Review: A brief introduction to social work

A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory


David Howe

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 9780230233126

A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory offers the reader a densely packed overview of the principal theories pertinent to social work practice; but that is not where the journey ends, writes Amanda Taylor.

David Howe starts the book by skilfully clarifying and impressing the relevance of ­theory to practice. He contextualises the human condition, situating it within a historical account of the evolution of the welfare state.

Do not be put off or misled by the connotations of briefness detailed in the title because you are subsequently offered a menu of approaches, understandings and sociological notions that can complement and consolidate learning.

The content will be particularly relevant to social work students, practice assessors and those wishing to return to the practice forum. Social work educators will unearth a text which will complement academic teaching and learning, particularly with regards to the psychological and preparation for practice modules.

Howe clearly explains his aspiration for this book, stating that he hopes it will “excite” the reader, and excite it does. I would highly recommend that you chose this title for your collection, and refer to it often in your attempts to understand human beings and the situations they find themselves within.

Amanda Taylor is a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Central Lancashire

This review is published in the 5 November issue of Community Care magazine

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