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Spira, Marcia  

Susan F. Grossman, Terry B. Northcut, Michael P. Dentato, Christie Mason, Darby J. Morhardt, Robyn L. Golden, Thomas K. Kenemore, and Lauren Spira

Marcia Kornfeld Spira, PhD, LCSW, BCD (1950–2022) was a pioneering social work clinician, scholar, teacher, and leader in the fields of social work with older adults and social work in health settings. Her work with older adults extended the understanding of clinical practice with an aging population and intergenerational work with families. Her focus on health care examined health and aging, challenged myths about that process, and guided practice around end-of-life care. She also considered the impact of health concerns on family relationships. She loved teaching and clinical practice and continued to do both after her retirement from Loyola University Chicago in 2020.


Social Work Practice: History and Evolution  

John G. McNutt

Social work is a profession that began its life as a call to help the poor, the destitute and the disenfranchised of a rapidly changing social order. It continues today still pursuing that quest, perhaps with some occasional deviations of direction from the original spirit. Social work practice is the primary means of achieving the profession's ends. It is impossible to overstate the centrality or the importance of social work practice to the profession of social work. Much of what is important about the history of the profession is the history of social work practice. We must consider both social work practice per se (the knowledge base, practice theories and techniques) and the context for social work practice. The context of practice includes the agency setting, the policy framework and the large social system in which practice takes place. Social work practice is created within a political, social, cultural and economic matrix that shapes the assumptions of practice, the problems that practice must deal with and the preferred outcomes of practice. Over time, the base forces that create practice and create the context for practice, change. Midgley (1981) correctly notes that practice created in one social order is often inappropriate for work in another social order. Since the social order changes over time, practice created at one point in time may no longer be appropriate in the future.


Practice Interventions and Research  

Nabila El-Bassel

Social work is distinguishable from other disciplines by its emphasis on producing change that affects clients and their environment. This emphasis has influenced the nature of social work practice research, which calls for attention to the development, design, and implementation of change strategies through the use of the science of intervention research. This paper provides a definition of intervention research, highlights its culturally congruent elements, and addresses its implications for social work evidence-based practice and practice guidelines.


The State of Social Work in Egypt  

Hamido A. Megahead

Although professional social work in Egypt has a 100-year history, there is a dearth of information in English about social work in Egypt and other non-Western countries. Five domains of social work in Egypt are (1) the international flow of Western social work practice into Egypt, (2) modern social work, (3) social work research and social work interventions, (4) social work education, and (5) fields of practice. These five domains that inform modern social work in Egypt were produced from international flows of Western social work practice into Egypt. It was also produced from social work research and social work intervention. Modern social work also comes from teaching bachelor of social work students professional social work courses. Social work knowledge was adapted, authenticated, and indigenized to meet local context. These five dominated themes have been detailed and explained. International flows of Western social work practice into Egypt include transmission (transplantation), authentication, and indigenization. Modern social work in Egypt includes social work practice and social welfare policy. Social work research has included explanatory, descriptive and experiment social work research studies. Social work intervention has included social work intervention of aiming at solving problems and stressors and social work intervention of aiming at applying resources for change. Fields of social work practice includes family and child Social Work and school social work. Social work education is focused only on Bachelor of Science in Social Work covering the professional social work courses group work practice, social casework practice, community organization, social welfare planning, policy and administration, fields of social work practice. A synthetic approach that knits together these five themes entail that modern social work has been produced from international flows of Western social work practice into Egyptian context. It is also produced from social work research and social work intervention. Modern social work also comes as results of teaching Bachelor Social Work (BSW) students the professional social work courses.


Dumpson, James R.  

Nancy Boyd Webb

James R. Dumpson (1909–2012) was the first African American dean of a non-black school of social work following a career in public service in New York where he worked tirelessly to promote social change and implement social justice.


Parker, Norma Alice  

Carolyn Noble

Norma Parker (1906–2004) is generally regarded as one of the founders of social work in Australia. In 1925, she completed a BA at the University of Western Australia (UWA), where she was introduced to the idea of social work by the head of psychology at the university. She was instrumental in establishing the national social work association and was involved in setting up the first social work (almoner) departments at several key hospitals as well as inducing the Catholic Archbishop to establish the Catholic Social Service Bureau. She was a key player among a small group of Catholic visionaries keen to develop a professional occupation specializing in helping people with their social functioning, following the upheavals of postwar Australia.


