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Where did professional social work originate from? How effective are social work interpretations in the lives of vulnerable people? A Textbook of Social Work provides a comprehensive discussion of social work practice and its evidence-base. It strikes a balance between the need for social workers to understand the social, economic, cultural, psychological and interpersonal factors which give rise to clients' problems, and the need for them to know how best to respond with practical measures. Divided into three parts: the text covers the history and of social work as a movement and profession in the first, and social work methods and approaches in the second. The final part looks at the major specialisms, including, among others, chapters on: Children and families Youth Offenders and substance misusers Social work and mental health Disabled people Older People Providing a comprehensive guide to conceptual and methodological issues in social work and containing plentiful case studies and examples, this book is an essential read for social work students, as well as a valuable resource for practitioners and academics.