Spotlight – The Social Worker’s Practice Manual

The ideal practice guide for every social worker and social work student. Based on Neil Thompson’s extensive experience of bringing theory to life in a practice context, this invaluable manual is an essential guide for all practitioners, from student on placement through newly qualified worker to old hand.

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Complain to the right person

Sadly, it is often the case these days that we feel the need to make a complaint. What is even sadder is that so many organizations seem ill-equipped to respond positively to people’s concerns – and that can lead to considerable ill feeling and an intensification of pressures. What can make such situations even worse is when the complaint is made to someone who cannot do anything about it (and who is perhaps not inclined to pass the concerns on to someone who can). So, whenever you need to make a complaint, make sure that you complain to the person or body that has the power to do something to address the problem. Working out who that is may not always be easy, but it saves an awful lot of frustration compared with raising issues with people who are not well placed to solve the problem.

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

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We Move – A race equality and migrants rights summit

We are living through turbulent times. Emerging from a global pandemic in which ethnic minority communities have disproportionately suffered, over half of ethnic minority children in Britain are currently living in poverty. We are also facing a legislative agenda which poses the most significant and sustained threat to ethnic minority people’s civil rights in recent memory.

Ongoing international conflicts mean there is a battle for hearts and minds over the extent to which we support those simply seeking safety. It is not just refugees and migrants that are on the front line, British Muslims continue to be demonised, Jewish communities report an all-time high for antisemitic hate crimes and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities remain ostracised and excluded from almost every section of society.

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

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Seth Godin’s blog – Time and focus and energy

Sooner or later, they’re all finite. And the way we allocate our time and emotional energy determines what gets done.

If we audited your day in six-minute increments, what would we find?

By the clock, how did you actually spend the time given to you (we each get the same 24 hours). How much was spent on work? And the work time, how is it correlated with what creates the value you seek?

A question that’s harder to measure, but with far more impact, of the time you allocated, what was your focus and emotional drive spent on? What were the crises and highlights of the last day or week?

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The Avenue Learning Centre Learning resources from Neil Thompson and colleagues

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Preventing disability discrimination in the workplace

Considering that one in five people in the UK report having a disability, employees need to be aware of their legal protections and employers need to ensure they fulfil their duties. Moreover, statistics show that only half (53 per cent) of people with disabilities are employed, compared to 82 per cent of non-disabled people, and addressing disability discrimination in the workplace is a great first step towards tackling the employment gap and the inequality that stems from it.

The Equality Act 2010 not only protects those with disabilities from being discriminated against in the workplace, but also provides a more expansive definition of disabilities than people generally realise. This includes hidden disabilities such as mental health conditions or learning difficulties, as well as other conditions like cancer or HIV infection. This is important to note, as approximately 70 per cent of disabilities are invisible and so employers should be aware that these are correspondingly covered by the Act.

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

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Spotlight – The Problem Solver’s Practice Manual

“Where there are people, there will be problems, but there will also be potential” is a key part of Neil’s work. And that is precisely what this manual is all about – equipping practitioners from various professional disciplines to help people address their problems and realise their potential. Part One provides an extended essay on the nature and significance of problem solving to lay solid foundations of understanding. Part Two then offers guidance on using 101 problem-solving tools that can be used in a wide variety of circumstances.

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A fresh look at social work theory and methods

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Be prepared for conflict

There is a common misperception of conflict. It tends to be assumed that everyday reality is basically harmonious and conflict is an exception – conflict ‘breaks out’ to shatter the normality of harmony. However, we don’t need to pay much close attention to what actually happens to realize that, in fact, conflict is an everyday occurrence. Day-to-day reality is a mixture of harmony and conflict. We learn basic conflict management skills as we grow up, and so we have a good foundation on which to build so that we can take our skills to a more advanced level and become more confident and competent in dealing with those situations in which conflict starts to escalate. Continuing to see conflict as somehow abnormal leaves us ill-equipped to rise to some of the more challenging aspects of conflict.

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

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The influence and participation toolkit

The Influence and Participation Toolkit has been developed by Mind, but it is recognised as a valuable resource for anyone whose organisation or workplace wants to engage with people with mental health problems in a meaningful way. It is available publicly and anyone can use it. Its aim is to enable you to meaningfully involve people with lived experience in the development of your work and organisation. We encourage you to use the templates and tools here, in this toolkit, as well as creating your own to support your work.

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

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Confronting injustice: Racism and the environmental emergency

People of colour across the globe bear the brunt of an environmental emergency that, for the most part, they did not create. Yet their struggles have repeatedly been ignored by those in positions of power. Global governance systems, including international climate negotiations, have for decades failed to act to protect the lives of people of colour. To truly tackle the huge, converging crises and injustices we face, it has never been more important to understand the links between the environmental emergency and systemic racism.
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Effective Teamwork: The importance of working together

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