Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach (Updated Edition) / Edition 6

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With its focus on empowerment and extensive coverage of ethics and values, Generalist Social Work Practice, 6/e, provides excellent coverage of: evidence-based practice, policy practice, social justice and human rights, end-of-life-care, diversity and special population groups, including immigrants, veterans, and older adults.

Each chapter reflects and integrates the core competencies in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) set by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). End-of-chapter assessment reinforces this integration, and activities support the mastery of CSWE's core competencies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205789818
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/29/2010
  • Series: Connecting Core Competencies Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 899,298
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Karla Miley, MSW,LSW is Professor Emerita, Black Hawk College, Moline, Illinois. She has been a graduate and undergraduate social work educator in Illinois and Iowa for thirty years. Professor Miley received her masters degree in social work in 1966 at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. She has extensive social work practice and consultation experience in school social work, health care, child welfare, and aging services. Professor Miley has served as a member on a number of community agency initiatives and boards. She has published several articles on ethics and empowerment and has co-authored two social work texts on empowerment in social work: Social Work: An Empowering Profession with Brenda DuBois and Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach with Brenda DuBois and Michael O’Melia.

Michael O'Melia is an Associate Professor in the St. Ambrose University MSW Program. He specializes in teaching clinical social work with expertise in generalist, collaborative, and anti-oppressive methods. O’Melia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois, working for over thirty years with individuals, couples, families and small groups in child welfare, delinquency prevention, family therapy, and school-based practice settings. In addition to co-authoring Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach, O’Melia is co-editor of Pathways to Power: Reading in Contextual Social Work Practice. Functioning as a community trainer and program consultant, O’Melia focuses on developing culturally competent practices, working with resistant and mandated clients, and implementing strength-based clinical strategies. He also sits on the Social Work Advisory Board for Pearson Education, serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Rumanian Social Work Review, and contributes as an editor to the Journal of Progressive Human Services.

Brenda DuBois, MSW,LCSW, Ph.D. is Professor of Social Work at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. She has been a graduate and undergraduate social work educator in Iowa for thirty-three years. Professor DuBois received her masters degree in social work in 1977 at the University of Iowa and a doctorate in educational administration from Illinois State University in 2002. She has extensive social work practice and consultation experience in public welfare, community planning, organizational development, and program evaluation. Dr. DuBois serves as a member on a number of community agency initiatives, ethics committees, and as a board member to agencies in the Quad Cities. She has published several articles on ethics and empowerment and has co-authored two social work texts on empowerment in social work: Social Work: An Empowering Profession with Karla Miley and Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach with Karla Miley and Michael O’Melia.

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Table of Contents

PART 1 Social Work Practice Perspectives

1 Generalist Social Work Practice

Social Work Values and Purpose

Human Dignity and Worth

Social Justice

Defining Social Work

Achieving the Purpose of Social Work

Generalist Social Work

Levels of Intervention in Generalist Practice

Policy and Generalist Practice

Research in Generalist Practice

Advantages of a Multifaceted Approach

Social Work Functions and Roles


Resource Management


Integrating Generalist Functions

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

2 Human System Perspectives

The Knowledge Base of Generalist Practice

Theoretical Frameworks for Practice

Developing a Practice Framework

Analyzing Theoretical Perspectives

Key Perspectives for Empowering Practice


Social Constructionism

Feminist Perspective

The Ecosystems Perspective

Humans in Context

Focus on Transactions

Development as Evolutionary Change


View of Dysfunction

Implications for Change

Human Systems

System Defined

Dimensions of Systems

A Structural View of Systems

An Interactional View of Systems

Biopsychosocial Dimensions

Cultural Influences

Ecosystems: A Conceptual Framework for Practice

Identify the Focal System

What’s Happening Inside the System?

What’s Happening Outside the System?

How Do the Inside and Outside Connect?

How Does the System Move through Time?

