Social Work: A Very Short Introduction [#432]
Social Work: A Very Short Introduction [#432]


  • Explains what social work is and looks at its role in contemporary society
  • Includes a number of case studies looking at various social problems and social work relationships from around the world
  • Explores its history, considers its purpose and effectiveness, and discusses the theories and methods
  • Includes an international range of cases covering a variety areas of responsibility, including work with children, adults needing care, and work with offenders.

Social workers spend their time trying to ease social suffering. They encounter the extreme casualties of social inequality: the victims of poverty, illness, addiction, and abuse; they work with abusers and offenders; and operate in the space between the State and the poor or marginalized. Social work is replete with vivid human stories: the troubled teenage boy who cannot settle in a foster home; the frail older woman who is desperate for social contact; the community seeking a way to tackle gang violence; the sex offender leaving prison; and the disputed territory of international adoption. Social work therefore holds a fundamental importance throughout the modern world.
In this Very Short Introduction, Sally Holland and Jonathan Scourfield explain what social work is and look at its rich historical development. Reflecting international human stories of social problems and social work relationships, as well as the philosophies behind the practice and the evidence about what works throughout the world, they look at the various definitions, history, and debates about purpose and effectiveness, theory, and methods. Including wide ranging examples of social work practice around the world and within particular population groups, they reflect the international variation of social work theory and practice, as well as highlighting all of the main controversies and debates.


1: What is social work?
2: The politics of social work
3: Social work with individuals and families
4: Social work with groups
5: Community social work
6: Does it work?
Further reading


Sally Holland, Professor of Social Work, Cardiff University, and Jonathan Scourfield, Professor of Social Work, Cardiff University
Sally Holland is a Professor of Social Work at Cardiff University and Director of the CASCADE Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre. She teaches qualifying social workers on the MA Social Work and PhD students. She also carries out research on all aspects of children's social work. Before becoming an academic she worked in a range of social work settings, including residential child care, with street homeless people, as a local authority children's social worker, and in a family centre.
Jonathan Scourfield is Professor of Social Work at Cardiff University. His research covers child welfare, children's identities and suicide prevention and he also has a long-standing interest in social work with men. He teaches Masters and doctoral students in social work. Before becoming an academic he worked as a history teacher, a probation officer, and a group worker in a therapeutic community for people with drug and alcohol problems.


ISBN : 9780198708452

Sally Holland; Jonathan Scourfield
136 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Social Work: A Very Short Introduction [#432]

Social Work: A Very Short Introduction [#432]

Social Work: A Very Short Introduction [#432]