Dilemmas and Decision Making in Social Work

By (author) Abbi Jackson

Ebook (VitalSource) - £12.99

Publication date:

19 October 2021

Length of book:

112 pages


Critical Publishing



ISBN-13: 9781914171215

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. 

“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.”