Upshaw, Joan King  

Sadye L. M. Logan

Joan King Upshaw, MSW, LSCSW (1929–2010), was a social work entrepreneur who pioneered temporary social work staffing. She created a useful avenue for professional social workers to work in ways that supported work–life balance, to work across fields of practice, and to start their own social change ventures.


Zvereva, Iryna  

Tetyana Semigina and Tetiana Basiuk

Dr. Iryna Zvereva (1952–2013) was one of the prominent founders of social work and social pedagogy in Ukraine. From 1992 through to 1998 she worked at the State Center of Social Services for Youth, the first professional public social work organization in Ukraine. She became a professor at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the Borys Grinchenko University of Kyiv. She led the development and international recognition of the Ukrainian professional community: under her leadership the Ukrainian Association of Social Educators and Social Work Specialists had joined the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) in 1994. She initiated the elaboration of the National Code of Ethics for Social Workers in accordance with international standards. She worked for the Ukrainian and international organizations that had introduced innovative, pioneer social work practices in Ukraine, and she authored over 200 publications on social work and social pedagogy.


Congressional Social Work Caucus  

Charles E. Lewis Jr.

The Congressional Social Work Caucus is a bicameral authorized Congressional Member Organization (CMO) founded by former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns in November 2010 during the 110th Congress. The mission of the caucus is to provide a platform in Congress that will allow social workers and allies to engage the federal government. The Social Work Caucus consists of members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who are professional social workers or who generally support the ideals, principles, and policies germane to the social work profession. Because of House Ethics rules, CMOs are prohibited from possessing resources of their own and must depend on the office budgets of their members. Consequently, the Social Work Caucus has participated in a number of congressional briefings and seminars in conjunction with other social work organizations such as the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, and the Society for Social Work and Research. These public events covered a wide range of topics such as social workers’ roles in the Affordable Care Act, military social work, funding for mental health research, and trauma-based practice in child welfare.


Accommodating Students with Physical Disabilities in Higher Education  

Anna Escamilla

Students with disabilities are becoming more and more common in higher education classrooms, including social work classrooms. The challenges that come with accommodating students so as to allow equal access to the educational experience are surmountable with the assistance of student disability offices. New technology is being developed to assist students with learning both in and out of the classroom. Supportive attitudes from faculty in including students with disabilities allow all students to benefit from the experience. As compliance with laws such as the ADA becomes commonplace for new construction, the concept of universal design makes inclusion a norm.


Oncology Social Work Research  

Julianne S. Oktay and Bradley Zebrack

Oncology social work researchers have made (and continue to make) important contributions to the knowledge base that supports the profession. This article discusses the profession of oncology social work, its roots in medical social work in the United States, the development of cancer treatment, and the body of research that informs its art and practice. Oncology social work research is placed in the broader contexts of the social work profession, the field of oncology, and the specific field of oncology social work. Through the decades, the profession of oncology social work has grown, gained stability and legitimacy. Oncology social work itself, along with oncology social work research, have made rapid strides in the 21st century and accelerating in impact and relevance. Oncology social work research is stronger now than ever. Recent developments, such as the addition of a research institute at the annual AOSW conference and initiatives to establish a “practice-based research network” are expanding capacity in the field. Oncology social work researchers bring a unique perspective to their research. Social work’s patient-centered perspective is reflected in research that explores the cancer experience of patients and family members and leads to new interventions based on that experience. Social work’s focus on human development over the life course results in research that reflects a developmental framework or focuses on specific age groups, such as children, adolescents, young adults, or the elderly. Social work’s conceptual model of “Person-in-Environment” is reflected in research on cancer patients in the context of their interpersonal relationships. The values of social justice and cultural competence are reflected in research on health disparities, minority populations, and multicultural perspectives. Finally, the field of oncology social work itself has been the focus of recent research on distress screening and its implementation. In the 21st century, oncology social work research stands in a pivotal position. Although this type of research is now widely recognized as important, it is still a challenge to access the level of support from major funders of cancer research required to establish and reinforce a strong and vibrant knowledge base for the profession.


