Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice / Edition 4

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The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice presents an unrivaled collection of essays that explain the strengths-based philosophy, demonstrate how it works, and provide clear and practical tools for its application. It presents a balanced approach to social work practice, in contrast to a problems-based approach, that takes into account the strengths and assets of clients and their environments.

Highlights of the Fourth Edition

Six New Chapters

  • "Shifting our Habits of Mind: Learning to Practice from a Strengths Perspective" (Chapter 2) examines how social work practice was historically a more problem-focused profession and the how the current shift towards strengths plays an important part in our work.
  • "Solving Problems from a Strengths Perspective" explores, with relevant examples, how a practitioner can take a perspective on problems that leads to strengths-based and solution-focused practices.
  • "Strengths-Based Case Management: Enhancing Work with Persons with Substance Abuse Problems" (Chapter 8) explores the further extensions of and developments in this important and ground-breaking work.
  • "The Resilience of Families" (Chapter11) examines those factors that promote family resilience and how they can be applied in practice.
  • "Consciousness and Commitment: Slave Narratives in Today’s Movement to End Poverty" (Chapter12) applies the lessons of the resistance movements of slaves in order to develop effective and strengths-based strategies for ending poverty.
  • "Honoring Philosophical Traditions: The Strengths Model and the Social Environment" (Chapter 14) presents the strongest and clearest relationship between environmental resources and individual strengths in practicing from the strengths perspective.
  • Extensive revisions of existing chapters make this a fresh, more up-to-date book that retains the passion and sensibilities of the previous editions but with innovative examples and revised, more current bibliographies.
Don’t Miss This Exciting Value-Added Option!

Social Work Skills Demonstrated: Beginning Direct Practice CD-ROM with Student Manual, Second Edition
Linda K. Cummins, Barry University
Judith A. Sevel, Illinois State University
Laura Pedrick, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

A practical guide to development of crucial social work skills including basic counseling and interviewing techniques, in a CD-ROM format with companion student manual that allows students to work at their own pace. Social Work Skills Demonstrated: Beginning Direct Practice CD-ROM with Student Manual is available at a discount when packaged with this text: 0-205-47316-4.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205408177
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/16/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Power in the People.

The Fascination with Problems and Pathology.

The Strengths Perspective: Philosophy, Concepts, and Principles.

The Lexicon of Strengths.

Principles of the Strengths Perspective.

Some Preliminary Thoughts.


2. Shifting Our Habits of Mind: Learning to Practice from a Strengths Perspective.

The Deficit/Pathology of Knowledge Base Becomes Synonymous with Social Work.

Maintaining Our Sense of What is Right.

Shifting the Fundamental Frame of Practice.

Shifting Frames to a Strengths Perspective.


3. Strengths of First Nations Peoples.

Historical Distortion of Strengths of Indigenous Peoples.

What Are the Strengths of Indigenous Peoples?

4. The Significance of Spirituality for Resilient Response to Chronic Illness: A Qualitative Study of Adults with Cystic Fibrosis.


Summary of Findings.

A Consensus Statement on Spirituality as a Source of Strength by Adults with CIF.

Implications for Social Work.


5. The Strengths Approach to Practice.

Some Beginning Observations about Strengths-Based Practice.

6. Assessing Client Strengths: Individual, Family, and Community Empowerment.

More Deficit, Disease, and Dysfunction?

Assessment as Political Activity.

Strengths and Empowerment.

Strengths: or Just a New Spin on an Old Problem?

Importance of Assessing Strengths.

Assessment Process.

7. Solving Problems from a Strengths Perspective.

Strengths and Solutions.

Commonalities and Differences.

What about Problems?

Extensions of Strengths- and Solution-Focused Practice.

8. Strengths-Based Case Management: Enhancing Treatment for Persons with Substance Abuse Problems.

Strengths-Based Case Management with Persons Who May Have Substance Abuse Problems.

Strengths-Based Case Management: Measuring Its Impact.

Strengths-Based Case Management as a Brief Intervention.

9. The Strengths Model with Older Adults: Critical Practice Components.

Conceptual Framework for Practice.

Critical Practice Components of Effective Case Management.

Utility of the Strengths Model in the Changing Long-Term Care Environment.

10. The Opportunities and Challenges of Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Practice: Purpose, Principles, and Applications in a Climate of Systems’ Integration.

The Purpose of the Strengths Approach.

The Six Principles of Strengths-Based Helping.

Strategies That Promote Effective Engagement from the Perspective of the Service Participant.

The Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan.

11. Using Strengths-Based Practice to Tap the Resilience of Families.

Resilience Research.

Environmental Protective Factors.

What Research Says about Families.

Family Resilience.


12. That History Becomes You: Slave Narratives and Today’s Movement to End Poverty.

The Organization and the Movement.

The Study: Narratives and Commitment.

The Development of Political Consciousness.

13. Community Development, Neighborhood Empowerment, and the Individual Resilience.

The Power of Context: What You See is How You Get.

Community Development: Emerging Ideas and Practices.

Coming Together: Community and Individual Resilience.

Exemplars of Community Development Practice.

Notes on Community Building and Programs That Work.

14. Honoring Philosophical Traditions: The Strengths Model and the Social Environment

Basic Assumptions.

Environment Defined.

Niche Enrichment and Development: Mobilizing Personal and Environmental Strengths.

The Match Game: Aligning Individual and Environmental Strengths.


15. The Strengths Perspective: Possibilities and Problems.

Questions and Cautions about the Strengths Perspective.

Of Paradigms and Prospects: Converging Lines of Thought.

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