Classic texts for a new generation of social workers

The Practical Social Work series is a long standing, trusted and well-known collection of books. 

The concept of the series was developed to fulfil a genuine professional need for a carefully planned, coherent series of textbooks that would contribute to practitioners’ skills, development and professionalism. 

The books seek to provide social work students, practitioners, lecturers and educators with reliable, contemporary practice guidance, underpinned by theory, policy and law. 

Feedback from many readers has confirmed that this is a trusted series with educational value. Many of the texts are considered ‘classics’ and they are all highly reliable resources, with broad appeal. The books are suitable not just for undergraduate social work students but also for practitioners returning to study at post-qualifying level and those simply wanting to refresh their thinking in practice. They offer an accessible entry point alongside sufficient depth so that reader’s to will continue to find insight beyond the first point of use.

BASW members receive a 30% discount on this series which is available to buy directly from Macmillan International Higher Education.
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Anti-Racist Social Work (4th Edition)

Anti-Racist Social Work

Author: Lena Dominelli
Publication date: September 2017

Fully revised and updated throughout, this fourth edition of Lena Dominelli’s influential book retains its reputation as the go-to text on anti-racist social work practice. As racism continues to present a problem in contemporary society: the growth of the Far Right, the rise of Islamophobia and the victory of the Brexit camp in the EU referendum, the need to address racist attitudes and behaviour that affect diverse groups of people in the UK remains an urgent one.

 A truly classic text, Anti-Racist Social Work has been providing students and practitioners with a comprehensive guide to the debates and practices on racism in contemporary society since 1988.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Community Development, Social Action and Social Planning (5th Edition)

Community Development

Author: Alan Twelvetrees
Publication date: May 2017

Now going into its fifth edition, Alan Twelvetrees' invaluable guide to the theory and practice of community work has been educating students and practitioners alike for over three decades. Covering topics such as work with community groups, the various dimensions of social action and project planning and how to engage effectively with public bodies, this is a truly comprehensive must-read for community workers, as well as anyone keen to undertake effective work in the community.

Drawing on the author's wealth of experience, and benefiting from the grounded style of writing that has made the previous editions so popular, the book considers everyday community work situations to provide readers with a genuine feel for the realities of practice. This classic text is essential for anyone studying, working or just interested in community work, community regeneration and service planning.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Anti-Discriminatory Practice (6th Edition)

Anti-Discriminatory Practice

Author: Neil Thompson
Publication date: May 2016

Addressing the common concepts and issues across the various forms of discrimination, this core text from one of Palgrave’s best-selling authors explores the reasons why the development of anti-discriminatory practice is so vital and examines the steps that need to be taken towards constructing a social work practice based on principles of anti-discrimination and the promotion of equality.

This is key reading for undergraduate and postgraduate modules on Anti-discriminatory and Anti-oppressive Practice modules on Social Work programmes, as well as Social Work Theory and Social Work Practice modules. Practitioners will also benefit hugely from the experience and expertise of Neil Thompson.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Psychology for Social Work Theory and Practice (4th edition)

Authors: Paula Nicolson and Rowan Bayne
Publication date: May 2014

This new edition from a trusted author team bridges the gap between psychological theory and social work practice. Revisited and re-structured to reflect the changing social work context, it provides an authoritative introduction to the key ideas, skills and research from psychology and highlights their role within effective social work practice.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Reflective Social Work Practice

Authors: Richard Ingram, Jane Fenton, Ann Hodson and Divya Jindal-Snape
Publication date: March 2014

Social workers often have to make difficult decisions that are affected by their emotions, values and the relationships they have built. The ability to explore and critically analyse your work can help you understand and manage your own emotional needs, as well as support you with improving your social work skills and ensuring anti-oppressive practice. Offering an accessible and innovative guide to reflective practice, this book:

• Applies the principles of critical reflection to some of the most challenging aspects of the job; such as building relationships, undertaking assessments and making decisions about risk.

• Uses diary extracts, engaging case studies and reflective activities to provide a framework for applying reflection to your everyday practice.

