Analysis is a critical skill for social workers, yet it is a skill that many practitioners find very difficult. This book will help social workers to improve their analysis skills by offering a very basic, step-by-step model to develop an analytical mindset. It shows how analysis can be woven into the whole process of social work engagement, resulting in better decision making, more efficient ways of working and, ultimately, better outcomes for social work service users. The chapters include: tools for developing a critical mindset; extended case studies; practice dilemmas; research summaries; exercises; and reflection points. Topics covered include: what analysis is, and why it is such an important skill in practice; the skills that underpin critical analysis, e.g. time management, planning, critical understanding, logical thinking, research-mindedness, creativity, communication, reflection and hypothesising; the role of emotion and intuition in critical analysis Models to aid critical analysis; and the importance of supervision, and the idea that good analysis does not happen when social workers try to do it on their own. Written for all social workers, regardless of their area of practice, this invaluable resource will be used by students at the outset of their training, and while on placement. It is also a 'must-have' purchase for practitioners involved in continuing professional development, supervision and training. "Successive reports into social work training, as well as their practice after qualification, identify gaps in professionals' capacity for critical analysis. This excellent book contains thought-provoking examples, each derived from an authentic practice-base and theoretically driven models. Here we have a compelling text which social workers at all stages of their careers should view as essential reading." (David Shemmings, Visiting Professor of Child Protection Research at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK). "A timely and appropriate post-Munro book for social workers at all levels of experience. The chapter on emotion, intuition and critical analysis is a particularly welcome addition to the subject. A really useful book." (Dr Jane Reeves, Director of Studies, M.A. Child Protection, Co-Director Centre for Child Protection, University of Kent, UK). "This is a quite splendid book. Sane, fresh, accessible, reader-friendly and a pleasure to read. Taking the meaning skills of critical analysis as the spine of good practice, Wilkins and Boahen have given us a book that succeeds in engaging readers equally at different levels - and one different from anything else on the market." (Professor Ian Shaw, University of York, UK).