Book review: Early Professional Development for Social Workers

This book will appeal to a wider range of people than the title suggests, writes Rob Fountain.

Early Professional Development for Social Workers

Edited by Raymond Taylor, Malcolm Hill and Fergus McNeill

Venture Press

ISBN 9781861780843

This book will appeal to a wider range of people than the title suggests, writes Rob Fountain. The collection of papers on the key themes, debates and contexts surrounding early professional development appears to cover common ground with familiar contributors, but there is a freshness and purpose which comes from pitching it at those responsible for staff development, not just those looking to complete an assignment.

Dominelli’s section on anti-oppressive practice works best for those who would like to reflect on their own experiences, and includes a case study firmly rooted in reality. Practical applications of the issues being explored are apparent throughout the book, and a chapter on ethics adds the dimension of spirituality and the challenges of this in a rational, bureaucratic practice context.

The chapter on personalisation presents a balanced and positive argument, encouraging social workers to embrace the government’s agenda as an opportunity for improved outcomes for service users and staff.

But the real potential of this book is in bridging the gap between education and qualified practice. Social work educators, students and those employing newly qualified social workers should read this and discuss the transition from student to professional, as well as ensuring academic debate remains central to practice.

Rob Fountain is head of delivery at Stepping Out

Community Care readers can receive a 20% discount on this title by quoting promotional code COMCARE0811

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