Printed at: 4/23/2017  –  11:54:46 AM

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About Polity Social Work

Building on our reputation for publishing high quality student textbooks, and cutting-edge work by leading authors, we are pleased to present our list of titles in social care, suitable for a range of social work students and post-qualifying social workers.

Following in the Polity tradition, the books not only present a critical approach, but also provide exceptionally engaging introductions to the core themes in each area.

Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.

Major Textbooks

Llewellyn, Agu & Mercer: Sociology for Social Workers 2nd Edition

"This second edition is recommended as core reading for all social work students as it skilfully captures the central relevance of a sociological understanding to the whole social work curriculum. It also demonstrates via the use of carefully selected examples the location of social work as a profession within the social and political context. Never has such a text been more needed."

Cath Holmstrom, Middlesex University

Book CoverGreen & Clarke: Social Policy for Social Work

Contemporary social work cannot be understood without an appreciation of the broader context of social policy in which it takes place. This critical analysis offers students a crucial foundation for negotiating difficult practice situations and defending the profession, providing them with the tools and knowledge to uphold key professional values.

Book CoverHargreaves & Page: Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is an essential skill for those working in health and social care. This book uses stories and exercises to enable readers to develop their skills. Its emphasis is on the practical, from how to construct a reflective essay to the ethical ambiguities of whistleblowing and constructing a professional persona.

Book CoverGreen: Understanding the Life Course

"Lorraine Green has produced an impressive and stimulating text. She rigorously shakes some of the lazy orthodoxies which can settle into our understandings of the human life course, yet the work remains accessible and relevant both to professionals and researchers who seek to understand this important domain."

Sue White, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University

Book CoverDominelli: Introducing Social Work

"Lena Dominelli has done it again. Already amongst the most widely read of social work authors, and with an international reputation, Professor Dominelli has written perhaps her most accessible book to date. Let us hope that it helps to attract many more people to the public service ethos of a much maligned and undervalued, yet critically important profession."

Audrey Mullender, Ruskin College

Book CoverHammick, Freeth, Copperman & Goodsman: Being Interprofessional

"All the best ideas are obvious when someone has thought of them; after they have read Being Interprofessional, many people will wonder why it was not written before."

Steve Trevillion, University of East London

Book CoverBarnes & Mercer: Exploring Disability 2nd edition

"If students and teachers want one resource to assist in their exploration of disability studies, then this is it. It’s up-to-date, comprehensive and coherent, outlining the key themes and issues in a readable way. No-one studying disability on an undergraduate, postgraduate or professional training course should be without it."

Mike Oliver, Emeritus Professor, University of Greenwich

Book CoverHubley & Copeman: Practical Health Promotion 2nd edition

“Packed with examples, activities, definitions and explanations of terms, this second edition is a clear and helpful guide for those seeking to understand and engage in health promotion practice. Its approach is straightforward and level-headed, never losing sight of the fact that while often a complex and difficult enterprise, health promotion at its heart is about understanding and improving the lives of individuals, communities and populations.”

Peter Duncan, King's College London

Book CoverNettleton: Sociology of Health and Illness 3rd Edition

Sarah Nettleton’s book has become a cornerstone text, popular with students and academics alike for its rigorous and accessible overview of the field. Thoroughly revised and fully updated, the third edition will prove invaluable to anyone looking for a clear, engaging introduction to contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness.

Book CoverDominelli: Green Social Work

Green Social Work makes an important contribution to explicating the links between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Lena Dominelli convincingly argues that social workers, working with societies’ most marginal and disadvantaged people and communities, are key to articulating the social with the environmental in both their daily engagements with the people they work with, and as campaigners against structural inequality and injustice.”

Susan Buckingham, Brunel University

Book CoverDominelli: Social Work in a Globalizing World

This inspiring and stimulating book confronts contemporary challenges facing social workers. In addition to social problems that have persisted over time, the book addresses more recent problems rooted in the interdependent nature of the world, as well as the new opportunities that globalization creates for social work.

Book CoverDominelli: Social Work

Using a broad range of theories, this book outlines the knowledge, skills and values that enable practitioners to respond more effectively to the demands of working in fluid and constantly changing contexts. Underpinning the approach that it takes is the idea that ‘clients’ are citizens with social and human rights which have to be respected.

Social Work book series

Social Work in Theory and in Practice

This series of books provides students with an overview of the challenges and potential of working with various service-user groups, drawing on empirical evidence from practice and theoretical ideas from a range of disciplines.

Book CoverFrost, Abbott & Race: Family Support

"For all professionals with an interest in best practice, this book delivers in terms of ‘understanding and doing’ family support in the real world. The reader is brought from policy contexts to direct work practices in a most informative fashion and with ease."

Pat Dolan, National University of Ireland

Book CoverSimcock & Castle: Social Work and Disability

Social Work and Disability offers a contemporary and critical exploration of social work practice with people with physical and sensory impairments, exploring how social work practice can, and indeed does, contribute to the promotion of disabled people’s rights and the securing of positive outcomes in their lives.

Book CoverKarban: Social Work and Mental Health

"A social approach to mental health is needed now more than ever. Karban’s Social Work and Mental Health provides social care practitioners with all the arguments needed to defend their important corner. This will be an invaluable resource for trainees and those already working in the field."

David Pilgrim, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire

Book CoverMcDonald: Social Work with Older People

"Eminently accessible in terms of structure, style and content, the book addresses core areas, such as assessment and care planning, but also engages in more original discussion of work with older people within family and community contexts. Above all, it conveys the important message that social work with older people is a highly skilled, challenging and rewarding area of practice."

Denise Tanner, University of Birmingham

Book CoverSmith: Social Work with Young People

"Roger Smith's book is an excellent critical introduction for social work students and practitioners on working with young people. Blending theory, research and practice it challenges assumptions, champions a user-centred approach and promotes social justice in this contested and contentious area of practice."

Hugh McLaughlin, University of Salford

Skills for Contemporary Social Work

This series of concise, thoughtful books addresses key skills required for effective practice in the twenty-first century. Confronting key issues and debates, they aim to help students and practitioners across all service-user groups develop skills to work with confidence.

Book CoverKemshall, Wilkinson & Baker: Working with Risk

"This new book addresses a high priority aspect of practice for social work in the modern world. Building on professional experience, research and teaching, this book is rooted in practice issues, and it will be valued by social workers in diverse settings to help them reflect on and develop their work in this complex area."

Brian Taylor, University of Ulster

Book CoverHill: Working in Statutory Contexts

"This is an excellent book and should be compulsory reading for social work students. It is clearly written, sensitively related to social work practice, with some first-rate examples; above all, it really speaks to the realities of contemporary statutory professional practice in the twenty-first century. Andrew Hill has written a thorough but readable text for students which they will find useful at any stage in their qualification degree."

David Shemmings, University of Kent

Book CoverEvans & Hardy: Evidence and Knowledge for Practice

"This is a refreshing book from so many angles. I find it engaging as well as sophisticated in its coverage of ideas and issues crucial to the average practitioner. It introduces a broad spread of theories and perspectives in an accessible and meaningful way."

Jan Fook, Royal Holloway, University of London


"The book succeeds in being intellectually rigorous yet accessible and is an invaluable guide to students, lecturers, policy-makers and practitioners on how to understand and use evidence and knowledge in social work."

Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham