In the Care of Strangers

Ann Weick

in Handbook of Community-Based Clinical Practice

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195159226
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893843 | DOI:
In the Care of Strangers

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the meanings of care, the increasing development of non-family-based systems of care, the nature of social care, and communities of care. It argues that as community-focused initiatives continue, it will be necessary to draw from social work's traditions and understandings a clearer evaluation of the profession's own assets and potential for growth. At what may be optimistically called the eve of a paradigm shift from systems of treatment to communities of care, it will be important to recognize the factors in current social work practice that limit creativity and stunt the capacity for thinking outside the box. Central to this is a searching assessment of beliefs about social work expertise. To the extent that the profession searches for and aligns itself with approaches that appear to make social workers experts on the lives and troubles of others, it will maintain its preoccupation with professional status and role-narrowing self-definitions.

Keywords: social care; community of care; non-family-based care; social work practice

Chapter.  5095 words. 

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