The Task-Centred Book
Peter Marsh and Mark Doel, Routledge
ISBN: 041533 4551, £17.99
STAR RATING: 4/5
Marsh and Doel have supervised and trained social workers in the practice of task-centred work for more than 20 years – I was among their first students – and this book is a testament to their enthusiasm and experience, writes John Percival.
It is essentially a work book, each chapter including objectives, activities and case study material gleaned from the accounts of 12 practitioners. The book sets out to highlight areas for learning, teaching and support, and is designed to impact upon practice.
Such practice involves service users and practitioners developing a firm mandate, prioritising problems, agreeing goals and time scales, and working on activities known as tasks. The authors claim that task-centred work fits well with social work and policy developments, which is surely true given current emphasis on partnership, evidence-based practice and user empowerment.
My only criticism is that the chapters could have been ordered more logically, with practicalities of doing task-centred work coming before its analysis or teaching; and it may also have helped to present a full case study early on in the book, to provide more detail of the model and a hook on which to hang subsequent discussion.
John Percival is lecturer in health and social care at The Open University