101-120 of 1,102 Results


Best Practices  

Edward J. Mullen, Jennifer L. Bellamy, and Sarah E. Bledsoe

This entry describes best practices as these are used in social work. The term best practices originated in the organizational management literature in the context of performance measurement and quality improvement where best practices are defined as the preferred technique or approach for achieving a valued outcome. Identification of best practices requires measurement, benchmarking, and identification of processes that result in better outcomes. The identification of best practices requires that organizations put in place quality data collection systems, quality improvement processes, and methods for analyzing and benchmarking pooled provider data. Through this process, organizational learning and organizational performance can be improved.


Bethune, Mary McLeod  

Wilma Peebles-Wilkins

Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955) was a teacher committed to the education and development of Black women. Her role as president of the National Association of Colored Women led to the founding of the National Council of Negro Women in 1935.


Beveridge, Lord William  

James Midgley

Lord William Beveridge (1879–1963) was one of the founders of the British welfare state. His report of 1942 formed the basis for the Labour Government's social policies between 1945 and 1950 and fostered the creation of Britain's national health services.


Bierdeman-Fike, Jane Elizabeth  

Sadye L. M. Logan

Jane Elizabeth Bierdeman-Fike (1922–2012) was a state and national leader in developing forensic social work practice and was committed to providing best practices to an oppressed population of patients with mental illness who were residents in psychiatric institutions.



Larry W. Foster

Bioethics and biomedical ethics are defined. Common bioethical concepts, exemplary moral values, fundamental ethical principles, general ethical theories, and approaches to moral reasoning are reviewed. The scope of topics and issues, the nature of practice situations in bioethics, and social work roles on organizational bodies that monitor and respond to bioethical issues are summarized, as are trends in bioethics. Practice contexts, from beginning to end of life, are highlighted with biopsychosocial facts, ethical questions and issues, and implications for social work—a profession uniquely positioned in giving bioethics a social context.



Laura S. Abrams

This entry explores past and present social-scientific lenses concerning bisexuality. The author traces the rise of a bisexual movement in the 1970s to present times. The entry concludes by addressing social work's limited contributions to understanding bisexuality and proposes trends and directions for future practice and research with diverse groups of bisexuals.


Black Americans: Practice Interventions  

Sharon E. Moore

Black people number about 46.8 million or 14% of the U.S. population. Throughout U.S. history, regardless of social class, Black people have had to remain cognizant of their race. The COVID-19 pandemic and police shootings of unarmed Black people have revealed that American racism toward Blacks is as virulent today as it has always been. Because of purposeful structural inequality, Black people in America suffer disproportionately in every sector of human activity. They are still facing social issues such as racism, substance abuse, mass incarceration, poverty, police brutality and police murder, infant mortality that is twice as high as among whites, residential segregation, racial profiling, and discrimination. And yet the strengths of the Black community have allowed it to thrive amid these arduous circumstances.


Blackey, Eileen  

Margaret Daniel

Eileen Blackey (1902–1979) was a social worker and consultant who helped establish schools of social work in Hawaii and at Hebrew University in Israel. She was Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Black Lives Matter  

Mildred Delozia and Charles M. S. Birore

Black Lives Matter (BLM), which led to the Black Lives Matter movement (BLMM), has been described as a movement with a global following. The movement is aligned with the social work profession’s purpose and values. The social work profession is a human rights profession and has a history of involvement with movements, beginning with the settlement house movement in the late 19th century. The BLMM frames its narrative based on human rights and espouses an agenda that calls out injustice in all facets of social justice. Therefore, a central aim is to understand the BLMM from multiple perspectives. Definitions, theoretical perspectives, and types of social movements are presented, and then the framework of social movements is used to understand the BLMM. Finally, the BLMM is examined in relation to historical social movements, advocacy organizations, and criminal justice reform.


