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Article

Private independent practice (known historically as private practice) is a growing segment of the social work profession. Social workers entering this context are providing a range of services, including clinical and nonclinical. Major considerations for establishing, maintaining, and marketing a successful and ethical private independent practice will be discussed. Existing tensions and challenges in the social work profession and in the field of social work education will be briefly examined. Future directions for private independent practice of social work will be explored.

Article

Groups  

Charles D. Garvin and Maeda J. Galinsky

This overview highlights the current status of group practice, examines the conceptual frameworks for working with groups, reviews the status of group work practice research, and identifies challenges for practice. The discussion examines how the numerous frameworks in social work with groups are joined by adherence to a systemic perspective, an understanding of group dynamics, common intervention concepts, and processes important to phases of intervention. While group work writings and practice have always emphasized the importance of opposing injustices, recent literature has taken a strong position on how group work theory and practice are related to the pursuit of social justice. Although recent studies on social group work are characterized by increasing attention to design, data collection, and analysis, research is still at a developing stage. The discussion of challenges points to areas that are of special importance in current and future practice, including diversity in composition, a commitment to attaining social justice, changing membership, involuntary membership, new professional roles, and use of technology.

Article

Joseph Walsh

Psychoeducation, which describes a range of direct interventions that are focused on participants' education, support, and coping skills development, has become extremely popular in social work practice since the 1970s. Such programs are delivered in many service settings and with many types of client populations. This article includes a definition of the term, a review of its origins in social work practice, its range of applications, the practice theories, and professional values from which it draws, and a review of the research evidence for its utility.

Article

Robert Carter Arnold

Helen Northen (1912–2006) spent her teaching career at the University of Southern California and was considered one of the foremost authorities on social work with groups. She also published extensively on clinical social work practice and health care.

Article

The International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) is a nonprofit, volunteer membership association that advocates for effective group work education and practice. It was founded in 1979. Previously known as the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups, the organization name was changed in 2012 to accurately recognize its global identity. IASWG has 21 chapters and numerous organizational and individual members. Through a series of programs and advocacy, it seeks to promote and support group work practitioners, scholars, academics, and students engaged in group work practice, education, field instruction, research, and publication. Key offerings include an annual 4-day international educational symposium, the creation and dissemination of the IASWG Standards for Social Work Practice with Groups, stimulation and support for innovative group work initiatives, sponsorship of Group Work Camps, and ongoing opportunities for scholarship and publication about group work.

Article

Susan P. Robbins and George S. Leibowitz

Conflict theory encompasses several theories that share underlying assumptions about interlocking systems of oppression and how they are maintained. The relevance of Marx’s theory of class conflict, C. Wright Mills’s power elite, and pluralist interest group theory are all important to understand and address social and economic gaps and informing policy for macro practice. Conflict theory can provide an understanding of health disparities, racial differences in mortality rates, class relationships associated with negative outcomes, poverty, discrimination in criminal justice, as well as numerous factors that are broadly associated with inequality embedded in social structures. Social workers play a significant role in addressing disparities in research, curricula, primary and secondary intervention, and public policy, and conflict theory can provide the framework necessary to enrich this understanding.