Ch 1 handout - Becoming an Agent for Change 1 2 The text...

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1 Becoming an Agent for Change 1 2 ± The text states that Social Work is: “the profession that helps society work better for people and helps people function better within society” 3
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2 Although Social Workers are change agents and Social work is a profession that helps people, Social Workers are strongly committed to the principle of Self Determination principle of Self Determination. Self Determination–a person’s right to make his or her own choices and determine what is best for himself or herself. 4 Social Work is unique among the helping professions in that it is the only helping profession that focuses on both the person and the environment. 5 What is Social Work Practice? ± Social work is a broad field often divided into types of practice: ± Micro Practice has the aim of helping individuals fit better into their environment. ± Macro Practice has the aim of changing the environment so that it works better for individuals. 6
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3 ± Helping others is not new. ± People have been helping each other hi hi hild f harvesting, watching children, etc for thousands of years. ± Until the early 1800’s most people lived in small communities, close to extended families, with farming generally the livelood of most 7 ± Professional social work emerged during the Progressive Era in the late 1800s. ± It grew out of need created when immigration created resulted in explosive growth in crowded cities. ± Local communities could no longer meet the need of citizens, and poverty related social problems increased. 8 ± There were two types of response to social need that developed during the late 1800s: ± Charity Organization Societies (COS) ± The Settlement Movement 9
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4 ± The first COS was established in 1877 as an organized effort to eliminate poverty. ± Its goal was to discover the causes of poverty and eliminate those causes. 10 ± The focus of the COS was on the individual and reflected the belief that poverty was a character defect. ± The COS believed that by rehabilitating individuals, poverty could be eliminated. ± "Friendly visitors" were trained to guide people to change those behaviors that contributed to poverty. 11 ± The leadership of COS was exemplified by Mary Richmond who ± began her career as a friendly visitor, and ± who wrote Social Diagnosis in 1917, the first social work practice book presenting scientific and professional ways to identify clients' problems, and ± was a strong advocate for the development of professional training for social workers.
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course SOCW 200 taught by Professor Brethwaite during the Spring '10 term at George Mason.

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Ch 1 handout - Becoming an Agent for Change 1 2 The text...

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