Social work with children and families is constantly in the headlines and social workers' decisions are subject to ever increasing scrutiny at all levels. This aspirational book supports students and newly qualified social workers and suggests practical ways in which they might thrive, rather than just survive, in practice Written at a time when Social Work Reform Board and the Munro Enquiry are charged with looking at issues of effectiveness within children and families social work, the book tackles the different challenges that students and practitioners can be faced with, outlining common pitfalls and how to avoid these. Key topics covered include: - Legislation and policy - Child development - Safeguarding and child protection - Assessment - Communication - Looking after yourself Reflective questions are used throughout the book, ensuring that students critically evaluate their own practice. Case examples and case studies drawn from the authors' recent practice are included throughout the book to illuminate the realities of contemporary social work with children and families. This text will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students, particularly as they prepare to go on placement. It will also provide valuable reading for qualified social workers who are interested in fresh and effective approaches to practice.