Social work is a profession committed to the goal of effecting social changes in society and the ways in which individuals develop within their society for the benefit of both. Advancement toward this purpose is achieved through the complementarity of social reform and therapeutic approaches premised in the belief that social conditions of humanity can be bettered.
Preamble to Canadian Association of Social Workers (1983),
Code of ethics
Social work is recognized as a profession that seeks social change by addressing the problems of individuals, their environment, and the interface between the two. The ideas developed in preceding chapters were that child sexual abuse is a pervasive phenomenon; children are frequently traumatized by their victimization; healing services can be effectively offered to survivors, offenders, and family members; and yet individual healing is only one part of the solution. Social attitudes and values must also be changed to prevent the victimization of children. This final chapter will summarize the role of social work in the healing of both individuals and society, identify areas where continued research is needed, and make recommendations for a more integrated and responsive practice.
The nature of social work intervention is based on developmental principles rather than on social control. Three different specializations will be highlighted to illustrate the view that social work encompasses the full spectrum of intervention from