The Social Worker’s Practice Manual



By Neil Thompson

This is not a textbook in the conventional sense; it is a hands-on manual of practice – a practical guide from one of the UK’s most respected social work authors. Social work is a very demanding and challenging occupation that involves drawing on a wide range of knowledge, skills and values. Renowned author, Dr Neil Thompson, draws on his extensive experience and expertise to offer clear guidance on what is needed to develop best practice. Divided into thirty sections, each covering a key area of practice, this essential handbook will be invaluable to newly qualified social workers, students on placement and more experienced workers and managers wanting to get the best results.


“This is Neil Thompson doing what he does best! – taking complex concepts and making them manageable and accessible to practitioners. Don’t be mistaken, however; the word ‘manual’ is not to be taken as a recipe for the neglect of theory or for acquiescing to the status quo – this is a considered text about the nature and complexity of contemporary practice and social work’s potential for making a difference. Highly recommended.”

Professor Charlotte Williams OBE

“I am very pleased to be able to recommend Neil Thompson’s new publication. Neil has a great ability to write and talk about complex issues in an accessible way. Here he draws on his many years of teaching, practising and working with social workers to help us better understand the complexity and richness that is social work. His values, knowledge and communication skills shine through. I thoroughly recommend this manual, not only to students and newly qualified social workers, but also to those with much more experience.”

Joe Godden, Professional Officer, British Association of Social Workers

“This manual shows Neil’s wealth of knowledge and offers a fantastic resource for a broad audience. It is easy to follow, with ‘moccasin moments’, exercises and reflections. At a time when our profession is stretched and under threat, this reminds us about the breadth of skills, knowledge and values involved; it challenges oversimplification of such core issues as holistic practice, equality, diversity and social justice; and provides a broad range of examples.”

Dr Audrey Roulston, Queen’s University Belfast

“Neil Thompson weaves his vast treasure of knowledge and experience. Why a ‘manual’ is tackled squarely; it is not a simple ‘how to’ instruction book which would, as he argues, be simply reductionist. It is a guided illustration of the rich and living tapestry of social work of which we are all part. His practical focus on human relationships, and dealing with difficulties and complexities in a sustainable way is rooted in values. This will become essential reading for social work students.”

Professor Jonathan Parker, Bournemouth University

High praise from one reader:

Due to having a break from social work I felt completely lost and bewildered. My confidence almost made me think of applying for a different job as I just felt so lost. I invested in your manual and now I am fully engaged in every detail of it. It is so amazing and I feel reconnected with the field I am so passionate about. It has been a life saver. I love that it is so easy to follow and so clear. It comes back to what this amazing profession is really about and why I chose it. I feel confident again and feel growth and stimulation from the book. I started to re-engage with social work with your brilliant free So, you want to be a social worker? course on Udemy with the question that kept ringing in my head: What is social work about? I am much clearer in my thoughts and what I learned at university has come back to me and I honestly recommend your book to everyone. We all feel a bit lost sometimes and it’s good to come back to why we originally came into this amazing field of complexities.


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2. Price is discounted to £20 per copy for orders of 5 or more copies.



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