Lüttichau, Manon  

Helle Strauss

Manon Lüttichau (1900–1995), who was born a privileged noblewoman, untraditionally sought education and personal independence. She served as a charity worker for 10 years, then became the first paid social helper in Denmark. She was a pioneer for social workers as important professionals in hospital departments. She became inspired by many tours in Europe and the United States for studies of social work and social work education. ML was initiator of the establishment of the first social school. This happened at a time when economic crises and several social reforms increased the need for a professional social work profession. A group of enthusiastic academics and social workers established a volunteer working committee for foundation of a social school . Here it was discussed whether the school should be independence of religion. The result was an independent curriculum, a schedule, a small faculty, creation of teaching material and organisation of administration and practice placement. Development of social work ethics, holistic perspective, and casework were among the subjects in the professional education. ML became later the initiator of the Association for Educated Social Workers in Denmark and she was also serving in Burma for the UN as a social welfare advisor. Similarities and differences between the first education, ML’s viewpoints and modern social work education are identified. ML was living independent of class traditions and other people’s presumptions, but not a declared feminist.


Liao, Rong-li  

Wan-I Lin

Rong-li Liao (1936–2010) was a psychiatric social worker and educator. He was a professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the National Taiwan University from 1970 to 1996 and helped to organize the Medical Social Work Association of R. O. C. (Taiwan).


Howard, Matthew Owen  

Eric L. Garland and Jeffrey M. Jenson

The life of Matthew O. Howard, PhD, an internationally recognized scholar whose work significantly impacted social work, psychiatry, psychology, and the addictions, is described. Dr. Howard’s scientific, policy, practice, and educational achievements are noted. His contributions to advancing the science of mindfulness as well as social work research and education over a 30-year career are outlined.


Kaseke, Edwell  

Rodreck Mupedziswa

Professor Edwell Kaseke (1954–2017) was a respected African scholar who left an indelible mark in the field of social work and social development in Africa. During his professional career, he made immense contributions to scholarship both in Africa and internationally. Incontrovertibly, his writings made a significant contribution to the development and strengthening of institutions and approaches to addressing the plight of vulnerable groups in Africa. He might be gone, but his ideas live on.


Ripple, Lillian  

Katherine A. Kendall

Lillian Ripple (1911–1993) was a social work educator, scholar, and research specialist. In 1964 she produced a pioneering study of continuance and discontinuance in social treatment. In 1968 she became associate director of the Council on Social Work Education.


Spellman, Dorothea C.  

Maryann Syers

Dorothea C. Spellman (1907–1979) headed the group work specialization at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver. Her primary contributions were in group work and as an advocate for a unified profession.


Lieberman, Florence  

Sadye L. M. Logan

Florence Lieberman (1918–2011) made extraordinary contributions to the field of clinical social work in New York City while a professor at Hunter College School of Social Work (now Silberman School of Social Work), where she served from 1966 to 1986.


Radlińska, Helena  

Andrea Schmelz

Helena Radlińska’s (1879–1954) pioneering roles in social work education, political and social activism, and her visionary contribution to theory, practice, and research of social work in Poland and beyond its borders are reviewed. Radlińska’s conceptualization of social work aimed at community development and social change, and addressed the social conditions of individuals as well as their potential. According to Radlińska, social workers assisted in overcoming difficulties by empowering individuals and communities. Hence, education and research in social work needed to build on an interdisciplinary approach and the personal development of students as educators, group facilitators, and community mobilizers. Based on the principle of critical reflection with the self and the world, Radlinka’s social work ouvre outlasted the socialist period and underwent an international renaissance in the postsocialist era. Radlińska has inspired social workers to fight for an inclusive and antipopulist future in Poland’s communities.


Integrating Macro–Micro Practice  

Jason A. Ostrander, Kerry Kelly, and Patricia Carl-Stannard

Social work sets itself apart in the “helping professions” in recognizing the significance of its students and practitioners engaging with the theoretical knowledge and practice experiences sufficient for fluency across macro to micro settings. This practice integration assures comprehensive understanding of person-in-environment, from casework to complex systems work, and is raised to an ethical standard in the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics and in the International Federation of Social Work Principles. Yet macro-oriented scholars have accused social work educators and professionals of abandoning their obligation to social justice and policy participation and of focusing their energy instead on micro practice. This literature is helpful in addressing how integrated practice can be achieved and informs the development of social workers who solidly embrace a commitment to macro knowledge and participation.