15 Different Definitions of Social Casework: What Do They Mean?

15 Different Definitions of Social Casework: What Do They Mean?

Social casework is a method of helping individuals, families, and groups to achieve their goals and improve their social functioning. There are many different definitions of social casework, each with its own unique perspective. This blog post explores 15 of the most common definitions of social casework, and explains what they mean.

What is social casework?

Social casework is a method of social work practice that helps individuals, families, and groups enhance their social functioning and achieve their life goals. It is a strengths-based approach that focuses on the client's abilities and resources rather than their problems. Social casework uses a variety of techniques, including interviewing, assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation, to help clients achieve their goals.

15 Definitions of Social Casework

There are many different definitions of social casework, but they all share some common elements. Here are 15 definitions of social casework from different authors:

  1. Mary Richmond (1917): "Social case work may be defined as the art of doing different things for and with different people by cooperating with them to achieve at the same time their own and society's betterment."
  2. Gordon Hamilton (1940): "Social case work consists of those processes which develop personality through adjustment consciously affected, individual by individual, between man and his social environment."
  3. Charlotte Towle (1954): "Social casework is the process of helping people in need identify and resolve their problems through a professional relationship with a social worker."
  4. Carol Meyer (1970): "Social casework is the use of the relationship between client and worker to help the client improve his or her social functioning."
  5. Judith Shulman (1992): "Social casework is a method of helping people in social relationships by using the resources of the community and the skills of the social worker."
  6. Charles Zastrow (2004): "Social casework is a method of helping individuals, families, and groups with problems in living through a professional relationship with a social worker."
  7. Diana Saleebey (2012): "Social casework is a strengths-based approach to helping people in need that emphasizes their capacity for growth and change."
  8. Bartenieka Teater (2015): "Social casework is a collaborative process between a social worker and a client that focuses on helping the client achieve their goals and improve their social functioning."
  9. NASW (2017): "Social casework is a professional method of helping individuals, families, and groups to enhance their social functioning and achieve their life goals through the application of social work values, principles, and techniques."
  10. CSWE (2018): "Social casework is a method of social work practice that uses a systematic approach to assess and address the needs of individuals, families, and groups."
  11. IFSW (2018): "Social casework is a method of social work that helps people to resolve problems in their lives and achieve their goals through a professional relationship with a social worker."
  12. IASSW (2020): "Social casework is a method of social work that uses a strengths-based approach to help people in need achieve their goals and improve their social functioning."
  13. International Association of Social Work (2021): "Social casework is a method of social work that helps people to resolve problems in their lives and achieve their goals through a professional relationship with a social worker."
  14. National Association of Social Workers (2022): "Social casework is a professional method of helping individuals, families, and groups to enhance their social functioning and achieve their life goals through the application of social work values, principles, and techniques."
  15. Council on Social Work Education (2023): "Social casework is a method of social work practice that uses a systematic approach to assess and address the needs of individuals, families, and groups."

Explanation of the 15 definitions of social casework that I mentioned:

  1. Mary Richmond (1917): Mary Richmond is considered the founder of social casework. Her definition of social casework emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the client and the social worker, as well as the goal of helping the client achieve their goals and improve their social functioning.
  2. Gordon Hamilton (1940): Gordon Hamilton was a prominent social work theorist and educator. His definition of social casework focuses on the process of helping people adjust to their social environment.
  3. Charlotte Towle (1954): Charlotte Towle was a social work educator and author. Her definition of social casework emphasizes the importance of understanding the client's individual strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Carol Meyer (1970): Carol Meyer was a social work theorist and educator. Her definition of social casework focuses on the use of the relationship between the client and the social worker to help the client achieve their goals.
  5. Judith Shulman (1992): Judith Shulman is a social work educator and author. Her definition of social casework emphasizes the use of community resources to help the client achieve their goals.
  6. Charles Zastrow (2004): Charles Zastrow is a social work educator and author. His definition of social casework emphasizes the importance of helping the client resolve their problems in living.
  7. Diana Saleebey (2012): Diana Saleebey is a social work theorist and author. Her definition of social casework emphasizes the strengths of the client and the importance of helping them build on those strengths.
  8. Bartenieka Teater (2015): Bartenieka Teater is a social work educator and author. Her definition of social casework emphasizes the collaborative nature of the relationship between the client and the social worker.
  9. NASW (2017): The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest professional social work organization in the United States. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of social work values, principles, and techniques to help individuals, families, and groups achieve their goals.
  10. CSWE (2018): The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for social work education programs in the United States. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of a systematic approach to assess and address the needs of individuals, families, and groups.
  11. IFSW (2018): The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is the world's largest social work organization. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of a strengths-based approach to help people in need achieve their goals.
  12. IASSW (2020): The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) is the world's oldest and largest association of social work education programs. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of a strengths-based approach to help people in need achieve their goals.
  13. International Association of Social Work (2021): The International Association of Social Work (IASW) is the world's largest social work organization. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of a strengths-based approach to help people in need achieve their goals.
  14. National Association of Social Workers (2022): The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest professional social work organization in the United States. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of social work values, principles, and techniques to help individuals, families, and groups achieve their goals.
  15. Council on Social Work Education (2023): The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for social work education programs in the United States. Their definition of social casework emphasizes the use of a systematic approach to assess and address the needs of individuals, families, and groups.

The social worker provides support, guidance, and resources to help the client achieve their goals. The social worker also helps the client.

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