Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work Has Abandoned its Mission

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9780028740867: Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work Has Abandoned its Mission

In this provocative examination of the fall of the profession of social work from its original mission to aid and serve the underprivileged, Harry Specht and Mark Courtney show how America's excessive trust in individualistic solutions to social problems have led to the abandonment of the poor in this country.

A large proportion of all certified social workers today have left the social services to enter private practice, thereby turning to the middle class -- those who can afford psychotherapy -- and away from the poor. As Specht and Courtney persuasively demonstrate, if social work continues to drift in this direction there is good reason to expect that the profession will be entirely engulfed by psychotherapy within the next twenty years, leaving a huge gap in the provision of social services traditionally filled by social workers. The authors examine the waste of public funds this trend occasions, as social workers educated with public money abandon community service in increasing numbers.

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About the Author:

Harry Specht was Dean and Professor of the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley and published numerous books and articles on social welfare policy and social work practice. He was the recipient of the 1993 National Association of Social Workers' Presidential Award for Excellence in Social Work Education. Mark E. Courtney is assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has written numerous articles and co-authored a forthcoming book on children in the welfare services.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In no uncertain terms, social-welfare specialists Specht (UC- Berkeley) and Courtney (Univ. of Wisconsin) decry the trend toward private practice in their field over the last 50 years, demanding instead a return to community-based social programs. With the message that ``social workers should not be the secular priests in the church of individual repair; they should be the caretakers of the conscience of the community,'' the authors seek to repair the damage wrought by decades of increasing reliance on the techniques of psychotherapy. While admitting the appropriateness of individual treatment in certain circumstances, Specht and Courtney at the same time view social work as addressing entirely different, group-related needs, with the present hegemony of psychotherapy proscribing effective community work. Reviewing the history of a century of social work, the authors see its American origins as stemming from the efforts of pioneers Mary Richmond and Jane Addams to improve conditions for the disadvantaged through settlement houses like Chicago's Hull House and other means. Modern developments, however--in which an increasing percentage of social workers opt for the more lucrative treatment of middle-class clients--have resulted in fewer, less well-trained workers engaged in community service, leaving the more crucial needs arising from the ravages of poverty increasingly unmet. To counter this trend, a national system of community-based services is proposed, so that all may benefit more equally from what social workers have to offer. A radical proposal, as polemical as it is utopian, but useful in isolating a severe, festering problem in American society, one that will require strong medicine to heal. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this provocative examination of the fall of the profession of social work from its original mission to aid and serve the underprivileged, Harry Specht and Mark Courtney show how America s excessive trust in individualistic solutions to social problems have led to the abandonment of the poor in this country.A large proportion of all certified social workers today have left the social services to enter private practice, thereby turning to the middle class -- those who can afford psychotherapy -- and away from the poor. As Specht and Courtney persuasively demonstrate, if social work continues to drift in this direction there is good reason to expect that the profession will be entirely engulfed by psychotherapy within the next twenty years, leaving a huge gap in the provision of social services traditionally filled by social workers. The authors examine the waste of public funds this trend occasions, as social workers educated with public money abandon community service in increasing numbers. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780028740867

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this provocative examination of the fall of the profession of social work from its original mission to aid and serve the underprivileged, Harry Specht and Mark Courtney show how America s excessive trust in individualistic solutions to social problems have led to the abandonment of the poor in this country.A large proportion of all certified social workers today have left the social services to enter private practice, thereby turning to the middle class -- those who can afford psychotherapy -- and away from the poor. As Specht and Courtney persuasively demonstrate, if social work continues to drift in this direction there is good reason to expect that the profession will be entirely engulfed by psychotherapy within the next twenty years, leaving a huge gap in the provision of social services traditionally filled by social workers. The authors examine the waste of public funds this trend occasions, as social workers educated with public money abandon community service in increasing numbers. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780028740867

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