Prior to this he has taught at universities in Hull, Manchester , Exeter and more recently Wolverhampton. For many years he worked as a community worker, generic social workers and during the 1990's combined university teaching at Exeter University with a hospital social work post. He has published a number of articles on critical practice in Australia, UK and US journals, and has recently set up a comparative research project in two European cities to investigate these issued and explore how preventative practice might be developed.


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