Open University Press launches guides to help social workers

Open University Press has published a new series of social work pocket-size textbooks.

Concise information for social workers
Concise information for social workers

This feature is published in asssociation with the Open University Press

Textbooks about social work practice might be valuable but few are much cop when it comes to providing that golden nugget of advice at just the right moment.

So into the breach steps the Open University Press with its new Social Work Pocketbooks range. This series of dinky guides to social work topics cost £9.99 each and provide a practical alternative to lugging giant reference books packed with dense text around.

Each of the books, which are written by people with extensive experience in social care, cuts through the jargon to offer clear, to-the-point advice that social workers can call on at the right moment. The uncluttered design of the books supports the focus on no-nonsense help by making flicking through the pages to locate the right info a breeze.

The first books in the series have just come out and to mark their publication Community Care has teamed up with Open University Press to give our readers access to a sample chapter from each of the four launch titles: Reporting Writing; Working with Substance Users; Conducting the Home Visit in Child Protection; and Assessments in Social Work with Adults.

Report Writing by Daisy Bogg (download sample chapter PDF) tackles the vital but often undervalued task of writing social work reports. In the course of its 128 pages, Bogg explains why report writing matters before serving up advice on how to comply with the law, creating readable and well structured reports, and issuing warnings about common pitfalls. The book winds up with a collection of templates readers can use as a starting point for their reports.

Kim Heanue and Chris Lawton’s Working with Substance Users (download samply chapter PDF) offers a concise guide to working with drug and alcohol users. Its five chapters include a clear yet detailed guide to the substances that social workers need to be aware of and an explanation of the kinds of services and treatments that are available. As with all the books in the series Heanue and Lawton’s book contains boxes highlighting legal matters and good practice checklists.

In Conducting the Home Visit in Child Protection (download sample chapter PDF), Joanna Nicolas offers succinct advice on carrying out home visits. The chapters explore everything from the ever-tricky task of gaining entry to a home to spotting signs of neglect and keeping yourself safe from harm.

The last of the four launch titles is Assessments in Social Work with Adults (download sample chapter PDF) by Elaine Aspinwall-Roberts. Packed with practical insights on producing assessments, the book offers tips on asking service users difficult questions, pointers on the legal issues and ideas on how to develop your assessment-making skills.



  • The official launch event for the books takes place on 21 June at McGraw-Hill Companies, 20 Canada Square, London. It will feature author presentations, Q&A session for attendees plus post event drinks and nibbles. The ticket price of £25 includes 2 free books from the series of the attendee’s choice.

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