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Assertive outreach primary aims to provide specialist services for people disengaged from traditional approaches of mental health services, but very little attention has been paid to how such services can develop. The Practice Based Evidence consultancy engaged with seven assertive outreach teams in England to implement an approach to practice development that focuses on team-working and adopting a specific strengths approach to its model of practice. This article summarises some of the findings and puts forward strengths-based recommendations to develop assertive outreach practice.

The Social Work Task Force has signalled its intent to come up with a new definition of social work to counter public misconceptions. Anabel Unity Sale reports that with the negative coverage that social work attracts, it is hardly surprising that the public is not clear about what social workers do, and that people are led to believe that professionals swoop in and steal babies from families, give older people with limited mobility a bath and then make their dinner.

Article querying whether the personalisation of adult social care in rural areas can benefit service users and offer a more fruitful basis for the work of social care professionals.

Motivational interviewing is a well-known, scientifically tested method of counselling clients developed by Miller and Rollnick and viewed as a useful intervention strategy in the treatment of lifestyle problems and disease.

How directive the therapist is in the face of client resistance is emerging as one of the strongest and most consistent influences on the outcomes of therapy. There is no one right answer - it all depends on the client, in particular on how much they perceive and react against threats to their autonomy.

Alcoholism is one of the most common psychiatric disorders with a prevalence of 8 to 14 percent. This heritable disease is frequently accompanied by other substance abuse disorders (particularly nicotine), anxiety and mood disorders, and antisocial personality disorder.

Although associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, alcoholism often goes unrecognized in a clinical or primary health care setting. Several brief screening instruments are available to quickly identify problem drinking, often a pre-alcoholism condition.

This article is from the Social Work & Society journal and discusses modernising social work and the ethics of care.

The current fuel poverty situation is outlined, including legislation and schemes designed to mitigate it. Some suggestions as to how practitioners can help clients to help themselves with this issue are made.

To identify predictors of perinatal and infant mortality variations between primary care trusts (PCTs) in England prognostic multivariable mixed models were used. For each PCT, data on the number of infant and perinatal deaths, ethnicity, deprivation, maternal age, PCT spending on maternal services, and "Spearhead" status (those PCTs with the worst health and deprivation indicators requiring special attention) were collected.