Social Work and Social Exclusion: The Idea of Practice

 Social Work and Social Exclusion: The Idea of Practice
 Michael Sheppard,
 ISBN 074564770,


I am always looking for new ways to engage students with social policy, writes Rachel Robbins.

I want them to see that understanding policies doesn’t just give them knowledge, but also skills for practice. So, while reading this book my question was, does it help to make the links between ideas (theory) and practice?

The big idea at the moment is social exclusion. Many writers have tried to show how social work must adapt to new ideas and this book takes an original standpoint and says that social work is wholly concerned with social exclusion. Its arguments are persuasive.

The book’s intended audience appears to be academic. Its tone is scholarly. But this is not to say that it is difficult to follow. Language is precise and positions clearly stated. It gives excellent definitions of key terms.

At a time when social work is attempting to raise its profile and status through improved qualifications and post-qualifying awards, we should not be shying away from high quality argument.

By questioning key concepts in social work (need, choice, empowerment and so on), this book offers much for the student and reflective practitioner. It is the reader’s responsibility to apply this to practice.

Rachel Robbins is a lecturer in social work at Stockport College



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