The Effective Social Worker

by Neil Thompson and Sue Thompson

The Professional Social Worker

Meeting the Challenge

In this important, ground-breaking book, bestselling author Neil Thompson turns his attention to the questions of, ‘What does it mean to be truly professional in the field of social work?’ and, ‘How do social workers practise a partnership-based, empowering form of professionalism in the current neoliberal climate?’

Notions of professionalism in social work have changed over time. Early traditional ideas showed themselves to be elitist and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of social work, and have been followed by a period of uncertainty as to whether or not social workers are professionals at all. Now, with a move towards a new form of professionalism beginning to take shape, this book presents a cogent and coherent argument for reaffirming this vital aspect of social work.

Informed by experience in the field spanning nearly forty years, Thompson examines the role of the modern-day social worker in four parts: as problem solver, thinker, manager and professional. With a sharp focus on the idea of authentic professionalism throughout, and written in Thompson’s inviting and highly accessible style, each chapter features:

  • Clear and easily digestible explanations
  • Real-life 'Voice of experience' examples to illustrate key points
  • 'Practice Focus' sections to blend theory with practice and encourage readers to think contextually
  • A broad range of reflective questions and activities to aid application, and a wealth of guidance on further learning
Whether you are a social work student new to the complexities of this demanding, rewarding field, or a qualified practitioner seeking a fresh and revitalizing source of guidance, this book will help you meet the challenge of developing a professionalism that is consistent with the values of contemporary social work.