While economic indicators in recent years have shown an unprecedented level of prosperity, social indicators tell a different story: growing economic disparity, increasing numbers of Americans lacking health insurance, increased levels of poverty among our youngest and oldest citizens, and an anti-entitlement political climate that has eroded assistance to those most in need. In this era of "devolution," the federal government has been increasingly removed from the provision of services and support to vulnerable populations. This book presents a framework for understanding the impact of these developments on the practice of social work.
The first section focuses on contemporary social forces, processes, and policy changes and their implications for the social work profession. The second section explores practical issues as they affect selected vulnerable populations. The concluding section describes interventions that have been taking place at grass-roots levels, including community action and interagency collaboration. Thus, this book attempts to integrate policy, practice, organizational, and community perspectives on social work practice with a commitment to social justice.