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An introduction to social work
An introduction to social work

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.


This free course has covered a wide range of issues that are designed to make you reflect on your own life experiences and on the experiences and perceptions of service users and practitioners. The section title ‘Focusing on the individual’ reminds you that social work is about working with people, as service users and as colleagues, and that you are also one of the people in this process. Hopefully by working through the course it has prompted you to reflect on your own practices, feelings, thoughts and reactions. To check your understanding and make sure you have taken in this material, you may find it useful to consider the following core questions and see if you can answer them now.

Core questions

  • Why is biography important?
  • How does an understanding of identity and attachment theory contribute to social work practice?
  • What qualities do service users value in social workers?
  • What values are integral to a professional social work identity?
  • What does it mean to practise reflectively?

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course K113 Foundations for social work practice [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .