About this Journal

Relational Social Work is an international peer reviewed journal that analyses and promotes the relational approach in Social Work and in related areas of social policy, social welfare, social development and human services, by publishing refereed papers on key issues in Social Work.
It addresses academics, policy makers, managers, social workers and Social Work students engaged in several topics of Social Work (child protection, young offenders, mental health, physical and learning disabilities, addictions, ageing and the elderly, poverty, and immigration).

The journal aims to be an international forum for the publication and dissemination of participatory research and debate about best practices in Relational Social Work.

Relational Social Work is a practice paradigm in which practitioners identify and resolve problems by facilitating coping networks (a set of relationships between people interested in a common aim) to enhance their resilience and capacity for action at both individual and collective levels. The central idea is that change emerges from reciprocal aid: the practitioner helps the network to develop reflexivity and improve in enhancing welfare, and in turn, the network helps practitioners to better understand how they can help it, even when the issue is to counter structural inequalities.

Journal section

Articles section: this section includes theoretical contributions, empirical studies and research on Relational Social Work, and papers studying the implications of relational principles in case, group and community Social Work, with a focus on the interconnection between these three levels.
Voices from practice: in addition to full-length articles, the journal publishes shorter contributions related to practice of Relational Social Work, Social Work, education service users and carers’ voices and experiences.

Aims and scope

Relational Social Work publishes both articles reporting empirical research and theoretical contributions that:

  • promote, debate and analyse social work issues from a relational perspective;
  • study social service organisation in the framework of the relational approach;
  • reflect on the role of social workers according to service user, group and community needs;
  • reflect on social service users and carers’ participation in social work practices, social work research and social work education;
  • reflect on the learning practice of social work students;
  • reflect on social work ethics and values.

Subjects covered by this journal

Social work with children in care, young offenders, people in need, people with physical or learning disabilities, addictions, ageing and the elderly, poverty, and immigration. Social work education.


Academics in social work, policy makers, managers, social workers, social work students.

Peer Review process

All articles are subject to a single or double blind peer review procedure, in order to verify whether they have the necessary quality prerequisites to be published in our journals. The referees’ views, which are explained in writing, regardless of whether in favour or not in favour of publication, shall be disclosed to the authors in full, together with any requests for changes.

Journal information

ISSN: 2532-3814 Relational social work [Online]
Journal registration number 8/2016 (Court of Trento)

2 issues per year (April – October)