Chapter 1Social Work: A Contextual Profession
June Gary Hopps
The turning of a century invariably draws commentators to a review of the past and speculation about the future. The impetus is heightened by the new millennium and -- for social workers -- observance of our centennial as a profession.
Although social work has had a long history of concerns (for example, child welfare, poverty, and family relations), it has not developed sufficient theoretical and empirical foundations and skills to address social ills comprehensively in an effort to impact and ameliorate problems. The...
The terms social
or public welfare
(or possibly public well-being)
are commonly used to describe a major area of American civic life, although it is seldom dearly defined. Depending on how the term is interpreted, it can be said that perhaps a fifth of the gross national product and a quarter of government budgets consist of payment for an extensive array of services and programs designed to help not only the poor but middle- and low-income working families.
Social work, as a profession, has been identified with the growth of this area of civic life, although...