The relevance of emotional intelligence in social work practice and education


  • Hawa Matthews Whitireia New ZealandMassey UniversityVictoria University of Wellington



social work, emotional intelligence, education


This article presents a discussion of the concept of emotional intelligence and provides a rationale with reference to the relevant literature on the concept and significance of emotional intelligence in social work education. In this piece I argue that emotions can influence moral decision making in social work and may act as moral markers and motivators for social work practitioners and students. It offers my viewpoint on emotional intelligence based on my practice experience as a registered social worker, a social work educator and a learner completing a PhD in social work. Finally, I explicate some suggestions to further include emotional intelligence in the social workers’ ongoing professional development and social work students’ education.

Author Biography

Hawa Matthews, Whitireia New ZealandMassey UniversityVictoria University of Wellington

An experienced social worker with a demonstrated history of working in government and non-profit organizations. Skilled in refugee resettlement, cultural awareness, child protection, child development, social work practice and research.


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How to Cite

Matthews, H. . (2022). The relevance of emotional intelligence in social work practice and education. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 34(2), 100–104.