Chapter 1 - Becoming an Agent for Change 1 2 The text...

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Becoming an Agent for Change 1
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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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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. Self-Determination – a person’s right to  make his or her own choices and  determine what is best for himself or  herself. 4
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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
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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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Helping others is not new. People have been helping each other  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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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. Her advocacy contributed to the development of the 
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Chapter 1 - Becoming an Agent for Change 1 2 The text...

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