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Social work practice in the twenty-first century is continually changing. Contemporary practitioners work in complex areas and have to do so quickly and competently. This text helps qualified social workers, as well as those about to qualify, to build on their initial studies in order to develop professionally. The volume considers not just what you need to know to practice, but how you develop in criticality and capability - in particular, how you can respond effectively in times of uncertainty and change to become more effective. It examines new roles, identities and contexts, including some international perspectives and the impact of globalisation. Each chapter discusses the contexts of practice (such as law, policies and theories); the contributions made both by those who practice social work and those who use its services; and the capabilities and skills that social workers need to develop in order to deal with complexity in social work. Making use of The Open University's expertise in providing cutting edge but accessible course materials and its distinct approach to social work practice, this textbook includes underpinning knowledge, practical applications and critical reflexivity. It includes questions for further reflection and application , plentiful examples and suggestions for further reading. Aimed at the newly qualified practitioner and the developing professional, Professional Development in Social Work is written by a team of authors with extensive practice and teaching experience. It will be particularly useful to students undertaking post-qualifying training or in the final year of their qualifying studies.