Neil Thompson Click to enlarge

Well-known social work author, Neil Thompson has been writing about social work and related matters for over 25 years.

"I have been involved in social work for over 35 years and have seen immense changes during that time. But, what has remained constant has been the richness and complexity of the work and, of course, its importance in playing a part in making our society a humane one. I started writing about social work because I wanted to capture something of that richness and complexity but without putting it in an academic jargon that would alienate the vast majority of practitioners. I have therefore been delighted to receive such positive feedback over the years about how well received my writings have been, especially in terms of my success in explaining complex issues in an accessible way without oversimplifying them. That is exactly what I wanted to achieve.

One of the things that has always fascinated me about social work is that it is, at one and the same time, a pragmatic activity (that is, it is about making a positive difference at a practical level) and an intellectual one (in the sense that being effective needs analytical skills, a solid knowledge base and critically reflective practice). Despite the inherent pressures, difficulties and drawbacks (and the lack of appreciation we often encounter) it can be a stimulating and rewarding undertaking, an enriching balance of thinking and doing.

My writings have included articles, books, book chapters and training manuals, but recently I have also been involved in developing multimedia learning resources. All this is part of my commitment to helping people learn. Throughout my career I have always put my heart and soul into my work. So, when I was a practitioner, I was passionate about making a difference to people’s lives. As a manager I was passionate about helping staff to make a positive difference, while also growing and developing in their own right. As a writer and educator, I have been – and continue to be – passionate about helping people learn. I have been very fortunate to have had so many opportunities to do this.

I am now at an exciting new chapter in my career, having invested heavily in developing new learning opportunities and resources that capitalise on modern technology. Video-based learning, e-learning, online group learning, e-mentoring, e-books – all really interesting and very promising new ways of doing old things; that is, helping people learn, not only so that they can have the benefits for their own development, but also so that they can do the best job they can in their day-to-day practice. My aim now is to make a success of these new ways of promoting learning while also continuing to write for conventional media (I have a book on childhood trauma and another on managing people in the pipeline).

Social work is important, but it is also difficult and challenging much of the time, so I very much hope that I will be able to continue to make a difference by helping practitioners and managers to rise to those challenges."

Neil’s latest book is The People Solutions Source Book (2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 ) which contains a ‘toolkit’ of 88 problem-solving methods.

Keep in touch with Neil! - Use any of the links below

Neil’s blog and Tip of the Week           

The humansolutions BULLETIN            

Social Work Focus

Grief Challenges                                   

Neil’s books                                                     

Neil’s other learning resources on







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