Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review: Macro Social Work Practice - A Strengths Perspective (2006)

Macro Social Work Practice: A Strengths Perspective (2006) by Dennis Long, Carolyn Tice and John Morrison. The authors define the history of macro social work practice and social welfare and different types of macro-practice roles (e.g., social planner, administrator, evaluator, community organizer, educator, policy analyst, facilitator, program developer, grant/proposal writer, etc.). Furthermore, they highlight the strengths model, which focuses on the assets, innate abilities and optimism of consumers and communities. It is common for many professionals to focus on negativity (e.g., problems and social pathology). A strengths model works with people rather than subordinates them. Each chapter has a summary, review of key terms, case examples, reflection exercises and suggested readings.
Sample chapters:
Ch. 1 Defining Macro Practice
Ch. 2 Adopting a Strengths Perspective in Macro Practice
Ch. 3 Considerations for the Practitioner
Ch. 4 Calling on Consumer and Citizen Strengths
Ch. 5 Enriching Organizational Life
Ch. 6 Developing Community Resources and Capacities
...and much more!

This is one of the best textbooks/handbooks on macro social work practice. It provides an excellent introduction to this area of social work, which is often misunderstood or underrated. As a future macro social worker, it gave me the tools, values and perspectives on work with larger social systems at the community, organizational and societal levels. In addition, there are various types of macro social work practice (e.g., social research, social planning, policy analysis, organizational development, advocacy and social action, and much more!). I highly recommend this book to students, faculty, and practitioners because social justice is one of the core values in the NASW Code of Ethics. In other words, social workers also work to solve community and social problems by working with consumers and gaining allies in the process.

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