Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

By David A. Hardcastle; Patricia R. Powers et al. | Go to book overview


The authors are grateful for solid, insightful suggestions from Fred Brooks of Georgia State University; Mayling M. Chu of California State University, Stanislaus; and Thomas Packard of San Diego State University. Of course, we take responsibility for the final product. We thank Dean Jesse Harris of the School of Social Work, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and our colleagues, especially those in the School's Management, Administration, and Community Organization Concentration, for their encouragement, suggestions, and criticisms of the first edition and subsequent revision and their confidence that the project would be completed. We have incorporated their work into some of the exercises and examples. We expressly thank the students in the community practice classes over the past 35 years for their critiques of our theories. We are especially appreciative to the students over the past decade for their use and critiques of the book's material and ideas for revisions. It was their stimulation, needs, and demands for coherence in community practice as a basic skill for all social workers that inspired the book. Furthermore, we gratefully acknowledge the communities, clients, and practitioners with whom we gained our community practice experience and refined our theories, understanding, and skills. We appreciate the community practitioners, lay and professional, who shared with us their experience in services facilitation and advocacy for people and their communities. Their service and commitment to better neighborhoods and communities as places for people to live informed our discussion of skill building with clients, linkages with systems, and utilization of pressure points in forging change. We hope the book will continue their contribution to enhancing community practice and humane communities.

The relationship and contributions of Dr. Stan Wenocur to this project are enduring. He was a major contributor to the first edition. Subsequent to that edition, Stan has retired from most formal social work practice and education, although he is still keeping involved in community. He is now a professional artist with palette and devoted to his painting.

Individually, we wish to thank our families for their patience, empathy, reassurance, and periodic critiques. Without them, there would be no completed work. David Hardcastle particularly thanks his wife and colleague, Dr. Cynthia Bisman of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research of Bryn Mawr College, who helped to define and elaborate community practice for direct practice applications. She is a persistent and consistent helpmate, colleague, supporter, and an enduring inspiration. Patricia Powers thanks her spouse, Tom Harvey, who has contributed in countless ways to both editions of this book, to nonprofit organizations, and to social causes. His daily experiences as a manufacturer have given Pat much-appreciated insight into the lives and challenges of working people, including former prisoners, immigrants,


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Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Note viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents *
  • Community Practice *
  • 1 - Community Practice: an Introduction 3
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • I - Understanding the Social Environment and Social Interaction *
  • 2 - Theory-Based, Model-Based Community Practice 33
  • Notes 57
  • References *
  • 3 - The Nature of Social and Community Problems 61
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 4 - The Concept of Community in Social Work Practice 91
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 5 - Community Intervention and Programs: Let's Extend the Clan 120
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • II - Community Practice Skills for Social Workers: Using the Social Environment *
  • 6 - Discovering and Documenting the Life of a Community 145
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 7 - Using Assessment in Community Practice 172
  • Notes 202
  • References *
  • 8 - Using Self in Community Practice: Assertiveness 208
  • Notes *
  • References 240
  • 9 - Using Your Agency 244
  • Notes *
  • References 270
  • 10 - Using Work Groups: Committees, Teams, and Boards 272
  • Notes 292
  • References *
  • 11 - Using Networks and Networking 293
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 12 - Using Social Marketing 320
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 13 - Using the Advocacy Spectrum 355
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 14 - Using Organizing: Acting in Concert 391
  • Notes 420
  • References 421
  • 15 - Community Social Casework 426
  • Note 439
  • References *
  • Subject Index 441
  • Name Index 453


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