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Community Practice Theories and Skills for Social Workers,9780195398878
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Community Practice Theories and Skills for Social Workers



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Oxford University Press
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  • Community Practice Theories and Skills for Social Workers
    Community Practice Theories and Skills for Social Workers


For almost two decades, Community Practice has been a definitive text for social workers, community practitioners, and students eager to help individuals contribute to and use community resources or work to change oppressive community structures. In this third edition, a wealth of new charts and cases spotlight the linkages between theoretical orientations and practical skills, with an enhanced emphasis on the inherently political nature of social work and community practice. Boxes, examples, and exercises illustrate the range of skills and strategies available to savvy community practitioners in the 21st century, including networking, marketing and staging, political advocacy, and leveraging information and communication technologies. Other features include: - New material on community practice ethics, critical practice skills, community assessment and assets inventory and mapping, social problem analysis, and applying community practice skills to casework practice - Consideration of post-9/11 community challenges - Discussion on the changing ethnic composition of America and what this means for practitioners - An exploration of a vastly changed political landscape following the election of President Obama, the Great Recession, the rise of the Tea Party, and the increasing political and corporate use of pseudo-grassroots endeavors - A completely revamped instructor's manual available online at This fully revised classic text provides a comprehensive and integrated overview of the community theory and skills fundamental to all areas of social work practice. Broad in scope and intensive in analysis, it is suitable for undergraduate as well as graduate study. Community Practice offers students and practitioners the tools necessary to promote the welfare of individuals and communities by tapping into the ecological foundations of community and social work practice.

Author Biography

David A. Hardcastle, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at University of Maryland. Patricia R. Powers, PhD, (retired) was formerly with University of Maryland, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and AARP's Public Policy Institute. Stanley Wenocur, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at University of Maryland.

Table of Contents

Community Practice: An Introductionp. 1
Community Practicep. 1
The Community in Social Work Practicep. 3
Community Practice Skills as Foundation for all Social Workersp. 4
The Social Work Problem-Solving Strategyp. 11
Ethics, Advocacy, and Community Practicep. 20
The Organization of This Bookp. 31
Understanding the Social Environment and Social Interactionp. 37
Theory-Based, Model-Based Community Practicep. 39
A Conceptual Framework for Practicep. 39
Theories for Understanding Community Practicep. 40
Additional Frameworksp. 55
Traditional Models of Community Organizationp. 59
The Nature of Social and Community Problemsp. 69
Conceptualizing a Social-Community Problemp. 69
Getting a Social-Community Problem Addressedp. 77
Worldviews and Social Problemsp. 81
Culture and Social Problemsp. 84
The Concept of Community in Social Work Practicep. 94
Basic Community Conceptsp. 96
The Changing U.S. Communityp. 97
Perspectives for Practicep. 105
Community Functionsp. 109
Conclusionp. 122
Community Practice Skills for Social Workers: Using the Social Environmentp. 131
Assessment: Discovering and Documenting the Life of a Communityp. 133
The Landscape of Our Livesp. 133
Assessmentp. 134
Philosophies of Assessmentp. 136
Forms of Community Assessmentp. 139
Community Assessment Applications to Our Own Workp. 148
Community Reengagement: Hitting the Bricksp. 149
Conclusion: Unpretentious but Necessary Outingsp. 150
Using Assessment in Community Practicep. 155
Assessment as a Basic Social Work Processp. 156
Assessment: Information-Gathering Methodologiesp. 156
Integrating Methods to Suit Assessment Needsp. 175
Assertiveness: Using Self in Community Practicep. 182
Use of Selfp. 182
Expansion of Selfp. 185
Beliefs and Outcomesp. 190
Assertiveness: An Overviewp. 192
The Boundaries of Assertionp. 195
Actors and Applicationsp. 196
Assertiveness and Class or Minority Statusp. 198
Purposes and Benefits of Assertiveness in Social Workp. 198
Broader Conceptions of Assertivenessp. 200
The Context and the Setting for Assertive Behaviorp. 203
Modes of Assertive Communicationp. 204
Assertive Social Workers Needed: Summaryp. 206
Appendix 7.1: Being Assertive: Learn Through Role-Playingp. 206
Using Your Agencyp. 215
Attributes of Human Service Agenciesp. 216
Perspectives on How Organizations Function: A Brief Reviewp. 222
Examining the Formal Structure and Operationsp. 226
The Informal Structure: What is Not on the Organization Chartp. 231
A Paradigm of the Competitive Culturep. 232
Computer Resources and Uses and Virtual Agenciesp. 233
The Virtual Agencyp. 235
Working the Systemp. 236
Changing the Agency from Withinp. 237
Using Work Groups: Committees, Teams, and Boardsp. 248
A Case Examplep. 249
Teamsp. 250
Group Development and the Role of the Social Workerp. 252
Some Caveats on Groupsp. 255
Effective Meetingsp. 257
Dealing with Group Problemsp. 263
Conclusionp. 269
Using Networks and Networkingp. 272
What is a Network? What is Networking?p. 272
Why Networks and Networking?p. 273
Social Exchanges and Networksp. 274
Network Dimensionsp. 274
Domain Consensusp. 274
Establishing and Maintaining Domains and Networks: The Practice Challenges and Tasksp. 282
Bargainingp. 284
Mediation and Arbitrationp. 286
Establishing and Maintaining Domainsp. 286
Virtual Networks and Networkingp. 287
Clients and Social Support Networksp. 288
Using Marketingp. 303
Markets and Marketingp. 304
Marketing Challenges for the Social Services and the Social Work Professionp. 305
A Market Orientation for the Professionp. 309
Marketing and Community Practicep. 311
Strategic Marketing and Market Managementp. 315
The Marketing Audit Guidep. 334
Using The Advocacy Spectrump. 340
Making Change Happenp. 340
Social Action and Advocacyp. 341
Advocacy Spectrum: Spanning People and Policyp. 343
Public Interest, Political, and Cause Advocacyp. 350
Supporting the Spectrum: Job Descriptions and Advocacy Posturesp. 358
Key Advocacy Skillsp. 361
Appendix 12.1: Illustrative Exercisesp. 366
Using Organizing: Acting in Concertp. 371
Community Organizing and Organizationsp. 372
Community Buildingp. 373
Asset-Based Community Buildingp. 376
Using Community Assetsp. 379
Focus, Focusp. 382
The Theme of Connectingp. 395
Community Social Caseworkp. 402
What is Community Social Casework?p. 403
Community Social Case Work Knowledge, Skill, and Tasksp. 406
Community Assessment and Patch Analysisp. 407
Ethnographyp. 407
Community Social Casework Protocolp. 407
The Conception of the Community, the Social Resources, and the Task Environmentp. 410
Effectiveness of Community Social Caseworkp. 415
Subject Indexp. 419
Author Indexp. 431
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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