Applying the Ecosystems Framework

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

3 Values and Multicultural Competence

Frames of Reference

Your Frame of Reference Shows

Professional Values and Practice Principles






Access to Resources



Value Conflicts in Practice: An Example

Personal Values and Resources

Use of Self in Social Work

Increasing Self-Awareness

Values and Principles in Action: A Practice Example

How Values Influence Practice

Values and Diversity

Multicultural Competence

Cultural Diversity Defined

Proficient Multicultural Practice

Cultural Competence

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural Responsiveness

A Generalist View of Cultural Competence

Practitioner-Level Cultural Competence

Agency-Level Cultural Competence

Community-Level Cultural Competence

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

4 Strengths and Empowerment

Strengths Perspective

Practice Assumptions

Key Transitions

Applying a Strengths Perspective


Personal Dimensions of Empowerment

Interpersonal Dimensions of Empowerment

Sociopolitical Dimensions of Empowerment


Empowerment as a Concept and a Process

Empowerment-Based Practice

The Paradox of an Empowering Process

Collaboration and Partnership

Characteristics of Empowerment-Centered Social Workers

Empowerment-Oriented Strategies

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

5 An Empowering Approach to Generalist Practice

Elements of an Empowering Generalist Approach

Infusing an Ecosystems Perspective

Reflecting a Social Justice Commitment

Applying a Strengths Orientation

Collaborating with Clients

Constructing an Empowering Reality

Phases and Processes of Empowering Practice

The Dialogue Phase

The Discovery Phase

The Development Phase

From Solving Problems to Promoting Competence

Processes in Action: Practice Examples

An Example at the Microlevel

An Example at the Mezzolevel

An Example at the Macrolevel

Multilevel Intervention in Generalist Pracitice: Integrative Case Example

Intervention at the Microlevel Intervention at the Mezzolevel Intervetnion at the Macrolevel

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

PART 2 The Dialogue Phase: Building Relationships and Describing Situations

6 Forming Partnerships

Collaboration and Partnership

The Dilemma of Social Workers as Experts

The Rewards of Clients as Experts

The Social Worker’s Role

Agency Influences on Worker-Client Relationships

Making Initial Contacts

Recognizing What Clients Bring

Initiating Collaboration

Beginning Steps: A Practice Example

Qualities of Professional Partnerships


Acceptance and Respect



Cultural Sensitivity


Constructing Empowering Relationships

Recognizing Rights

Taking Responsibilities

Discussing Rights and Responsibilities

Augmenting Power

When Clients Feel Powerless

Collaborating with Oppressed Clients

Voluntary and Involuntary Clients

Partnerships with Larger Systems

Respecting Confidentiality

Absolute and Relative Confidentiality

Violating Confidentiality

Informed Consent for Releasing Information

Privileged Communication

Balancing Accountability and Privacy

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

7 Articulating Situations

Empowering Dialogue

Listening and Responding

Proactive Responding

Describing the Current Situation

Orienting toward Goals

Searching for Strengths and Resources

Sizing Up Situations

Exchanging Information

Verbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

Influences on Communication Processes

Assessing the Client’s Perspective

Responding to Thoughts

Allowing Space

Nonverbal Responses

Single Word Responses



Summary Clarification

Request to Continue


Combining Responses

Practice Example

Responding to Feelings

The Experience of Feelings

Identifying Feelings

Verbalizing Feelings

Validating Feelings

Special Issues in Responding

Responding to Anger

Responding to Silence

Responding to Questions

Responding to Feedback from Clients

Responding to Larger Client Systems

Facilitating Discussion Respecting Existing Functioning

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

8 Defining Directions

Transforming Challenges into Directions

Orienting Forward, Not Back

Framing the Search for Resources

Integrating Transactional Dimensions

Considering Client Motivation

A Transactional View of Motivation

Motivating Clients Who Have Given Up

Aligning Worker and Client Motivations

Motivating Larger Systems

Collaborating with Clients Who Resist

Resistance Is Motivated

Cooperating with Resistance

Overcoming Environmental Resistance

Cooperating with Mandated Clients

Constructing Workers’ Expectations

Structuring a Working Partnership

Defining a Motivating Direction

Taking Priority Actions

Responding to Trauma

Responding to the Threat of Suicide

Responding to Threats toward Others

Responding to Child Abuse

Responding to Elder Abuse

Responding to Intimate Partner Violence

Responding to Survival Needs

Responding to Signs of Addiction

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

PART 3 The Discovery Phase: Assessing Resourcesand Planning Change

9 Identifying Strengths

Infusing a Strengths Perspective

What Are Strengths?

Why Identify Strengths?

