Masters in Social Work

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25 Essential e-Books Every Social Worker Should Read

Books about social work are often available online as instant downloads, but not all of them are free. Textbooks, for instance, are more expensive than mainstream books, just as they are in hardback or in paperback. But, you also can find some great deals, as you’ll see from this list of 25 essential e-books that every social worker should read. Individual books are listed as well as collections, and many are free to download to your reader or available to read online.

Single Selections

  1. Distance Education in Social WorkDistance Education in Social Work: In this comprehensive and well-organized guide to understanding and implementing distance education components into social work, pioneering professors explain how to administer DE components, discuss the adjustments and rewards of the DE teaching experience, evaluate the benefits for both students and teachers, and address evolving issues in the field.
  2. Ethical Practice in Social Work: An applied approach: Taking an applied approach with case studies in each chapter, the authors demonstrate how ethical principles can be used to transform practice into an effective, inclusive and empowering process for both professionals and their clients.
  3. Globalisation, Global Justice and Social Work: This book explores the global effects of neo-liberal policies on welfare services in different countries, with contributions from social work academics, practitioners and welfare activists around the world.
  4. Handbook of Social Work with Groups: Students and practitioners gain an in-depth view of the many ways that groups are used to help people address personal problems, cope with disabilities, strengthen families and communities, resolve conflict, achieve social change, and more
  5. Principles and Practice of Lifespan Developmental Neuropsychology: This book provides insight into how brain-behavior relationships change over time, how disorders differ in presentation across the lifespan, and what longer-term outcomes look like.
  6. Research for Social Workers: An Introduction to Methods, 2 Ed Book: This book was written for researchers without strong math backgrounds. Illustrated with examples, and accompanied by exercises and questions, it is an ideal introduction for newcomers to research.
  7. Social Work and Health Care in an Aging SocietySocial Work and Health Care in an Aging Society: Education, Policy, Practice, and Research Book: Special consideration is given to such issues as case management, urban, African-American elders, grandmothers raising grandchildren, aging persons with developmental disabilities, home health care and more.
  8. Social Work and Social Care Practice: This book is an adaptation of the bestselling introductory social work book available in Australia. This edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect wider changes that have characterized social work training and practice in recent years. It offers readers an essential grounding in the knowledge, values, and skills needed for successful completion of a degree.
  9. Social Work Diagnosis in Contemporary Practice: The unifying theme of this broad-reaching volume is that responsible, ethical, and effective social work practice rests on the diagnostic skills of the practitioner.
  10. Social Work in Mental Health: An Evidence-Based Approach: Editors Thyer and Wodarski have brought together noted experts to provide the most current, empirically supported techniques in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders as classified by the DSM-IV-TR.
  11. The McDonaldization of Social Work: Based upon George Ritzer’s McDonaldization of Society thesis and incorporating aspects of social theory, this book examines the introduction of care management to social work practice.
  12. The Politics of Social Work: Fred Powell examines the options facing social work in the 21st century and argues for a civic model of social work based on the pursuit of social justice in an inclusive society.
  13. The Values of Change in Social Work: The contributors to this text analyze social work values and place them firmly in a modern, practical context by examining the major developments in social work from moral, philosophical and political perspectives.
  14. Understanding Street DrugsUnderstanding Street Drugs: A Handbook of Substance Misuse for Parents, Teachers And Other Professionals: This fully updated edition of the essential reference provides a complete overview of the key facts and core issues surrounding substance misuse.


  1. Amazon: The downloads here were found under “social work ebook,” and include titles such as Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues in Diverse Practice Settings and Social Work Assessment by Ruben Martin. Kindle versions are available as well as other formats.
  2. Blackwell’s: The social work books in this ebook archive include books on social sciences such as anthropology, ethnology, sociology and media studies.
  3. Diesel Social Work eBooks: Although these ebooks are for sale, most go as inexpensively as fifty cents per title. You can find choices here such as Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations Through Consultation and Technical Assistance and Treating Young Veterans.
  4. eBooks: This is a list of books about the social sciences at The books are not free, but the prices are at market value.
  5. Google Books: This link leads to a compilation over about 12,000,000 results for social work books. Some books are fully downloadable, others offer previews or selected readings.
  6. Internet Archive: A search for social work texts reveals that this online repository holds about 983 documents about this topic. Some are older texts, others newer and more popular such as The Financing of Social Work by Arthur W. Procter.
  7. You can find at least 32 products on this site that relate to social work, including Adolescent Pregnancy: Policy and Prevention Services, Second Edition and Human Behavior in a Just World: Reaching for Common Ground.
  8. Project Gutenberg: The choices are not as extensive for social work at this collection, but offers seven books nonetheless. These books consist of full texts.
  9. Scribd: This archive holds journal articles, books, documents, papers and other materials all focused on the social work profession. The work filed here seems more scholarly than most archives.
  10. Even the downloads for textbooks about social work and welfare are pricey, so be sure to shop around. If you don’t need a particular edition for class, look for the previous edition of any given textbook for a remarkably lower price.
  11. The E-Books: This book store carries a wide range of social work books that center on the history of social work to various topics such as child abuse, health and aging and human rights.