Critical Publishing Logo

Helping you to thrive and succeed in your chosen profession 

Dilemmas and Decision Making in Social Work

Tags: Social Work

This title is available for inspection, please request. More details

Discounts are available for bulk orders. More details

Dilemmas and Decision Making in Social Work

AUTHOR : By Abbi Jackson

ISBN : 9781914171208

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 19, 2021

Extent : 112 pgs

ISBN : 9781914171215

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 19, 2021

Extent : 112 pgs

ISBN : 9781914171222

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 19, 2021

Extent : 112 pgs


Dilemmas and Decision Making in Social Work is a collection of stories to help social workers work with dilemmas, weigh up options and make good decisions.


Told in the first person from the point of view of a social worker, each case study begins with the service user’s story and then applies relevant theory. It demonstrates where workers have to think outside their own frames of reference and seek other’s expertise, how they work with barriers to collaboration with other professionals and how to handle disagreements. Where fitting, the emotional impact of the work is highlighted and how social workers deal with this. 


In summary:

  • Starts with the human story and then considers which theory applies so very accessible to readers
  • Demonstrates thinking in action
  • Packed with succinct examples of real time challenges and how these have been tackled
  • Full of reflective questions valuable to all social workers and supervisors regardless of experience.


This book helps students and new workers learn from experience of established workers, firstly to gain insight into practice in areas they have no experience, but primarily to help them understand how decisions are made reflexively in the moment. 


1. Introduction

2. Kim

3. Josie

4. Leo

5. Rachid

6. Sophie

7. Elizabeth

8. Meikal

9. Anna

10. Jimmy

11. Rosella

12. Becky

13. Mathias

14. Some thoughts to finish


Abbi Jackson has worked in children’s services for around 25 years. She has been a foster carer and has worked in secure care and children’s residential care. She spent time as a social worker in a statutory childcare team, an independent Form F assessor and a supervising social worker. She has led large scale practice audits in children’s services and more recently in adult protection. Currently she is a senior planning officer for adult social work and integrated services in a local authority area and is an independent panel member for a private fostering company. 


Abbi is also an active practice educator and lectures in critical social work practice. She has an interest in early intervention with young people who experience emerging mental health concerns. Never a dull moment, she is currently undertaking a piece of action research with young people receiving alternative therapies. She is a beekeeper in her spare time.


Publication Overview

Add to Basket


Request e-inspection Copy


Your Reviews on this book

“The book takes a different approach to the topic through focusing almost exclusively on the use of case studies to encourage students to reflect on and further explore the dilemmas and issues presented by these scenarios and the response of the fictional social worker. This approach is refreshing and I can see the case studies being used as a constructive tool for discussion in social work education as well as in practice during both individual and group supervision.  Helpful pointers are provided for students to consider various theories, models of intervention and ethics (and)…the introductory chapter is helpful in setting the scene, emphasising the fictional nature of the case studies and encouraging critical engagement by the reader.”

Fiona Clark, School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee,

"Dilemmas and Decision Making in Social a welcome addition to the practice learning toolkit. It is an accessible resource containing 12 case studies covering a broad range of children & families and adult scenarios interweaving substance misuse, mental health and safeguarding. Jackson speaks directly to students as she highlights the emotional impact of social work alongside the many dilemmas around decision making…Within each case study she annotates the discussion with suggested links to theory as well as offering her own reflections on the case followed by some reflective questions for students to consider…Given the challenges that many students face applying theory to practice, this accessible book will support their development in this crucial area."

Deirdre Fitzpatrick Head of Social Work (Scotland), The Open University in Scotland

"…This resource would be equally useful for newly qualified workers or more experienced workers who may be struggling with a particular piece of work and might find unpacking the issues presented and the thought processes behind their actions helpful…Though hypothetical, the work described encompasses the very real dilemmas and challenges that social workers face on a day-to-day basis and there is a sense of honesty and transparency in the reflection provided…As well as a wide range of theoretical interventions, the case studies highlight the ethical and value aspects of the work as well as the importance of relational aspects of social work. The format of the book also encourages an acknowledgment of the impact on the worker themselves…Thank you for sharing this book with me. It has provided me with lots to think about, particularly in my role as HEI educator, Practice Learning Manager and Practice Teacher."

Dr Clare Hancock-Fraser Senior Lecturer/Practice Learning Manager, Robert Gordon University
You May also Like