"A welcome reminder in the age of competency framework of the value of social work skills. This book is a clearly written knowledge and practice based exploration of core skills for all social workers" - Michael Preston-Shoot, Professor of Social Work and Social Care, Liverpool John Moores University. Written by an academic-practitioner, this text provides a detailed description of over fifty social work skills, with case examples of their creative use in practice. The book takes as its starting point the view that social work is a skilled activity and one that is uniquely located in 'no-win' situations, caught in a tension between conflicting and sometimes incompatible needs and expectations. These tensions call for critical thinking and balanced and judicious decision-making across a range of fundamental issues such as the rights of the parent and the needs of the child, acknowledging the needs of carers alongside those of their 'dependents' and weighing individual freedom against the risk to society. In order to address often severe and enduring problems and complex situations, social workers need to have at their fingertips a 'toolbox' of practice skills to help people to move their lives forward. Giving a name to these skills and being able to identify and demonstrate their effective use in evidence-based practice is a central theme of this text and one that provides an important and timely contribution to the literature on social work theory and practice. The handbook is essential reading for all social work students and a valuable reference resource for practicing social workers and human service professionals.