Social work education for awareness and practice

Edited by Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod and Lindsey Napier

in Social work and global health inequalities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421951
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303541 | DOI:
Social work education for awareness and practice

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This chapter demonstrates the need for social workers to gain understanding of the social character of health in all its dimensions – physical, mental, emotional, and social. It illustrates why social workers must understand social work in its historical and political context, and shows how educators of student social workers must prepare graduates to work with the pressing health inequalities and priorities of the day. One of these priorities is HIV/AIDS, identified in Section 14.1 as an epidemic in India, where effective prevention and management of a ‘looming catastrophe’ is threatened by ignorance, stigma, and the difficulty of reaching people with information. Section 14.2 is an account of the early stages of a research project in social-work education in Australia, aimed at exploring social-work practices with indigenous communities and, in turn, changing social-work education. Section 14.3 describes the political and social context of health and health services – the health consequences of poverty and violence, the paucity of services and the overwhelming workloads carried by professionals – which frames the curriculum-design process.

Keywords: India; HIV/AIDS; Australia; social work; social-work education; health; social workers; health inequalities; health services

Chapter.  8062 words. 

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