This paper considers the concept of emotional intelligence in relation to social work practice. An overview of the concept of emotional intelligence is offered to establish key aspects and themes, which are then linked to social work. It is noted that elements of emotional intelligence such as empathy and emotional regulation can be integrated into a model for practice that emphasises the centrality of seeking and using the views and perspectives of service users in social work practice. It is argued that emotional intelligence contributes to the development of the social work/service user relationship. Emotional intelligence is mapped against core practice skills and the synergies with reflective practice are explored. It is concluded that emotional intelligence has much to offer social work as a concept and raises the importance of considering the emotional context of social work practice more broadly.