Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

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

In the documentary The Land of the Deaf, a sign language teacher and deaf rights crusader refers to his hearing daughter and sighs, “I had dreamt of having a deaf child—communication would be easier. But I love her all the same” (review by Richard Harrington, The Washington Post, October 7, 1994, p. B7).
Johnson (1995) gives an example of a social impact statement: The local office of the human services department is closing, so a social worker decides to “determine the impact of such a change” (p. 276). National Park Service staffers use Rapid Ethnographic Assessment Procedures (REAP) to conduct social impact assessments, including the solicitation of community views about alternative courses of action. An excellent study on social impact and outreach in the case of epidemics or bioterrorism, commissioned by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, lists many at-risk groups that should be considered. In alphabetical order, the outreach target population categories are African-Americans, Blind, Deaf, Developmentally Disabled, Elderly, Homeless, Isolated Rural Residents, Latchkey Children, Low income/Single Parent/Low Literacy, Mentally Ill, Migrant Farm Workers, Native Americans, Non-English Speaking, Physically Disabled, Tourists, and Undocumented Immigrants. Judith Cohen (2003) who has a background in social work prepared this study on emergency communications. See the Susskind profile in Kolb (1994, p. 317) on the impact of assessment, citizen participation, and public disputes. Also see Goldman (2000) and Barrow (2000).
Ironically, in our own era, conservatives often succeed in convincing the middle class that it is the poor (the have-nots) who sit on top of the coach snapping the whip—because of all the programs designed for them—while rich tax payers and hard-working capitalists (the haves) strain to pay their benefits and pull them along. For instance, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (1992) has said, “The poor in this country are the biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples. The poor feed off the largess of this government and they give nothing back. Nothing. ” (p. 40)
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, ” copyright 1973 by Ursula K. Le Guin; from the author's collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters (1975); first appeared in New Dimensions 3 (1973); Quotes are used by permission of the author and the author's agent, Virginia Kidd. For a different version of this theme of benefits to the many at the expense of the few, see Steven Spielberg's 2002 film Minority Report (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and DreamWorks Productions, LLC, based on a story by Philip K. Dick). The film is set in the year 2054, when three humans called “precognitives” are exploited by the precrime unit to prevent murders. Leading political philosopher John Rawls (1971) sums up the principle in these words, “Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override” (p. 3).
This section is based on work by Hardcastle (1992) and Turner (1963b). Also see Cox (1995).
See Chapter 11 in our text, plus Valdis Krebs's InFlow Software Web site (http://www.orgnet. com/).


Abatena, H. (1997). The significance of planned community participation in problem solving and developing a viable community capability. Journal of Community Practice, 4(2), 13– 34.

Alcorn, S., & Morrison, J. D. (1994). Community planning that is “caught” and “taught”: Experiential learning from town meetings. Journal of Community Practice, 1(4), 27–43.

All, A. C. (1994). A literature review: Assessment and intervention in elder abuse. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 20(7), 25–32.

Amezcua, C., McAlister, A., Ramirez, A., & Espinoza, R. (1990). A su salud: Health promotion in a Mexican American border community. In N. Bracht (Ed. ), Health promotion at the community level (pp. 257–277). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Anderson, D. B., & Shaw, S. L. (1994). Starting a support group for families and partners of people with HIV/AIDS in a rural setting. Social Work, 39(1), 135–138.

Anderson, J. (1981). Social work methods and processes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Atkinson, D. R., Morten, G., & Sue, D. W. (1993). Counseling American minorities: A crosscultural perspective. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.


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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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