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Curriculum guide – Communication skills

Good communication is essential in social work. It is intrinsic to the forging of effective and compassionate professional relationships, thereby embodying social work’s humanity. This guide aims to help educators design and deliver a curriculum for communication skills in qualifying education. Communication transfers information between people; how it is done affects what is conveyed. It occurs face-to-face, on the phone, in sign language, via notes and images, through touch, or via interpreters when there is no common language. Letters, paper records and formal court reports are now supplemented by technological media (e.g. text, email, electronic records). Blogs and social networking sites need to be used with care by social workers, in line with professional codes of conduct. Skilled professional communication entails the deliberate use of specialised skills, tailored to particular goals and contexts. With practice, such skills are integrated into the social worker’s