Last updated July 7, 2015
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The Social Work Dictionary

6th Edition

Robert L. Barker, PhD, is a consultant, advocate, and clinician in private practice. He is currently engaged in helping social agencies, advocacy groups, and political organizations raise funds, prepare grant proposals, and manage public relations campaigns. He also helps social workers prepare to give legal testimony in lawsuits. He was full professor since 1979 at the National Catholic School of Social Services, The Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. He was also codirector of the Potomac Psychiatric Center in suburban Maryland, where he specialized in marital and family therapy, group therapy, and group work. For many years he also served as a consultant in designing, reviewing, and monitoring the development of social work licensing exams.

Dr. Barker has worked with various social advocacy groups and is particularly interested in international social welfare, homelessness, and research on effective use of social work personnel. He has taught social work skills in Europe and Latin America as well as in the United States. As part of a research project, he spent several months living as a homeless person in various U.S. cities. During his military service, he cofounded and led the Society of Air Force Social Workers.

Dr. Barker received his MSW from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his doctorate from Columbia University, New York. He founded and edited the Journal of Independent Social Work (later the Journal of Analytic Social Work) and has written more than 100 articles for professional journals, numerous articles for popular magazines and newspapers, several unpublished novels, and 23 published books.

His published books include Forensic Social Work: Legal Aspects of Professional Practice; Treating Couples in Crisis: Fundamentals and Practice in Marital Therapy; The Green-Eyed Marriage: Overcoming Jealous Relationships; Social Work in Private Practice: Milestones in Social Work and Social Welfare; The Business of Psychotherapy; Private Practice Administration for Therapists, Counselors and Social Workers; The Resource Book; Differential Use of Social Work Manpower (with Thomas L. Briggs); Educating Undergraduates for Professional Social Work Roles; Using Teams to Deliver Social Workers; and all six editions of The Social Work Dictionary.