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Encyclopedia > Social work

Social Workers are concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their human impacts. Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social Work is the profession committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the enhancement of the quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in society. Social justice refers to the concept of an unjust society that refers to more than just the administration of laws. ...

Contents

Origins

The concept of charity goes back to ancient times, and the practice of providing for the poor has roots in all major world religions. However, the practice and profession of social work has a relatively modern (19th century) and scientific origin [1]. Charity in Europe was considered to be a responsibility and a sign of one’s piety. This charity was, generally, in the form of direct relief (i.e. money, food, etc.). After the end of feudalism, a need arose to have an organized system to care for the poor. In England, the Poor Law served this purpose. This system of laws sorted the poor and developed different remedies for these different groups. Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century), in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval European political system comprised of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the... This article deals chiefly with the English Poor Laws covering England and Wales. ...


The 19th century ushered in the Industrial Revolution. There was a great leap in technological and scientific achievement, but there was also a great migration to urban areas. This led to many social problems, which in turn led to an increase in social activism[2]. Also with the dawn of the 19th century came a great “missionary” push from many Protestant denominations. Some of the mission efforts (urban missions), attempted to resolve the problems (poverty, prostitution, disease, etc.) inherent in large cities. These “friendly visitors”, stipended by church and other charitable bodies, worked through direct relief, prayer, and evangelism to alleviate these problems [3]. In Europe, chaplains or almoners were appointed to administrate the church’s mission to the poor. A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... Almoner (from the Greek eelmosyna alms via Latin Almosunartius and French, known in English since circa 1300) is a chaplain or church officer who originally was in charge of distributing charity. ...


During this time, rescue societies were initiated to find more appropriate means of self-support for women involved in prostitution. Mental asylums grew to assist in taking care of the mentally ill. A new philosophy of "scientific charity" which stated charity should be "secular, rational and empirical as opposed to sectarian, sentimental, and dogmatic." (James Leiby) [4] In the late 1880s, a new system to provide aid for social ills popped up, that would become known as the settlement movement [5]. The settlement movement focused on the causes of poverty. They did this through the three "R's" - Research, Reform, and Residence. They provided a variety of services including educational, legal, and health services. These programs also advocated changes in social policy. Workers in the settlement movement immersed themselves in the culture of those they were helping. The settlement movement started in London. ...


In America, this led to a fundamental question – is social work a profession? This debate can be traced back to the early 20th century debate between Mary Richmond's Charity Organization Society (COS) and Jane Addams's Settlement House Movement. The essence of this debate was whether the problem should be approached from COS’ traditional, scientific method focused on efficiency and prevention or the Settlement House Movement’s immersion into the problem, blurring the lines of practitioner and client [6].


Schools of social work and formalized processes began to spring up. However, the question lingered. In 1915, at the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, Dr. Abraham Flexner spoke on the topic "Is Social Work a Profession?" He contended that it was not because it lacked specialized knowledge and specific application of theoretical and intellectual knowledge to solve human and social problems [7]. This led to the professionalization of social work, concentrating on case work and the scientific method.


Qualifications for social work

Main article: Qualifications for professional social work

Professional Social Workers are generally considered those who hold a degree in Social Work. Often these practitioners must also obtain a license or be professionally registered. In many areas of the English speaking world, social workers start with a Bachelor of Social Work (BA, BSc or BSW) degree. Some countries also offer post-graduate degrees like the master's degree (MA, MSc or MSW) or the doctoral degree (Ph.D or DSW). In a number of countries and jurisdictions where registration of people working as social workers is required there are mandated qualifications. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a type of masters degree in the field of social work which is received from a graduate school that has been approved by the Council on Social Work Education. ... A doctorate is an academic degree of the highest level. ...


Lay practitioners, often referred to as SSA (Social Services Assistant) or Care Managers are unqualified and unregistered social workers. They are not professionally registered and often do not hold any formal social work qualification. Within the mental health sector, unqualified social workers (Social Service Assistants / Care Managers) are called Care Co-ordinators.


