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Article

Leonard Bloksberg

Louis Lowy (1920–1991) was a leader in gerontology and social work education and a pioneer in advancing international social work education. Lowy emigrated from Germany to Boston in 1946 and co-founded the Boston University Gerontology Center in 1974.

Article

Learning disabilities (LD) are the most common disability in public schools. Since 1975, students with learning disabilities have been eligible for a free appropriate public education, including special services such as school social work. Students with LD may be diagnosed via standardized achievement measures and clinical assessment. Despite 40 years of progress, the evidence suggests that students with LD still feel stigmatized and finish college and enter the workplace at a rate much lower than their nondisabled peers. School social workers can assist students with learning disabilities by assessing their self-esteem and social skills and then providing appropriate intervention. Self-esteem interventions should target students with LD, their parents, and their peers in the least restrictive environment. Social skills interventions may target students with LD as a separate group or provide those skills as part of universal inclusive education aimed at all children in the classroom.

Article

Field education has played a significant role in the professional development of social workers since the beginning of the last century. Although the apprenticeship model of training continues to play a significant role, variations on this theme have been explored and continue to be developed in response to political, academic, and economic challenges. Technological advances will enable programs to expand field education into new communities, both nationally and internationally. In addition, changes in educational policy and accreditation guidelines have the potential to revitalize the role of field education and increase research efforts devoted to this important component of professional education.

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Kenneth Pray (1882–1948), a leader in social work education, worked for the Public Charities Association and was interested in prison reform. He also served as director of social planning and administration at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Work.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Grace Longwell Coyle (1892–1962) was the first to develop a scientific approach to group work practice. She was president of the National Conference of Social Work, the American Association of Social Workers, and the Council of Social Work Education.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Elizabeth J. Clark (1944–2020) was an author, speaker, and hope advocate. She was a healthcare professional who worked extensively with cancer survivors, those facing life-challenging illnesses, and those struggling with loss and grief. Clark grew up in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. She earned multiple degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of North Carolina, and Wartburg College. She served as chief executive officer of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for over a decade and was a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), the National Academies of Practice (NAP), and the international work group on Death, Dying and Bereavement.

Article

Brenda K. J. Crawley

Eileen McGowan-Kelly (1946–1996) was known for her peace-focused international community building among social workers in the U.S. and abroad.

Article

Dick Schoech

Information technology (IT), which encompasses tools and prescribed actions, has begun to substantially impact social work, given 50 years of impressive developments. This entry looks at IT trends and their impact on society and social work. The trends covered concern rapid IT development, connectivity, globalization and outsourcing, intelligent applications and devices, centralization and distribution of power and control, and distance education. Issues and challenges for social work are also discussed.

Article

David Dupper and Aubrey Jones

Charter schools were founded as a new kind of public school that valued integration, autonomy, and innovation. However, the overall performance of charter schools has been mixed. While positive findings related to the performance of charter schools have been reported, a number of controversial issues and practices involving charter schools have also been identified in the literature. As the number of charter schools continues to grow, the demand for school social work practice in charter schools will also increase. Since a major focus of school social work practice is serving and advocating for at-risk students and their families, this article highlights several issues that have particular relevance for school social work practice serving at-risk students and their families in charter schools and proposes interventions designed to assist at-risk students and their families. These issues are: assisting parents of at-risk students with the application process, advocating for practices to enhance the long-term academic achievement of at-risk students, and equipping at-risk students with skills to meet the behavioral demands of “no excuses” charter schools.

Article

Philip Bernstein

Helen Gurin (1918–1991) was a leading teacher, supervisor, and guide for a generation of professionals in social work, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychology, and child care. The Massachusetts chapter of NASW named her Social Worker of the Year in 1983.

Article

Mona Wasow

Martin B. Loeb (1913–1983), a leader in social work education and gerontology, was director of the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin (1965–1973) and founding director of the McBeath Institute on Aging and Adult Life (1973–1980).