Whether you are a student of social work or an experienced practitioner, this book will be your guide to understanding, developing and improving your social work practice.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Social Work with Children

Authors: Gordon Jack and Helen Donnellan
Publication date: August 2013

When working with children to promote their welfare and safeguard them from harm, the best course of action is not always clear. Based on two of the most important organizing frameworks – human ecology and child development – Social Work with Children provides an invaluable guide for working with a wide range of children.

Divided into two parts, this book:

• Explores interactions between children's development, their relationships and the environments in which they are brought up, at different stages in their lives;

• Demonstrates how up-to-date legislation and policy across the UK shapes practice with different groups of children;

• Considers the expectations and requirements of social workers, and how this influences the development of professional identity;

• Encourages readers to reflect on their own skills, knowledge and experience by providing practice pointers throughout.

This is an outstandingly clear and comprehensive guide to social work with children for students and practitioners in the field.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Ethics & Values in Social Work (4th Edition)

Author: Sarah Banks
Publication date: March 2012

Ethics and Values in Social Work offers a clear and systematic account of professional ethics in relation to social work practice, framed within a global context. Having sold over 38,000 copies across its lifetime, this is a thoroughly revised edition of a modern social work classic from a leading international author.

Combining a sound grasp of theoretical issues with a sharp focus on the latest policy and practice, this edition features:
    • Detailed discussion of the participation of service users, including their role as activists and the importance of the service user movement;
    • Extended analysis of professional regulation and codes of practice, and their role in defining the nature of social work;
    • A vast array of practice examples, which bring current social issues to life;
    • Comparison of the latest codes of ethics from across the globe;
    • A wealth of supportive features, such as points for reflection, extended case studies and further resources.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Practice Learning in Social Work

Author: Jennifer Burton
Publication date: 2016

Learning through practice lies at the heart of social work education, providing the opportunity for students to develop and employ the skills, experience and knowledge they need to become effective social workers. This exciting new addition to Palgrave's Practical Social Work series provides an integrated and user-friendly approach to practice learning by putting placements within a broader learning framework. Rather than treating placements as an isolated aspect of the social work degree, Practice Learning in Social Work shows how they are relevant to all aspects of the social work experience.

Divided in to three parts, this book's pragmatic approach mirrors students' own journey as they progress from preparation for practice, through to actual experience, and then beyond this to support personal and professional development right up to qualification as a Newly Qualified Social Worker.x

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Social Work Practice (5th edition)

Authors: Veronica Coulshed and Joan Orme
Publication date: March 2012

Having sold over 75,000 copies across its four editions, Social Work Practice remains a trusted text for all students and practitioners. It offers essential introductory guidance for all areas of study and provides the fundamentals for understanding skills, processes and contexts of social work. 

This comprehensive text is divided into three easily navigable parts:
  • Part I guides you through the social work process, detailing each stage and offering a new chapter on reflection;
  • Part II introduces key methods of intervention, encompassing a broad range of theories and approaches, including new material on strengths based approaches and solution focused practice;
  • Part III identifies the variety of contexts in which social work takes place, with individuals (both children and adults), groups and communities.xx

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Social Work with Disabled People (4th Edition)

Authors: Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey and Pam Thomas
Publication date: March 2012

Having gone through 30 years of development, the new edition of this highly-regarded classic is the most trusted companion for understanding and promoting the potential for social work with disabled people. It offers readers a clear introduction to the core issues of disability alongside discussion and assessment of the social worker's role.

Written by an experienced and highly respected team of authors, the book reflects:
  • the latest updates, developments and policy changes
  • the broad range of areas needing to be understood for informed practice
  • recent changes to the focus of social work education and practice
  • the Social Model of Disability, encouraging debate about its role in social work
  • developments for independent living
  • the heightened importance of safeguarding issues, giving attention to the topical issue of disabilist hate crime.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education

Social Work with Older People (5th edition)

Authors: Mo Ray and Judith Phillips
Publication date: March 2012

Revised to emphasise the current policy drive towards personalisation and service user participation in care management, the new edition of Social Work with Older People remains an insightful introductory text.