Black Women and Maternal Death  

Valire C. Copeland and Betty Braxter

The upward trend in the number of Black maternal deaths between 2005 and 2020 warrants an in-depth assessment of risk factors associated with the increased maternal mortality rate in the United States for this subgroup population. The risk factors are multifactorial and, in part, have been organized into several categories: demographics, social determinants of health (SDOH), medical conditions, and the quality-of-care interventions by health systems providers. In addition, the overall trends, causes, and solutions to decrease maternal mortality current rates reflect the social inequities in our society. Black maternal deaths have been rising in recent years due to complex causes which stem from structural and systemic health inequities. In part, unvaccinated pregnant women were at greater risk of severe illness and hospitalization and even death if they were diagnosed with COVID-19. While Black Americans were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, the disparities in maternal mortality predate and extend beyond the pandemic. In part, and together, the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths include cardiovascular disease, other medical conditions and infections, cardiomyopathy, blood clots in the lung hypertensive disorders related to pregnancy, adverse pregnancy outcomes, racial bias of providers, and perceived racial discrimination from patients. In addition, an overview of nonmedical factors referred to as SDOH, which intersect with health status outcomes, will be discussed. An overview of Black women’s maternal mortality and morbidity, factors contributing to poor maternal health status outcomes, and intervention strategies at the provider, health systems, and policy levels are provided. Social workers in health care systems function as health care providers and clinicians. Therefore, contributing medical and nonmedical issues are factors to consider for a holistic perspective during engagement, assessment, and intervention. The terms Black women and Black birthing persons are used interchangeably.


Blindness and Visual Impairment  

Adrienne Asch and Nancy R. Mudrick

Significant visual impairment affects ~8 million Americans, 1.8 million of whom are blind and must find nonvisual methods of performing life roles. Social workers should not assume that people with visual impairment or blindness are unable to work, have families, or engage in sports or travel, or that vision limitations are necessarily a part of every presenting problem. Key roles for social workers include assisting in access to services and training and advocacy to combat discrimination and exclusion.


Bogardus, Emory  

Frances Feldman and Haluk Soydan

Emory Bogardus (1882–1973) established the first Sociology Department in the West in 1915. His study on “social distance” is still used to examine cultural, ethnic, and religious attitudes. In 1920 he founded Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honor society.


Bogo, Marion  

Faye Mishna and Cheryl Regehr

Marion Bogo (1942–2021), Professor in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, was a preeminent Canadian scholar and world-renowned expert who transformed social work education and practice in Canada and across the globe. Over a 4-decade-long career, Bogo instituted major innovations in social work practice education including developing a holistic model of competence and cutting-edge simulation-based educational practices. Bogo had a profound influence on preparing generations of social workers and educators.


Borderline Personality Disorder  

Gloria Hegge

The historical development of the borderline concept is traced up through the development of the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Treatments for BPD during the 1970s and 1980s are discussed, including the object relations theories of Margaret Mahler and James Masterson, as well as trauma theory described by Judith Herman. Three evidence-based treatments (EBTs) that have emerged from the 1990s to the present time are described, as well as findings from brain imaging techniques and how new EBTs and neuroimaging have changed the view of this disorder.


Böszörményi-Nagy, Ivan  

Carole Zugazaga

Ivan Böszörményi-Nagy (1920–2007) was a Hungarian-American psychiatrist and one of the founders of the field of family therapy. He emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1950.


Brace, Charles Loring  

Jean K. Quam

Charles Loring Brace (1826–1890) was a writer, minister, and social reformer. He worked with homeless children, initiating child welfare services, and was the founder and executive director of the Children's Aid Society of New York City.


Brager, George  

Stephen Holloway

George Brager (1922–2003) was a social work educator, administrator, and social activist who worked primarily in New York City. He developed innovative community programs which had national impact and was a founding director of Mobilization for Youth.


Branscombe, Martha Elizabeth  

Sadye L. M. Logan

Martha Elizabeth Branscombe’s (1906–1997) illustrious career in services to children and families expanded over three decades. Her exemplary leadership was at the local, national, and international levels.


Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston  

Jean K. Quam

Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge (1866–1948) was an educator and social activist, based in Chicago. She taught the first course in public welfare administration and developed a postgraduate curriculum in social work, introducing the case method as the mode of instruction.


Briar, Scott  

Jennifer Briar-Bonpane and Katharine Briar-Lawson

Scott Briar (1926–1998) was a practitioner, researcher, scholar, and leader who championed research-informed practice and helped shape modern casework. He was Dean of Washington School of Social Work, edited Social Work, and served as a reviewer for NIMH.