Trends in Social Work, 1874-1956: A History Based on the Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work

By Frank J. Bruno | Go to book overview

40
THREE OF THE PRIMARY
PROCESSES

SOCIAL WORK is a helping or facilitating service to an individual, to a group, or to a community. An appropriate primary process (or method) is used, depending on the "object of the service": typically, social casework is used in working with an individual, social group work with a group, and social welfare organization with a community.


SOCIAL CASEWORK

To understand an individual's social problems and his difficulty, to assess his potential ability to deal with them, and to enable him to use this ability have been a goal of social work's activity from the beginnings of the profession. Variously defined with a degree of precision appreciated only by likeminded social workers, one approach to problems and the helping process is called "social casework." The term is not well understood by non-social workers, but as Bruno pointed out, social casework was the first process of social work to be defined in an educationally communicable technique. It became the dominant field and core of the profession.

Social casework has continued to advance in theory and concept structure, scientifically oriented, clinically tested and documented, clinically corrected, and possessing a uniformity of nomenclature not discernible in social group work or community organization. But the development has not been with

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