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An introduction to social work
An introduction to social work

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1.4 Skills

Social workers develop their skills largely in the course of their practice experiences. However, it is good to have a framework to help with your learning and understanding.

A graphic showing the word ‘Skills’ written on a black background.

We use four categories of skill in our framework:

  1. skills in thinking – analysing, managing, reflecting and valuing
  2. skills in using the senses – listening and talking, observing, understanding and expressing feelings
  3. skills combining thinking and using the senses – giving and receiving constructive feedback, interviewing, leading, negotiating, supporting
  4. skills supporting your studies and practices – reflective writing, digital and information literacy skills, academic and professional writing skills.

Other skills social workers need to have include:

  • reflective, professional and academic forms of writing, recording and sharing information
  • thinking skills, such as reflection and analysis
  • the ability to recognise and challenge discriminatory attitudes
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • ICT skills and information literacy (collectively referred to as digital and information literacy).

The activities in this course will introduce you to some of these skills.