Last updated September 23, 2019
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Grand Challenges for Social Work

Empowering Clinical Social Work Practice in a Time of Global Economic Distress

Janice Berry Edwards and Linda Openshaw, Editors

ISBN: 978-0-87101-546-4. 2019. Item #5464. 236 pages.

Paperback $38.00   ePub $34.20

Poverty and financial insecurity can have devastating consequences to one’s physical and mental health, even threatening basic survival. During these challenging economic times, social workers have an opportunity to empower those at risk.

Starting with a discussion of poverty and relevant global social policies, the book explores how economic distress exacerbates already stressful situations, and how those challenges surface in clinical practice. The ensuing chapters examine poverty and its impact on children and adolescents, older adults, adults with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, and other vulnerable groups. Financial insecurity is viewed through the lens of everyday clinical practice and how it interacts with trauma, attachment theory, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology.

Rather than emphasizing deficits, chapter authors advocate for a strengths-based perspective, focusing on the positive aspects of the client’s life, such as their values, skills, talents, hopes, resiliencies, and community. By focusing on the client’s strengths, the practitioner can gain a better understanding of the client; identify the approaches to care that will be most successful; and inspire hope, enthusiasm, and growth.

This book demonstrates that strengths-based interventions can be a powerful antidote to the destructive forces of poverty and adversity, and ultimately lead to resource mobilization and empowerment. Through case studies and active learning exercises, students can practice applying the skills they have learned in each chapter.