Communication Skills
Communication is at the heart of social work. A social worker must be able to communicate effectively in different ways, with different people and groups. This theme offers a collection of resources to support this essential skill.
Click on the links below to learn more about a particular aspect of this section, and to access the resources for that topic.

Book chapters
The practitioner relationship and emotional intelligence The practitioner relationship and emotional intelligence
In this chapter from 'The Emotionally Intelligent Social Worker', David Howe argues social workers with emotional intelligence are the most adept socially in their work, and therefore are better able to relate to service users.
Recording an interview Recording an interview
In this chapter from 'Effective Interviewing in Social Care: A Practical Guide', Gina Allen and Duncan Langford focus on the importance of recording an interview, how recording can be done effectively and how you might improve your own techniques if ...
Managing the focus of the interview Managing the focus of the interview
In this chapter from 'The Counselling Interview', Helen Cameron discusses the key processes involved in managing the focus of an interview.
Skills in working with children and families Skills in working with children and families
In this chapter from 'An Introduction to Working with Children: A Guide for Social Workers', Matthew Colton, Robert Sanders and Margaret Williams examine the different skills you will exercise when working with children and families, and how these ma...
Communication difficulties Communication difficulties
In this chapter from 'Effective Communication: A Guide for the People Professions', Neil Thompson explores various communication difficulties and how your skills can be developed so you can respond to these potential barriers effectively.
Working with involuntary service users Working with involuntary service users
These audio excerpts from Harry Ferguson's book 'Child Protection Practice' look at the challenges faced by social workers when working with resistant or involuntary service users. An 8-step plan for authoritative negotiated practice which is both e...
Developing communication skills Developing communication skills
In this chapter, featured in 'Skills for Social Work Practice', Kathleen Henderson and Jane Mathew-Byrne explore how to develop effective communication and interviewing skills.
Communication and relationships Communication and relationships
This chapter, taken from Emma Zara O’Brien’s 'Psychology for Social Work', explores the fundamental skills of communication and building relationships for effective practice.
Key skills for social work practice Key skills for social work practice
In this chapter, Jennifer Burton explores the fundamental skills of communication and building relationships for effective practice.