Just in Time for the Fall Season: The Top 10 Books Every Social Worker Should Read

Top 10 Social Work Books to Read

Fall season is here! As temperatures cool and students go back to school, The Network for Social Management encourages social workers, managers, directors and students of all ages and levels within human services organizations to hit the books!

It is our ethical duty as professionals in the social work field to stay up-to-date with current guidelines and practices within human services. The books listed below are helpful and practical resources for social workers, offering guidelines and specific techniques that promote leadership, empowerment, and cross disciplinary skills. These skills are invaluable in the field of social work; using resources and applying them to your craft will inevitably promote professionalism, efficiency, and quality to your career.

Here are the top 10 Social Work Management Books to Read:


This unique text by Dr. Bradford W. Sheafor and Charles R Horeisi emphasizes the many different techniques needed for successful social work practice. Parts I and II provide knowledge, values, and competencies for effective social work practice, while Parts III through V contain 144 clear and readable descriptions of practice techniques, presented in a handbook format for convenient accessibility of information.


This is the first guide to achieving long-term impact and social change by employing critical strategies in health and human services organizations. Contributors share real stories from a bottom-up perspective about hiring and integrating chief strategy officers and implementing transformational projects.


In the form of a training manual, author Roger Volker aids social work students and practitioners to become more effective agents of change by understanding the meaning, principles, and characteristics of facilitative leadership.


Presenting an empowerment-oriented management approach, this new how-to guide covers the most recent innovations and current theories you need to create a successful social services organization. This all-in-one guide will help you gain the skills you need to effectively lead and empower your staff in social service organizations.


Interprofessional Collaboration in Social Work Practices was designed by author Karin Crawford with social workers and students in mind, but is positioned for widespread application. By focusing on social work issues, benefits, and challenges, the book presents content in a digestible manner.


In the midst of helping others, we can often neglect ourselves, which is why Self-Care in Social Work is such a necessary read. Through the contemporary posts that explain how to reduce stress and refine self-maintenance techniques, the book has been able to help practitioners maintain clarity while helping others.


In this fascinating book, Seth Godin argues that now, for the first time, everyone has an opportunity to start a movement – to bring together like-minded people and do amazing things. There are tribes everywhere, all of them hungry for connection, meaning and change.


In today’s world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. Social workers tend to be natural givers, and this book will help readers understand the importance of this role.


Social Workers are constantly at work to solve the problems humanity faces in Western society. This book addresses the major questions that is involved with the problem solving process; How best to identify the most important questions to ask and the most difficult to solve? How best to identify those answers and solutions? How to balance collective judgment with individual initiative?


This philosophical read is great to expand your reader’s understanding of our duty as humans to contribute to humanity in a positive way. To be a cosmopolitan—i.e., a citizen of the world first and only secondarily a member of a particular nation—is an ideal that has a long history. In this overview of the cosmopolitan ideal, philosopher Peter Kemp argues that in the twenty-first century cosmopolitanism is more relevant than ever before.

Members of NSWM  are professionals in the social work field, and are dedicated to staying up-to-date with current guidelines and practices within human services. Join our Network today!