In a number of countries and jurisdictions where registration of people working as social workers is required there are mandated qualifications[8]. In other places, the professional association sets academic and experiential requirements for admission to membership. The success of these professional bodies' effort to establish these requirements is demonstrated in the fact that these same requirements are recognised by many employers as necessary for employment[9]. In computer vision, sets of data acquired by sampling the same scene or object at different times, or from different perspectives, will be in different coordinate systems. ...


Role of the professional social worker

Professional social workers have a strong tradition of working for social justice and of refusing to recreate unequal social structures. The main tasks of professional social workers include case management (linking clients with agencies and programs that will meet their psychosocial needs), medical social work, counseling (psychotherapy), human services management, social welfare policy analysis, community organizing, advocacy, teaching (in schools of social work), and social science research. Professional social workers work in a variety of settings, including: non-profit or public social service agencies, grassroots advocacy organizations, hospitals, hospices, community health agencies, schools, faith-based organizations, and even the military. Some social workers work as psychotherapists, counselors, or mental health practitioners, often working in collaboration with psychiatrists, psychologists, or other medical professionals. Social Workers may also work independently as private practice psychotherapists in the United States and are able to bill most third party payers such as insurance companies. Additionally, some social workers have chosen to focus their efforts on social policy or academic research into the practice or ethics of social work. The emphasis has varied among these task areas by historical era and country. Some of these areas have been the subject of controversy as to whether they are properly part of social work's mission. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Social justice refers to the concept of an unjust society that refers to more than just the administration of laws. ... Medical Social Work is a sub-discipline of social work. ... Welfare has several meanings: Welfare, the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc. ... This article is about people called professionals. ... A grassroots political movement is one driven by the constituents of a community. ... A hospital today is an institution for professional health care provided by physicians and nurses. ... Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of the symptoms of a disease or slows its progress rather than providing a cure. ... Psychotherapy is a set of techniques intended to improve or cure mental health, emotional or behavioral issues in individuals, who are often called the client. ... Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional wellbeing or an absence of mental illness. ... Social policy is the study of the welfare state, and the range of responses to social need. ...


A variety of settings employ social workers, including governmental departments (especially in the areas of child and family welfare, mental health, correctional services, and education departments), hospitals, non-government welfare agencies and private practice - working independently as counsellors, family therapists or researchers.


Professional social work associations

There is a International Regulatory body for professional social workers, which is called International Federation of Social Workers(IFSW) [1] and International Association of Schools of Social Work [2]


On a national level there are organizations regulating the profession: USA - National Association of Social Workers [3] UK - British Association of Social Workers [4] India - Professional Social Workers' Association [5] Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups (aaswg.org)


Social work knowledge building

Main article: Social work knowledge building

The history of social work is a history plagued by a fundamental question – is social work a profession? This debate can be traced back to the early 20th century debate between Mary Richmond's Charity Organization Society (COS) and Jane Addams's Settlement House Movement. The essence of this debate was whether the problem should be approached from COS’ traditional, scientific method focused on efficiency and prevention or the Settlement House Movement’s immersion into the problem, blurring the lines of practitioner and client [10]. The impetus for both movements was the glaring reality of social problems and the question over how to best attack them. This debate is arguably the earliest example of a larger debate within social work – how is knowledge acquired? This debate pits positivism against post-positivism in the pursuit of achieving respect as a profession. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... The history of social work is a history plagued by a fundamental question – is social work a profession? This debate can be traced back to the early 20th century debate between Mary Richmonds Charity Organization Society (COS) and Jane Addamss Settlement House Movement. ...



The current state of social work knowledge building is characterized by two realities. There is a great deal of traditional research, both qualitative and quantitative being carried out, primarily by university-based researchers, but also in different fields, by researchers based in institutes, foundations, or social service agencies. Meanwhile, the majority of social work practitioners continue to look elsewhere for knowledge. This is a state of affairs that has persisted since the outset of the profession in the first decade of the twentieth century. One reason for the practice-research gap is that practitioners deal with situations that are unique and idiosyncratic, while research deals with regularities and aggregates. The translation between the two is often imperfect. A hopeful development for bridging this gap is the compilation in many practice fields of collections of "best practices," largely taken from research findings, but also distilled from the experience of respected practitioners.


