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Communication Skills and Social Work was prompted by the lack of dialogue between communication theory and social work practice. The book is a collaboration between academics working out of their disciplines of Communication and Social Work to produce a joint work informed by their expertise as individuals and in collaboration. It is not a ‘how to...
Communication Skills and Social Work was prompted by the lack of dialogue between communication theory and social work practice. The book is a collaboration between academics working out of their disciplines of Communication and Social Work to produce a joint work informed by their expertise as individuals and in collaboration. It is not a ‘how to communicate as a social worker’ book. This book does not propose absolutely foolproof methods to read communication in social work. It does set the scene for useful thinking about social work practice by asking useful questions about the processes of communication involved in the social work task. The book begins by stating some fundamental principles of communication theory, demolishing some tired notions about communication whilst finding much of value in commonsensical ideas. It moves to examine the communication function at the heart of the social work task. Building up a picture of the changed and changing character of social work it develops a more complex picture of how communication is formed, shaped, functions, and changed by the climate and context in which social workers now function. That picture is further developed by accounts of the changing role of service users, an appreciation of diversity and difference, the organisation systems and the management structures inside which social workers perform, and the need to balance accountability of the social worker with the empowerment of the service user. Finally, the authors seek to marry up their informed theoretical accounts with examinations of a variety of social work scenarios in which communication is key.
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