Spotlight – The Loss and Grief Practice Manual

Coping with a significant loss is one of the most demanding experiences each of us will ever have. Supporting people who are in the throes of grief can also be a highly challenging experience. This manual, with its exemplary blend of theory and practice provides a solid foundation of understanding alongside helpful practice guidance that will be of immense value to members of the caring professions, managers and supervisors and, indeed, anyone called upon to support people on their grief journey.

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Ensuring every older person is treated with dignity as a unique individual

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Capitalize on crisis

A crisis is a turning point in someone’s life, a situation that will either get better or get worse. By definition, if it stays the same it is not a crisis. What can be a strong temptation when working with someone who is in crisis is to try and get things back to normal as soon as possible. While this is perfectly understandable, we have to recognize that this means that the positive potential of crisis is being missed. Crises can do a lot of harm (the situation gets worse) but they can also do a lot of good (the situation gets better) – for example, when new coping skills are learned, when longstanding obstacles to progress are removed and/or a renewed determination to move things forward is generated by the crisis situation. Crisis situations have to be handled very carefully and sensitively, but that does not mean that we cannot help people grow and develop by capitalizing on the positive potential.

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It’s all about people: visit Neil Thompson’s humansolutions website

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The secret world of imagination hidden in autism

I do a significant amount of autism testing. I also treat many adults with autism using neuroaffirmative approaches to autism treatment. In my practice, I have noted that one of the diagnostic criteria that other providers evaluate heavily when assessing children with autism (ASD) is an inability to engage in pretend play. According to Rudy (2022), children with autism are less likely to engage in games that require “make-believe.” One of the critical subgroups of questions on the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R) revolves around assessing whether the child being assessed engages in imaginative play.

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A Career in Social Work: Part biography, part overview of social work careers

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No child should be punished because their parent is in prison

We know that children who have a parent in prison can feel isolated and ashamed – and most feel unable to talk about it because they’re scared of being bullied. They’re also more likely than other children to have mental health problems and to get in trouble with the law themselves as they grow up.

These children are often left in the shadows, their needs forgotten, and this can have devastating impacts. Despite their situation, they are locked out of the support they need to give them a better chance in life. Barnardo’s is one of the few organisations to help children with a parent in prison. We run training services for professionals as well as services in the community and in prisons to help maintain contact and support family relationships.

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The Authentic Leader A new approach to leadership in Neil’s important book.

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Employer briefing: Financial wellbeing during the cost of living crisis

As a society, our views on employer responsibilities are evolving. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred employers to adopt a more proactive approach to staff wellbeing. While there will continue to be variation in expectations between employment relations that are transactional and those that are deeper, the cost of living crisis provides an opportunity for employers to accelerate their focus on financial wellbeing at work.

Recently published Work Foundation research on this topic found that nearly seven in ten senior decision makers (66%) feel they have a substantial role to play in supporting their staff through the cost of living crisis. We found that where employers have introduced financial wellbeing support for their workers over recent months, this has often been responsive with many introducing one-off bonuses, based on the notion that the high inflation seen in 2022 was a short, sharp shock.

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LinkedIn: Connect online & join Neil Thompson’s HUMANSOLUTIONS discussion group

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25% off books offer until 31st March (UK only)

To celebrate social work month, we are offering a 25% discount on our Avenue Media Solutions books throughout March.

Information about the books is available at:

They can be purchased at:

Put the code swm23 into the discount voucher box and it will reduce the price by 25%. Applies in the UK only and will expire on 31st March.

A practical guide to supervision of students & other forms of workplace learning

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Begin with the end in mind

This is one of Stephen Covey’s seven secrets of highly effective people. It means that, at all times, we need to be clear about what we are trying to achieve or where it is we are trying to get to. Without that clarity we can drift and become unfocused. This is likely to hamper progress and can also prove stressful at times, as the lack of a sense of direction can create anxiety and uncertainty. It can also reduce our credibility (and thus our ability to influence other people) as we will come across in ways that do not inspire confidence if we are unfocused and unclear about what we are trying to achieve. Beginning with the end in mind is therefore wise counsel.

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If you’re a social worker come join us in the Social Work Focus Facebook group!

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The HR guide to understanding discrimination claims in the workplace

Who is protected from discrimination?

The Equality Act affords protection to a wide range of individuals, including employees (both current and former), contract workers, agency workers and vocational trainers. The protection also extends to job applicants and prospective job applicants who will be able to bring a claim against employers for discrimination without the need for two years’ service, unlike claims for unfair dismissal.

What are they protected from?

The legislation prohibits any discrimination owing to, or as a result of, a protected characteristic.

What are the protected characteristics?



Gender reassignment

Marriage and civil partnership

Pregnancy and maternity




Sexual harassment

Sexual orientation

A parliamentary committee recently made recommendations to include ‘menopause’ as a protected characteristic. However, the government has since confirmed that it will not be added to the list.

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Effective Teamwork: The importance of working together

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Growing hope and houseplants in prison

Learning to garden has proved a powerful source of health and wellbeing for a group of horticulture students in a UK prison.

A gardening social enterprise called The Glasshouse, based in East Sutton Park women’s prison in Kent, has not only provided them with skills for life through horticultural training and employment, but has proved to be invaluable in providing a positive sense of wellness.

Co-founder, Kali Hamerton-Stove, has witnessed first-hand the amazing power that horticulture has given the women to develop new skills inside prison that can lead to employment opportunities on the outside. Kali’s work is also crucial in rehabilitating prison leavers to prevent reoffending – something that costs taxpayers up to £18 billion each year.

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Learn with Neil Thompson: Sign up to Neil’s YouTube channel

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