Types of professional social work intervention

There are three levels of intervention:

  • Micro (individual & family)
  • Mezzo (agency & small groups)
  • Macro (societies, organizations & communities)

Clinical or direct practice

  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Adult therapy
  • Brief therapies
  • Case management
  • Child/adolescent therapy
  • Clinical supervision
  • Counseling
  • Crisis intervention

The word counseling or counselling comes from the Middle English counseil, from Old French conseil, from Latin cōnsilium; akin to cōnsulere, to take counsel, consult. ... khjdgljdlfkjgl ldfjglkdj glkjdflkgjdflkgjdfkgj ldkjldjf glkdj glkdjglk dlkjglkdfj ldkjldkj gldk jlkdj ... Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy and family systems therapy, is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. ... Gerontology is the study of aging. ... Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy during which one or several therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. ... Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employee benefit programs offered by many employers, typically in conjunction with a health insurance plan. ... Medical Social Work is a sub-discipline of social work. ... Psychosocial refers to ones psychological development in the context of a social environment. ... Psychoeducational assessment and intervention target a students function within his or her educational setting. ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Relationship counseling is the process of counseling the parties of a relationship in an effort to recognize and to better manage or reconcile troublesome differences. ... Relationship Education The formal organization of relationship education was begun in the mid-1990s by a diverse number of professionals concerned that the results of social science intervention resulted in no appreciable reduction in the elevated rate of divorce and fatherless births. ... // The group process contains the secret of collective life, it is the key to democracy, it is the master lesson for every individual to learn, it is our chief hope for the political, the social, the international life of the future. ...

Community practice

Main article: Community practice

Community Practice is a branch of social work in the United States that focuses on larger social systems and social change, and is tied to the historical roots of United States social work. ... Community organizing is a process by which people are brought together to act in common self-interest. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Community Economic Development (CED) is action taken locally by a community to provide economic opportunities and improve social conditions in a sustainable way. ... This article is about International Development. ... For other uses, see Management (disambiguation). ... For statistical mediation, see Mediation (Statistics). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... // Praxis Intervention is a kind of Participatory Action Research, with a difference. ... Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program works. It is a practice field that has emerged, particularly in the USA, as a disciplined way of assessing the merit, value, and worth of projects and programs. ... This article is about the concept. ... Social engineering can mean: Social engineering (political science), efforts to influence popular societies on a large scale Social engineering (security), the practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulating users External links [1] Category: ...

Fields of professional social work practice (both direct and community levels)

Ageing or aging is the process of getting older. ... Gerontology is the study of aging. ... Rest home for seniors in Český Těšín, Czech Republic SNF redirects here. ... Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of the symptoms of a disease or slows its progress rather than providing a cure. ... In the United States, the term child welfare is used to describe a set of government services designed to protect children and encourage family stability. ... For other uses, see Adoption (disambiguation). ... Child abuse is the physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others. ... Foster care is a system by which a certified, stand-in parent(s) cares for minor children or young people who have been removed from their biological parents or other custodial adults by state authority. ... Look up disability in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Domestic disturbance redirects here. ... A food bank is a place where food, both non-perishable goods and perishable goods like fresh produce, frozen items, and baker products, are offered to nonprofit agencies for distribution to people who may not be able to afford food. ... Forensic Social Workers are based in a variety of settings in the UK: Special Hospitals; Medium and Low Secure Psychiatric Hospitals; and in Community based Mental Health Teams. ... Medical Social Work is a sub-discipline of social work. ... Bag lady redirects here. ... United States criminal justice system flowchart. ... Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional wellbeing or an absence of mental illness. ... // Praxis Intervention is a kind of Participatory Action Research, with a difference. ... Reminiscence therapy is a relatively low cost therapy usually used to counsel and support older people, and is a useful intervention in work with brain-injured patients. ... Also see Alcoholism and Drug addiction. ... // School social work has an extensive history, dating to 1906-07, when it was established in New York, Boston, Chicago and New Haven, CT. At its inception, school social workers were known, among other things, as advocates for equity and fairness as well as home visitors. ...