Balancing Strengths and Challenges

Looking for Strengths

Highlighting Strengths in General Functioning

Strengths in Individuals

Strengths in Families

Strengths in Groups

Strengths in Organizations

Strengths in Communities

Solution-Focused Dialogue

Creating a Solution-Saturated Atmosphere

Searching for Exceptions

Detecting Incremental Steps

Searching for Transferable Skills

Recognizing Cultural Strengths

Strengths in Diversity

Ethnic Group Strengths

African Americans

Latino Americans

Asian Americans

Native Americans

Strengths in Cultural Group Memberships


Gays and Lesbians

Older Adults

Religious Affiliations and Spirituality

Persons with Disabilities

Clients as Resources for Understanding Cultures

Uncovering Strengths in Adversity

Surviving Oppression

Surviving Violence

Surviving Family Disruption

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

10 Assessing Resource Capabilities

Exploring Resource Systems through Assessment

Recognizing Environmental Resources

Turning Challenging Situations into Resources

Collaborating to Search for Resources

Applying Theoretical Frameworks

Organizing Assessment Using a Five-Point Ecosystemic Schema

Practice Example: Franklin Courts

Organizing Assessment: Applying Ecosystemic Questions

Assessing Structures

Assessing Interactions

Assessing Thinking and Feeling

Assessing Cultural Influences

Assessing Spiritual Dimensions

Assessing Physical Environments

Putting the Pieces Together

Using Assessment Tools

Social Histories



Culturally Sensitive Assessment

Social Network Maps

Group Assessment

Organizational Assessment

Neighborhood and Community Assessment

Tools as Resources for Empowerment

Adding Viewpoints

Bringing in Significant Others

Contacting Other Professionals

Assessing through Observation

Observations by Clients

Observations by Workers



Types of Recording Formats

Ethical and Legal Issues in Recordkeeping

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

11 Framing Solutions

Collaborative Planning Processes

Client Expertise in Planning

Worker Expertise in Planning

Issues Affecting Collaborative Planning

Planning in Multiperson Systems

Goals and Objectives

Differentiating Goals and Objectives

Considering Goals

Translating Goals into Objectives

Constructing Action Plans

Crystallizing Outcome Goals

Writing Effective Objectives

Prioritizing Objectives

Screening Generalist Intervention Strategies

Choosing Effective Strategies

Delineating Tasks and Responsibilities

Setting Reviews and Evaluations


The Evolving Contract

Contracting as an Empowering Process

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

PART 4 The Development Phase: Implementing, Evaluating,and Stabilizing Change

12 Activating Resources

Applying Generalist Intervention Skills

Intervention across System Levels

Maintaining Progress in the Action Plan

Implementing Action Plans

Enhancing Interactions

Sustaining Motivation

Developing Power

Promoting Leadership

Recognizing Choices

Locating Genuine Options

Magnifying Strengths

Changing Perspectives

Offering Feedback

Constructing Feedback

Creating New Concepts

Using Narrative Strategies

Trying Out New Behaviors

Managing Resources

Linking Clients with Resources

Client Advocacy

Maximizing Clients’ Rights



Sharing Information

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

13 Creating Alliances

The Power of Alliances

Developing Alliances through Groups

Groups and Empowerment

Mutual Aid in Groups

Self-Help Groups

Social Action through Group Work

Strengthening Natural Support Alliances

Social Support

Workers’ Roles in Encouraging Social Support

Case Management: Client-Service Alliances

Case Management Defined

The Purpose of Case Management

Case Management in Action: A Practice Example

Case Management Activities with Clients

Case Management Activities with the Delivery System

Workers’ Resources for Case Management

Critical Issues and Ethical Dilemmas

Organizational Alliances for Service Delivery

Building Interagency Coalitions

Working on Teams

Leading Effective Meetings

Professional Support Networks

Alliances within Organizations

Job Stress and Burnout

Professional Memberships

Connections in Cyberspace

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

14 Expanding Opportunities

Opportunities: Keys to Empowerment

Empowerment and Opportunities

Empowerment in Groups and Communities

Resource Expansion

Identifying Resource Shortages

Mobilizing Resources

Educating the Public

Writing Grant Proposals

Community Change

Processes for Working with Communities

Working with Communities through Organizing

Working with Communities through Development

Social Work as a Political Profession

Political Perspectives

Political Perspectives Applied to Social Work

Policy Development

Policy Analysis and Change

Consumer Participation in Policy Development

Social Activism and Social Advocacy

A Heritage of Social Reform

Promoting Social Action

Advocacy Role

Legislative Advocacy

Legislative Analysis


Legislative Testimony

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

15 Recognizing Success

Social Work Evaluation and Research

Integrating Practice and Research

Evidence-Based Practice

Steps for Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Implications for Social Work Practice

Practice Evaluation

Progress Evaluation

Client Outcome Assessment

Program Evaluation


The Research Process

Research Terminology

Ethics in Research

Single-System Designs

Elements of Single-System Designs

Types of Single-System Designs

Limitations of Single-System Designs

Assessing Your Competence

Looking Forward

16 Integrating Gains

Social Work Endings

Completing Contracts

Preparing for Resolution

Discussing Readiness


Sharing Feelings

Generalizing Outcomes

Firming Up Social Supports

Celebrations and Ritualized Endings Looking to the Future Following -Up

Closing with Referral

Acknowledging Limited Resources

Implementing Legal Mandates

Making Referrals

Responding to Clients’ Discontinuation of Services

Preparing for Early Discontinuation

Recognizing Exit Clues

Resolving Unplanned Exits

When Clients Die


End of Life Care

Grieving the Death of a Client

Resolving Relationships with Larger Systems

Small Group Endings

Resolving Intermember Relationships

Endings with Organizations and Communities

Assessing Your Competence

Endings Are Beginnings


Appendix: Comprehensive Case Study: Client Empowerment: Surviving Domestic Violence


Author Index

Subject Index

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