Article

H. Stephen Cooper and Freddie L. Avant

Rural social work, the history of which stretches back more than a century, has been revitalized since the mid-1970s. The renewed interest in rural social work has led to an increase in scholarship on rural social work practice, much of which is a direct result of the efforts of the Rural Social Work Caucus and its annual National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas. Recent research endeavors have moved our understanding of the differences between rural and urban communities beyond the common definitions, which are limited to population and population density. We have also come to realize that there are many different types of rural communities, all of which have different characteristics, needs, etc. Specifically, the concept of rural is not monolithic. Rural practitioners and researchers have also reached a better understanding of the following: rural culture and lifestyles, the importance of approaching rural communities from a strengths perspective rather than a deficit or problem focus, and the challenges to rural practice presented by the characteristics that are common across rural communities (e.g., lack of anonymity, dual relationships). Not surprisingly, the increase in research on rural social work practice has been accompanied by an interest in preparing social workers for rural practice and growth in the number of graduate programs focused on such. The importance of these programs lies in the unique nature of the challenges faced by rural communities. For example, many rural communities are experiencing sharp population declines while at the same time seeing substantial increases in adults who are 65 years of age and older. Other common trends include: economic decline and subsequent increase in social issues; substantial issues with substance abuse, especially methamphetamine and opioids; lack of technology infrastructure; concerns related to the environment and/or conversation of natural resources; and lack of services for veterans. The key to successfully addressing these issues in rural communities is involvement from social workers who are prepared to practice in the rural context.

Article

For social workers, developing cultural competence is a necessary hallmark for interacting with our increasingly diverse and complex world. Developing cultural competence, however, requires continuously raising one’s level of critical consciousness. Critical consciousness and related concepts such as reflexivity, critical self-reflection, and critical self-awareness are widely recognized as a fundamental building block of human service practice, including social work practice. However, the dynamics involved in raising our own levels of critical consciousness are lengthy and messy because we often encounter cognitive and affective roadblocks. Thus, there is no single pedagogical strategy that could help all social work students effectively engage with this process. In this article the concept of critical consciousness postulated by Pitner and Sakamoto is applied specifically to the social work classroom setting. Their Critical Consciousness Conceptual Model (CCCM), which describes the process of developing critical consciousness by engaging one’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains, is presented. How this model can be incorporated as a pedagogical tool to help social work students develop and further strengthen their own levels of critical consciousness in the classroom setting is discussed, as are various pedagogical methods, including classroom debate, identity paper assignment, “creating a world map” exercise, and mindfulness-based pedagogy. Finally, implications for social work education are explored.

Article

The educational imperative to study social welfare policy has remained a constant throughout the history of social work education. Although specific policies and social issues may change over time, the need to advocate for and create humane, justice-based social policy remains paramount. The study of welfare policy contributes to the effectiveness of practitioners who are knowledgeable and skilled in analysis, advocacy, and the crafting of justice-based social welfare policies. In addition to traditional policy content areas, students should develop knowledge and skills in critical thinking, understand a range of justice theories, and recognize the direct interaction between globalization and national and local policy matters.

Article

Halaevalu F. O. Vakalahi, Michael M. Sinclair, and Bradford W. Sheafor

Professions are developed and maintained through various professional organizations and associations. As social work has evolved in terms of context and content, the professional membership and professional education organizations have periodically unified, separated, and later reunified in the attempt to maintain an identity as a single profession, yet responding to the needs and interests of different practice specialties, educational levels, special interest groups within social work, and diverse cultures and communities. Further discussion of the major organizations and associations in the profession of social work recognizes the continuous important contributions of emerging groups and entities that represent the diversity that exists in the profession.

Article

The social work profession has evolved extensively since its inception in 1898. The profession began with a focus on helping others and recognizing social injustices as its core charges. The profession is now being called to view human rights as its professional responsibility, too. As driving forces behind this new charge, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) are taking concrete steps to ensure that the human rights perspective is being integrated into social work education and practice.

Article

John F. Longres

Ernest Frederic Witte (1904–1986) was an educator and administrator. His work in the social welfare field, particularly during World War II, was influential both in the United States and internationally. He was among the first to deal with survivors of the Nazi death camps.

Article

Ruth Irelan Knee

Milton Wittman (1915–1994) was a social worker, writer, and leader in social work, public health, and mental health. He played a key role in the expansion of opportunities for social work education and for the involvement of social workers in the provision of mental health services.

Article

Elizabeth Palley

To help their clients and to further the goal of “challeng[ing] social injustice,” all social work practitioners must be aware of students’ rights. Though school law is largely regulated by states, there are some overarching federal laws and Constitutional provisions that provide rights to all students. This article includes a review of the major federal laws and cases that affect students’ rights.

Article

Rino J. Patti

This entry provides a broad introduction to management or administration, one of the methods of practice employed by social workers to achieve professional and organizational objectives. The contributions of management to the human services, the history administration as a practice in social work, and the evolution of education for management are traced. Management is defined and the roles and functions performed by practitioners are addressed as well as the theoretical perspectives they draw upon in the performance of their craft. Finally, major issues and likely future developments in this field are reviewed.