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Useful resources for social workers

By Luke Aldred

​The right resources can be very useful in social work jobs. Here's our selection of some of the more popular literature, tools etc which could help you improve your practice and achieve better outcomes for your clients.

British Association of Social Workers (BASW)

The Resources section of the BASW website has lots of downloadable publications and articles to support social workers in day-to-day practice. BASW members can also subscribe (at a discounted rate) to The British Journal of Social Work, the UK’s leading academic social work journal for educators, researchers, practitioners and managers, and Social Work in Action, a peer-reviewed journal focused on how to apply practice-based research in social work roles.

Autism resources

Social workers in all fields of practice are likely to find themselves working with autistic adults and adults with learning difficulties, either regularly or occasionally. In June this year, the BASW joined with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to launch a range of resources to help social workers, employers and educators to plan and implement effective learning and development strategies. These include an online toolkit, an organisational self-assessment tool and the 'hair tool' (designed as a colourful hair-do graphic) which helps social workers check their knowledge and skills.

NICE quick guides

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a series of downloadable quick guides with key information on social care topics, based on content from NICE guidance. Three of the guides are aimed specifically at those working in front line social work roles: Recognising and Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse, Enabling Positive Lives for Autistic Adults, and Evidence for Strength and Asset-based Outcomes.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

Featuring a handy search engine, the SCIE website has a wealth of resources, covering everything from supporting people with dementia to advice for developing digital capabilities in social work jobs. You can search for resources alphabetically by subject topic, or by geographical location, resource type or keywords.

Worry eaters

Recommended by psychologists and educators, worry eaters are comforting bedtime toys that help children deal with fears and anxieties. The child simply writes or draws a picture of his or her worries on a piece of paper, feeds them into the mouth of the worry eater and zips them away. This helps them banish negative thoughts and sleep soundly. Once the child is asleep, a parent or carer can remove the worries from the worry eater, making them magically 'vanish', as well as getting insights into what is troubling the child.

Cafcass resources for professionals

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) website features information and tools on a range of topics relating to the Child Impact Assessment Framework and direct working with children, including guidance on child resistance and refusal, and a 'My Needs, Wishes and Feelings' pack to help young people share their feelings directly with the court. There are also links to general assessments tools and guidance, as well as other useful sources of information.

Social Work News

Launched in 2012 as a quarterly magazine, Social Work News has become the go-to resource for social workers across the UK. Now the team has launched mysocialworknews.com, an online platform with content for social workers and by social workers. It's an easy way to connect with the social care community, sharing ideas, asking questions and learning from others - with all engagement counting towards your CPD.

Sanctuary Personnel

You'll also find plenty of interesting and useful content for social workers on our website. Read more fascinating blog posts here or visit our careers hub for tips on CV writing, interview technique, career development and more.