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Karen K. Kirst-Ashman's introductory book enhances the reader's ability to grasp the essence and spirit of generalist social work and the issues in social welfare that social workers address every day. Giving those contemplating a career in social work a solid introduction to the profession, Kirst-Ashman presents a balanced introductory look within a unifying theme of critical thinking that trains readers to be more evaluative of key concepts. The topics covered include practice concepts, social welfare policy concepts, history and current state of the profession, the contexts of practice and populations served, and professional development.