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'I can say without equivocation this text is without doubt the best book about social work I have read. Chris Beckett explores the purpose, values activities and theories of social work in an ever-changing social context that is clearly identified and examined' - Stephanie Petrie, University of Liverpool Every day social workers face decisions that will significantly impact others' lives, and it is essential that these practical assessments are supported by a sound understanding of social work theory. In this innovative and highly accessible textbook Chris Beckett explains how an understanding of these theoretical issues can improve the knowledge and skills base of professional practice. Essential Theory for Social Work Practice is an engaging and readable text, with a distinctively realistic and honest approach to the realities of everyday practice. Framed in a comprehensive and logical structure: - Part 1 establishes what social workers do and the tools they need - Part 2 considers how to assess, handle, and support change in others - Part 3 explores the wide range of roles that social workers must fulfil - Part 4 strengthens these links between theory and practice. Exercises, case examples, chapter summaries, and practice notes are used to great effect in each chapter, enabling students to apply theory to practice as they progress through the book. The book is an invaluable core text for all undergraduate social work students, and offers excellent support for practitioners in their every day practice.