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Generalist Social Work Practice

A Worktext

Twelfth Edition

Charles H. Zastrow and Sarah L. Hessenauer

Publication Date - 13 January 2021

ISBN: 9780190093426

440 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Summarizes the knowledge, skills, and values needed for social work practice.


Charles Zastrow - a leader in the field for over forty years - combines the key components of traditional and contemporary approaches to teaching social work practice into one comprehensive volume in the twelfth edition of this classic text.

Generalist Social Work Practice presents the knowledge, values, and skills needed for entry-level social work practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities. The text describes a variety of approaches to social work practice including assessment, intervention, and evaluation. A large number of skill building exercises are included so that readers can practice applying theoretical concepts. This book provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed for students to become change agents.

New to this Edition

  • Coverage of self-care and mindfulness encourages student to develop skills that contribute to resilience and prevent burnout
  • Exploration ot issues involving technology such as social media and ethics and telehealth
  • Information on working with clients who face substance use and abuse highlights an important ongoing social issue
  • New chapter, "Transitions and Ending In Social Work Practice" explores termination and emphasizes the importance of transitions in social work
  • Increased focus on evidence-based practices throughout the text


  • Skill-building exercises incorporated throughout each chapter teach students how to directly apply concepts and evaluate competence
  • Range of case examples broaden students' sense of cultural diversity
  • Learning objectives and chapter summaries reinforce key concepts
  • Critical reviews of theories help the reader assess their merits and shortcomings
  • Supported by a wealth of instructor materials on Oxford's online Ancillary Resource Center

About the Author(s)

Charles H. Zastrow, Professor Emeritus in Social Work, University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, Sarah L. Hessenauer Associate Professor in Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Charles H. Zastrow, LCSW, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. He is the author or co-author of Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare, Social Work with Groups, Social Problems: Issues and Solutions, and Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment. In 2018, the National Association of Social Workers awarded him the distinction of being a "Social Work Pioneer."

Sarah L. Hessenauer, LCSW, PhD, is Associate Professor in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She has worked as a practitioner and administrator in a variety of mental health and addictions agencies. She is coauthor of Social Work with Groups, and Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

Table of Contents


    1. Overview of Social Work Practice
    Roles Performed by Social Workers
    The Relationship between Social Work and Social Welfare
    A Systems Perspective
    The Medical Model Versus the Ecological Model of Human Behavior
    Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels of Practice
    Knowledge, Skills, and Values Needed for Social Work Practice
    Social Work Competencies
    Text Objectives
    Which Intervention Strategies Should Social Workers Learn?

    2. Surviving and Enjoying Social Work
    Learning Objectives
    Students' Common Concerns
    Burnout, Stress, and Stress Management
    Enjoying Social Work and Your Life

    3. Social Work Values
    Learning Objectives
    Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work
    Value Dilemmas in Social Work
    Knowledge and Values
    Value Dilemmas of Clients and Social Workers
    Respect for the Dignity and Uniqueness of Individuals
    The Client's Right to Self-Determination
    New Technologies and Social Work
    Evidence-Based Practice
    Other Resources

    4. Assessment
    Learning Objectives
    Components of an Assessment
    The Strengths Perspective
    Sources of Information
    Knowledge Used in Making an Assessment
    Environmental Systems Emphasis
    Attending to Bio-Psycho-Social and Cultural Components in Assessment
    Guides for Assessing Problem Systems

    5. Social Work with Individuals: Interviewing
    Learning Objectives
    Three Types of Social Work Interviews
    Opening the First Interview
    Closing an Interview
    Being Aware of Microaggressions
    The Place of the Interview
    Note Taking
    Safety Guidelines for Social Workers
    Audio and Video Recording
    Video Recording for Training Purposes

    6. Social Work with Individuals: Problem Solving and Intervening
    Learning Objectives
    Working with Clients from the Social Worker's Perspective
    Clients' Reactions to Having a Personal Problem
    Working with a Social Worker from the Client's Perspective

    7. Social Work with Groups: Types of Groups and Guidelines for Leading Them
    Learning Objectives
    Types of Groups
    Group Development
    Leadership Theory
    Social Power Bases in Groups
    Personal Goals and Group Goals
    Group Norms
    Group Size
    How to Start, Lead, Terminate, and Evaluate Groups
    Conflict and Creativity
    Strategies for Resolving Conflicts
    Handling Disruptive Behavior
    Co-facilitating Groups
    Ending a Session
    Online Groups
    Evaluating a Group
    Legal Safeguards for Group Facilitators

    8. Social Work with Families
    Learning Objectives
    Social Work with Families
    Diversity of Family Forms
    Societal Functions of Families
    Family Assessment
    Aspects of Families for Workers to Focus On
    Family Problems and Social Work Services

    9. Social Work with Organizations
    Learning Objectives
    Understanding How to Work in an Organization
    Generalist Skills for Working in Organizations
    Culturally Effective Organizations
    Value Orientations in Organizational Decision Making
    Organizations and Self-Care

    10. Social Work Community Practice
    Learning Objectives
    Community and Community Practice
    A Brief History of Community Practice
    Models of Community Practice
    Engage With and Assess Your Community
    Force Field Analysis
    Generalist Community Practice Skills
    Community Assets Intervention Approach
    Evidence-Based Interventions and Evaluations with Communities

    11. Practice Evaluation and Program Evaluation
    Learning Objectives
    Formative Evaluation
    Process Evaluation
    Outcome Evaluation
    Program Evaluation
    Evidence-Based Practice
    The Ethics of Evaluation

    12. Social Work Practice with Diverse Individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities
    Learning Objectives
    Definitions of Key Terms
    Cultural Humility
    Generalist Skills for Working with Diverse Individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities
    Macro Social Work Practice For Addressing Diversity

    13. Spirituality and Religion in Social Work Practice
    Learning Objectives
    Spirituality and Religion
    Rationale for the Use of Spirituality and Religion in Social Work Practice
    Spiritual and Religious Assessments of Clients
    NASW Code of Ethics and Religion
    Spiritual and Religious Interventions with Clients
    Social Work and Religion in Limited Partnership
    Religion, Spirituality, Mindfulness and Self-Care in Social Work

    14. Transitions and Ending In Social Work Practice
    Learning Objectives
    Transitioning Clients to Another Service
    Social Worker's Feelings Related to Termination
    Termination from Organizations and Communities
    Next Steps

    Section 1: Rational Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    Section 2: Behavior Therapy
    Section 3: Reality Therapy
    Section 4: Prominent Specific Intervention Techniques


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