Professor Donald Forrester

‘The Enlightened Social Worker: An Introduction to Rights Focused Practice’ – Book Launch

Presenter: Professor Donald Forrester, CASCADE, Cardiff University

Date: 10th April 2024

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Location: Online, ZOOM

Author and presenter: Donald Forrester is Professor of Child and Family Social Work and Director of CASCADE Centre for Children’s Social Care Research and Development at Cardiff University.

In this webinar, Donald Forrester introduces his new book, which positions human rights as central social work practice.

While social work theory tends to emphasise helping individuals and challenging social injustice, the reality of practice is characterised by challenge and conflict. Donald Forrester’s book offers a new concept of social work that explains the nature of these conflicts and moves beyond them, with an inspiring and practical vision of what social work is and should be. 

Placing rights at the heart of practice, the book is of interest students, experienced social workers and their supervisors.  It makes a substantive contribution to the theoretical literature that emphasises the role of social work when rights may be in conflict, enabling students and practitioners to become more confident dealing with the uncomfortable realities of practice. 

Table of Contents


Part 1: An Introduction to Rights-based Social Work

  1. The Enlightenment, Social Work and Progress
  2. Freedom, Rights, Equality, Solidarity and Social Work
  3. Needs, Rights and Social Work

Part 2: Core Intellectual Traditions for a Rights-based Social Work.

  1. Humanist Social Work
  2. The Social Model

Part 3: How to Practise Rights-based Social Work

  1. Assessment as Theory Development
  2. Good Assessment: Formulation and Resolution
  3. Assessing Change
  4. Good Practice in Direct Work: Purposeful Dialogue
  5. Purposeful Dialogue and Good Authority
  6. Purposeful Dialogue and Helping People
  7. Creating a Collaborative Plan
  8. Final Thoughts and Future Direction