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Larry D. Williams, Blenda Crayton, and Agha Erum Agha

The history of social work education is replete with accounts of how the early charity organizations influenced its development. For example, Toynbee Hall in London inspired the founding of Hull House in Chicago as well as the London Charity Organization, the Women’s University Settlement, and the National Union of Women Workers. In addition, Octavia Hill established one of the first training programs in social work education that emphasized the principles for helping impoverished clients. The program was later expanded in 1890 into a one-year program of courses and supervised practice. Later, the program expanded to outlying areas and provinces and eventually evolved into two-year programs of study at the London School of Sociology Defining today’s baccalaureate social workers as entry-level professionals is indeed a paradigm shift. Tracy Whitaker, Toby Weismiller, and Elizabeth Clark stated in their 2006 work, “Clearly, the social work profession is at a crossroad. If there are to be adequate numbers of social workers to respond to the needs of clients in the 21st century and beyond, the sufficiency of this frontline workforce, must not only be ensured, it must be prioritized.” In our ever-changing society, the social work profession must rethink the various levels of the profession and recognize, as well as promote, a professional career trajectory that embraces the baccalaureate social work professional. Administrators and faculty of each social work program are responsible for ensuring that students are competent, and that they possess skill sets that will elevate their marketable in a competitive workforce. Recruiting new social workers, replacing retiring social workers, and retaining social workers in the profession are all needed.


Larry M. Gant and Lorraine Gutiérrez

Social planning emphasizes the application of rational problem-solving techniques and data-driven approaches to identify, determine, and help coordinate services for target populations. Social planning is carried out by a myriad of organizations—from federal agencies to community organizations—attempting to solve problems ranging from child welfare to aging.


Joseph Walsh

Cognitive therapy is a perspective on social work intervention with individuals, families, and groups that focuses on conscious thought processes as the primary determinants of most emotions and behaviors. It has great appeal to social work practitioners because of its utility in working with many types of clients and problem situations, and its evidence-based support in the literature. Cognitive therapies include sets of strategies focused on education, a restructuring of thought processes, improved coping skills, and increased problem-solving skills for clients.