CHAPTER XI
Social Workers: An Appraisal

Dedicated, and
Educated—sometimes.
Humanitarian
Pioneers.

Useful and
Practical.Yet
Otherworldly
And jargonal.

Check-payers and
Philosophers.
Building, but maybe
Undermining.

Respected, though
(By some ) despised.
Chips on shoulders,
Striking back.

Directionless on ultimates?
Changing—yet content.
Idealistic, full of purpose.
Always trying.

WRITERS ON THE THEME of social work have trouble whenever they try to define the terms "social work" or "social worker." The public also reveals its puzzlement.An authoritative publication in the field of social work education has noted "a lack of concensus among welfare workers as to what agencies and programs constitute the field of social work, and ... who is entitled to be called a social worker." As an afterthought, the article states that, in their evolution, the older professions had been equally uncertain as to their nature and boundaries.One thing seems sure: a social worker does social work. But what does this mean?

One definition of social work which enjoys certain reputability is noble in sentiment but is not likely to be of any real service

-226-

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