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Social Work - Research Paper Example

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Social Work Institution Name Introduction In North America, the profession of social work began around the time of the Industrial Revolution. As the profession continued to evolve, it was influenced and shaped by different social, political, economic, and technological influences (Holosko, 2003)…
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Download file to see previous pages History and Milestones of Social Work Charitable Organizational Societies and Settlement Houses The profession and practice of social work in North America began before the turn of the century, with the Charitable Organizational Societies and Settlement Houses from the United Kingdom (Baylis, 2004). Both of them were based on the principle of voluntary philanthropy and of improving conditions for less fortunate members of society. At that time, the term “social work” was coined and applied to volunteers of these movements (Id.). This is an important milestone because it gave the foundation of social work’s motives and purpose. Social work had altruistic motives and a concern for misplaced values of individuals and societies, social justice and reform mostly focused on poverty and other societal problems and how they affected individuals. The purpose of social work was to help those who were in need in any way possible, mostly by providing tangible resources such as food, clothing, housing and money (Holosko, 2003). Volunteers’ method of intervention was to help socialize people so that they could function better in society (Id.). Individual vs. Societal Problems The next important milestone in the profession of social work came at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, voluntary philanthropy gave rise to scientific philanthropy as social reform changed from a religious to educational based auspice (Id.). This began the 14-year debate, from 1909-1923, between thinking of problems as societal problems to individual problems. At the same time, this milestone reaffirmed the social conscience value of social work; defined casework methods with individuals, small groups, or families; acknowledged the role of empirical research in intervention methods; and, created the split between the dependency problems of individuals and problems of societies (Ramsay, 2001). The Flexner Conference of 1915 At the National Conference on Charities and Correction in 1915, Flexner presented his analysis of the profession of social work which was that it was an intellectual activity and not actually a profession because it did not have the core sociological traits of a profession (Holosko, 2003). Flexner believed that a profession had to have a communication technique through a highly specialized educational discipline; however, this was not possible given the diverse nature of social work (Id.). The Milford Conference of 1929 This was an important milestone in the social work profession for a number of reasons. One reason the Milford Conference was important is that it unified the social work profession through the casework approach (Howe, 1998). Some other important results of the Conference were that the future casework was contingent on using the community and its resources; more research helps to make better casework decisions; and, the role of the community agency itself as an influence on social work practice (Id.). The Hollis-Taylor Report (1951) This report defined both the professional and nonprofessional activities related to the social work profession. The report was also important because it made a significant impact on curriculum development in undergraduate and graduate social work programs in the United States (Baylis, 1998). Another result of the report was that it brought ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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