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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.


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.


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.


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.


Evidence-Based Practice  

Jeffrey M. Jenson and Matthew O. Howard

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an educational and practice paradigm that includes a series of predetermined steps aimed at helping practitioners and agency administrators identify, select, and implement efficacious interventions for clients. This entry identifies definitions of EBP and traces the evolution of EBP from its origins in the medical profession to its current application in social work. Essential steps in the process of EBP and challenges associated with applying EBP to social work practice, education, and research are noted.


de Joya, Petra  

Yolanda Ealdama

Petra de Joya (1913–1987) was an eminent educator and social administrator. She spearheaded the professionalization of social work in the Philippines by advocating for the passage of laws that were instrumental for the development of social work in the country. The following laws were enacted as a result of her advocacy: (a) Republic Act regulating the social work profession in the Philippines and requiring social welfare agencies to hire professional social workers; (b) a Republic Act elevating the Department of Social Work to the Institute of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines; and (c) a Republic Act transforming the Social Welfare Administration (SWA) into the Department of Social Welfare (DSW). She was appointed as one of the first board of examiners for social work.



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.


Gottlieb, Naomi R.  

Nancy R. Hooyman

Naomi R. Gottlieb (1925–1995) was concerned with feminist and gender issues in the social work curriculum, evaluation of social work practice, and the PhD program in social welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work.


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.


Direct Social Work Practice  

Joseph Walsh

Direct social work practice is the application of social work theory and/or methods to the resolution and prevention of psychosocial problems experienced by individuals, families, and groups. In this article, direct practice is discussed in the context of social work values, empowerment, diversity, and multiculturalism, as well as with attention to client strengths, spirituality, and risk and resilience influences. The challenges of practice evaluation are also considered.


International Association of Social Work with Groups  

Shirley Simon

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.


Glasser, Paul  

Raymond Sanchez Mayers and Kathleen J. Pottick

Paul H. Glasser worked tirelessly for more than 50 years as a social worker, social work educator, and social work administrator in schools of social work. He is best known for his writings on social group work while at the University of Michigan where he served as a professor. He helped to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework for group work and saw it as integral to social work itself. He was a dean at two schools of social work where he was able to increase faculty diversity and productivity.


Organizational Learning  

Yekutiel Sabah and Patricia Cook-Craig

The professional commitment of practitioners in a changing society requires them to continuously acquire new professional knowledge. Since robust and relevant knowledge is often in short supply, practitioners must learn to acquire the knowledge they need. Similarly, social agencies must become institutions that support the use of available knowledge and the development of practice innovations. Organizational learning is a means of engaging in this process. This implies that social agencies both adopt an organizational culture and create structural arrangements conducive to learning. In order to successfully create such a culture and structure, it is first important to understand the philosophical, conceptual, and methodological underpinnings of organizational learning as a strategy for guiding practitioners and organizations in a systematic endeavor to invent and manage knowledge. In addition a methodology for the application of organizational learning in social services is essential to practical application. The use of organizational learning methods to drive innovation and knowledge management has been applied in a varied spectrum of social work practice areas and social welfare agencies.


Leashore, Bogart  

Willie Tolliver

Bogart Leashore (1947–2007) was dedicated to high standards of social work education, social justice and cultural diversity, sound social work practice, and the welfare of children. He was Dean of Hunter College School of Social Work from 1991 to 2003.


Evidence-Based Practice in Arab Societies  

Ahmed T. Helal

The concept of evidence-based practice (EBP) was introduced in social work by Mary Richmond, who had the revolutionary notion of adopting a more direct practice with clients. The origins of EBP in the United States are traced, as well as its emergence in the Arab world. Discussed are various Arab faculties and departments of social work that include EBP among their academic courses. Social work settings that apply EBP in professional interventions with clients are examined. Barriers and challenges to the processes of both teaching and learning EBP in Arab society are highlighted. The future outlook for EBP in Arab schools of social work is explored.


Health Care Social Work  

Shirley Otis-Green

Health social work is a subspecialization of social work concerned with a person's adjustment to changes in one's health and the impact this has on that person's social network. Social workers in every setting must be ready to assist individuals and families adjusting to illness and coping with medical crises. This entry provides a brief overview and history of health social work and describes the settings and roles where this work is practiced. Significant challenges and opportunities in clinical care, research, education, and policy are discussed. Standards and guidelines for quality practice are then noted.


Social Work Macro History  

Eva M. Moya, David Stoesz, Mark Lusk, and Silvia M. Chávez-Baray

A broad overview of the professionalization of social work in the United States is presented while illustrating how developments in social work stimulated the emergence of macro social work as a field of practice. The history of macro practice’s dedication to social justice, human rights, and the eradication of poverty through macro-level strategies is reviewed. Influential forces, practice challenges, and initiatives responsible for the establishment and continued movement within the field are highlighted. How macro practice fits within the Specialized Practice Curricular Guide for Macro Social Work Practice (2018) and the Grand Challenges for Social Work (2015) is reviewed, along with future endeavors in macro social work.


Minahan, Anne  

Mel Morgenbesser

Anne Minahan (1925–2005), was a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1967–1985). In 1973, with Allen Pincus, Minahan wrote Social Work Practice, Model and Method, the standard social work practice text in schools of social work.


Davis, John Eldon  

Catheleen Jordan

John Eldon Davis, MSW, was a National Association of Social Work pioneer. His career spanned four decades and saw a number of “firsts” for social work. His pioneering efforts were in introducing interdisciplinary teams to social work services, training staff and students in various settings, and introducing social work services to in-patient mental health settings, HIV treatment, and international adoptions.


Social Work Education for Macro Practice  

Michael P. Dentato

The profession of social work is based in a rich history of macro practice and the promotion of social justice for all diverse communities. Over the years, while the field of social work education has shifted its focus between macro and micro frameworks, there is a continued resurgence of efforts promoting the integration of mezzo- and macro-practice content within social work curricula and field placement experiences across degree programs. In that regard, social work students must be adequately trained in macro-practice theory, interventions, assessment, and evaluation, as well as they must understand its unique intersection with mezzo and micro frameworks. Additionally, to effectively serve diverse populations, macro social work students must raise consciousness, increase self-awareness, and continually practice through the lens of cultural humility. Ultimately, the effective preparation and readiness of social work students for direct macro practice in fields such as program management, leadership, fundraising, advocacy, community organizing, and policy practice remains essential and understudied.