See also

For other uses, see Adoption (disambiguation). ... Barefoot social work Based on his work as a solution-focussed social worker with families in crisis, Mark Hamer, a social worker and therapist in the UK wrote ‘Preventing Breakdown’. This book is a synthesis of Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and his own experiences of... A caseworker is a person who is employed by a government agency or a private organisation to take on an individuals case and provide them advocacy, information or other services. ... In the United States, the term child welfare is used to describe a set of government services designed to protect children and encourage family stability. ... Community organizing is a process by which people are brought together to act in common self-interest. ... Community Practice is a branch of social work in the United States that focuses on larger social systems and social change, and is tied to the historical roots of United States social work. ... Foster care is a system by which a certified, stand-in parent(s) cares for minor children or young people who have been removed from their biological parents or other custodial adults by state authority. ... A mental health professional is a person who offers services for the purpose of improving an individuals mental health and/or researches in the field of mental health. ... Professional development often refers to skills required for maintaining a specific career path or to general skills offered through continuing education, including the more general skills area of personal development. ... Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program works. It is a practice field that has emerged, particularly in the USA, as a disciplined way of assessing the merit, value, and worth of projects and programs. ... Relationship counseling is the process of counseling the parties of a relationship in an effort to recognize and to better manage or reconcile troublesome differences. ... Relationship Education The formal organization of relationship education was begun in the mid-1990s by a diverse number of professionals concerned that the results of social science intervention resulted in no appreciable reduction in the elevated rate of divorce and fatherless births. ... // School social work has an extensive history, dating to 1906-07, when it was established in New York, Boston, Chicago and New Haven, CT. At its inception, school social workers were known, among other things, as advocates for equity and fairness as well as home visitors. ... // The group process contains the secret of collective life, it is the key to democracy, it is the master lesson for every individual to learn, it is our chief hope for the political, the social, the international life of the future. ... Duties Social workers in the military perform some or all of the following duties: Counsel military personnel and their family members Supervise counselors and caseworkers Survey military personnel to identify problems and plan solutions Plan social action programs to rehabilitate personnel with problems Plan and monitor equal opportunity programs Conduct... Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a process developed by Marshall Rosenberg and others which people use to communicate with greater compassion and clarity. ... Tony Vinson is one of Australias leading social scientists and outspoken[2] public intellectuals[3], an honorary Doctor of Letters in Social Work (honoris causa) from the University of Sydney, as well as being an Honorary Professor in the School of Social Work and Policy Studies at the University...

References

  1. ^ http://www.boisestate.edu/socwork/dhuff/history/chapts/1-1.htm
  2. ^ http://www.socialwork.ed.ac.uk/social/history.html
  3. ^ http://www.boisestate.edu/socwork/dhuff/history/chapts/1-1.htm
  4. ^ http://www.boisestate.edu/socwork/dhuff/history/chapts/1-2.htm
  5. ^ http://www.boisestate.edu/socwork/dhuff/history/chapts/2-1.htm
  6. ^ Parker-Oliver & Demiris (2006). Social Work, 51(2), 127-134.
  7. ^ http://www.ssw.umich.edu/ongoing/fall2001/briefhistory.html
  8. ^ The National Association of Social Workers (NASW, 2005). NASW Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 15, 2006 from http://www.socialworkers.org.
  9. ^ Catholic Social Workers National Association
  10. ^ Parker-Oliver & Demiris (2006). Social Work, 51(2), 127-134.

The National Association of Social Workers, or NASW is the largest organization of professional social workers in the United States. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives.
A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) degree is the most common minimum requirement to qualify for a job as a social worker; however, majors in psychology, sociology, and related fields may qualify for some entry-level jobs, especially in small community agencies.
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