Developmental Social Work: Social Work and Social Development
Social workers have been involved in social development for many years, but it is only recently that these ideas have been explicitly applied to social work practice. The result is that a new and distinctive approach to social work practice known as developmental social work has emerged. Developmental social work emphasizes the role of social investment in professional practice. These investments meet the material needs of social work's clients and facilitate their full integration into the social and economic life of the community. Developmental social workers believe that client strengths and capabilities need to be augmented with public resources and services if those served by the profession are to live productive and fulfilling lives. Although developmental social work is inspired by international innovations, particularly in the developing countries, it highly relevant to practice in the United States and other Western nations.
In the first book to lay out a clear framework for developmental social work practice, chapters will focus on the traditional fields of social work practice, showing how social investment strategies can be adopted by social workers in their daily practice with populations including families and children, people with mental illness, homeless youth, people with disabilities, the elderly, and those in the correctional system. By facilitating clients' full social and economic participation through a variety of strategies, such as microenterprise or asset-building programs, practitioners can help bring about meaningful changes in clients' lives and throughout their communities. The editors and contributors offer a highly original exposition of developmental social work theory and practice, providing a definitive guide to an emerging and exciting new approach to practice.