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date: 29 February 2024

Foundations in Future Directions for Social Work Leadershiplocked

Foundations in Future Directions for Social Work Leadershiplocked

  • Darlyne Bailey, Darlyne BaileyBryn Mawr College
  • Kimberly B. Bonner, Kimberly B. BonnerBryn Mawr College
  • Katrina M. UhlyKatrina M. UhlyIndependent Scholar
  •  and Jessica S. WilenJessica S. WilenYale University Child Study Center


The concept of leadership has evolved from focusing on innate abilities, to learned skills, to understanding that leadership is composed of both skills and abilities. Recently, theorists and practitioners have identified elements of effective leadership within social work organizations. These areas of knowledge, skills, and values encourage social work leaders to recognize their organizations as living systems within an interdependent world and aid them in connecting humanistic intentions with effects. Both acknowledgment and enactment of these leadership competencies are essential for all organizational members to engage in effective dialogue and action. Social workers, regardless of their organizational titles, can learn and hone these qualities in social work training programs and continuing professional development opportunities, as well as through practical field experiences for effective leadership in the field.


  • Administration and Management
  • Ethics and Values
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Social Work Profession

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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