Deliberately taking a critical approach to guide readers to consider stereotypes of aging and work with older people, the new edition presents fundamental knowledge alongside thought-provoking and challenging debates. It offers a new chapter on safeguarding and has been updated to reflect current course requirements:

  • Part I introduces the theory, policy and legislation which influences social work contexts
  • Part II identifies core elements of practice, for effective interviewing, assessment, planning and intervention
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education

Working with Abused Children (4th Edition)

Author: Celia Doyle
Publication date: March 2012

Working with abused children is a demanding and emotionally charged area of practice in which practitioners must balance sensitivity with statutory obligation. This thoroughly updated new edition emphasises the need for a central focus on the child and their perspectives, to ensure safe and effective work with children and their families.

Opening with the foundations of good practice, the book goes on to capture the perspectives of children through moving first-hand accounts from abuse survivors. Woven through with frank narratives from the author’s own practice experience, it discusses the importance of assessment and explores interventions through individual, family and group work.

Keeping the voice of the child at its heart, this edition features:
  • all-new chapters on transitions from childhood to adulthood, and on the emotional impact for practitioners in the field, including coping strategies and practice guidance
  • new perspectives on practice within the context of current policy, including the Every Child Matters legacy and the Munro Review
  • a range of supportive features, such as points for reflection, practice examples and further reading resources
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Social Approaches to Mental Distress

Author: Jerry Tew
Publication date: February 2011

Over-reliance on biological models in mental health practice has resulted in growing discontent from practitioners and service users, who know that social factors also have a major impact on people's mental health. Social approaches enable practitioners to promote recovery in ways that move beyond the limitations of biomedical treatments.

Championing a range of innovative approaches, this timely book offers a holistic model for understanding and responding to mental distress. It places mental health within its broader social context, encouraging engagement with not just the person experiencing mental distress, but also their family and wider social world.

Drawing on relevant theory and research evidence, the author:
• Considers the inter-relationships between social circumstances, life events and mental distress;
• Explores the roots of mental distress and its perpetuating factors;
• Provides a toolkit for assessment and action planning within the social context;
• Advocates recovery-oriented practice, based on emancipatory values, social participation and positive risk-taking.
A welcome new addition to the BASW Practical Social Work series, Social Approaches to Mental Distress is a core text for students and practitioners of social work and other mental health disciplines. It is also insightful reading for anyone whose own life has been affected by mental health difficulties.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Youth Work Practice

Edited by: Tony Jeffs & Mark K Smith
Publication date: January 2010

In a clear conversational style, the text analyses the many aspects of youth work, including activities, group life, making conversation and mentoring, alongside practical guidance to advise on working with today’s young people.

Jeffs and Smith’s previous book, Youth Work (1988), was a seminal text on working with young people. This successor text, Youth
Work Practice is its equal in providing an intriguing update for all those studying or working with young people.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Developing Research Based Social Work Practice


Author: Joan Orme and David Shemmings
Publication date: May 2010

Developing Research Based Social Work Practice explores how research can improve the quality of social work. It provides an overview of the core theoretical concepts and the processes and practices in undertaking research.

Locating the place of social work research within the social sciences, this innovative book promotes critical debate to strengthen both the research base and day-to-day practice. It is designed to encourage 'reflective research practitioners' - professionals who are both critically reflective and research aware - and does so by:

■ presenting a range of approaches within research;
■ highlighting distinctive aspects of social work research, such as emancipatory
research and researching sensitive topics;
■ reflecting on the strengths of research and identifying how to utilize findings;
■ introducing beginning researchers to the rationales for undertaking research.

Highlighting the importance of how research informs practice, this book is essential reading for students on qualifying and post-qualifying courses, practitioners, managers and policy makers.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Decision Making in Social Work (2nd Edition)


Author: Terence O'Sullivan
Publication date: November 2010

At a time when accountability and the avoidance of risk are increasingly demanded of social work practitioners, the ability to make clear and reasoned professional decisions is essential. This welcome new edition provides a supportive framework for making social work judgements and assessments based on a structured and practical approach.

