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The earliest and possibly most widely discussed method of social work, pioneered originally by Octavia Hill in the London Charity Organization Society (1869), but given its first systematic statement by Mary Richmond in her book Social Diagnosis (1917). Whilst an emphasis is placed upon meeting the needs and solving the problems of the individual person, and there is a broad affinity to psycho-analysis, casework harbours a range of different theoretical traditions. It is one of the major methods of social work—the others being group work and community work. The former involves the social worker in the activities and situation of a small group of clients facing common or similar difficulties; the latter places the social worker in a neighbourhood area, to act as a resource for, and mobilizer of, local activists.

Subjects: Sociology.

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