Assessing the social, organizational and psychological backdrops which frame all decisions, this timely text explores:
■ the key principles and goals which inform decision making
■ the pressures of making decisions within interprofessional settings
■ reflexive approaches to analysis, decision making and outcome evaluation
■ the complex relationship between sound decisions and the attainment of planned outcomes
Woven through with practice scenarios applicable to the many facets of social work, this text emphasizes the importance of good decision making to high-quality social work practice. Reassuringly clear throughout, this new addition to the BASW Practical Social Work series is core reading for all involved in the field of social work, whether as students, academics, practitioners or managers.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education



Communication in Social Work (2nd Edition)

Author: Joyce Lishman
Publication date: March 2009

Effective communication is a vital part of the social worker’s job. This welcome new edition of a classic text provides students and practitioners with essential advice and guidance about communicating and interacting in a range of social work settings.

Based on the author’s extensive personal and teaching experience, the text offers a succint introduction to a variety of communication techniques, including symbolic, non-verbal, verbal, written and electronic forms of communication. Importantly, it discusses the perspectives of service users and explores their experiences and interpretations of how a social worker looks, acts and speaks, thus giving a real insight into the implicit messages being conveyed.

New to this edition are Putting it into Practice activities and further reading suggestions, designed to support learning and understanding and to enable readers to reflect critically for practice.

Written in an appealing narrative style that cannot fail to draw the reader in, Communication in Social Work is an engaging and comprehensive book suitable both for social work and social care students and for newly qualified practitioners wanting to refresh their thinking and skills.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Practising Social Work Law

Authors: Suzy Braye and Michael Preston-Shoot
Publication date: September 2009

When you study social work law, it can feel like there are many more questions than answers. Practising Social Work Law is here to help.

Arguing that knowledge of the law alone is insufficient, this book identifies the connections between law and social work to provide readers with the critical knowledge needed for competent practice. It analyzes the practice-based dilemmas social workers often encounter, and clarifies the values, skills and understanding needed to make sound professional decisions and judgements.
This is a fully revised and extended edition of a well respected text. It includes new material in every chapter, incorporating research-informed commentary and up-to-date case law and guidance. Written by two leading authorities in the field, it is an invaluable resource for students, practitioners and educators alike.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Social Work Practice and Intellectual Disability

Working to Support Change

Authors: Christine Bigby and Patsie Frawley
Publication date: October 2009

Read this book to gain an understanding of the knowledge, values and skills required for effective practice in the field of intellectual disability and the opportunities which this work offers for multidisciplinary collaboration for social change.

Social Work Practice and Intellectual Disability identifies and discusses:
■ the changing definitions of intellectual disability, also called 'learning disability'
■ the theory and practice of working with people with intellectual disabilities and their families
■ the core tasks of assessment, planning, monitoring and review
■ the values of participation and inclusion in action

Illustrated with numerous case studies, discussion points and clear explanations, this addition to the Practical Social Work Series is an indispensable resource. It is ideally suited both for the continued professional development of qualified practitioners, and for pre-qualifying students new to the area.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Empowerment, Participation and Social Work

Author: Robert Adams
Publication date: March 2008

Now in its fourth edition this book continues to offer in-depth coverage spanning both conceptual debates about empowerment and a range of practice issues. The clarity and accessibility, as well as new examples reflecting varied global contexts and material on empowering children and adults, make it an essential resource at all levels of study.
Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Effective Groupwork (2nd Edition)

Author: Michael Preston-Shoot
Publication date: March 2007

This book is an essential introduction to the values, knowledge and skills required for working with different groups in different social work and social care settings. Accessible and comprehensive, it will be invaluable for students and practitioners in social work and the caring professions wanting to learn more about this key practice technique.

‘Clearly written, this text is useful to students, managers, and practitioners alike – and not just those in social work, but in any other “people-orientated” professions.’ – Lynda Hassall, Community Carex

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education


Management in Social Work (3rd Edition)

Authors: Veronica Coulshed, Audrey Mullender, David N. Jones, Neil Thompson
Publication date: March 2006

All social workers are required to manage and be accountable. The third edition of this classic book explores what is an area of rapid change that is central to professional practice. This new edition has been brought right up-to-date to meet the needs of today’s social work practitioners and service managers by discussing legislation, policy and procedure in light of central government’s modernising agenda for social work. The authors show how management theory is moving towards a more open and cooperative model and demonstrate that it can serve an agenda of empowerment, equipping social workers to question procedures, shape policy and improve services.

Available directly from Macmillan International Higher Education