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Handbook of International Social Work

Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession

Edited by Lynne M. Healy and Rosemary J. Link

Publication Date - 20 October 2011

ISBN: 9780195333619

560 pages
7 x 10 inches

In Stock

Representing all regions of the world, a wide range of contributors that are leaders in their fields have put together an exhaustive collection that represents the state-of-play of international social work today.


Global knowledge is increasingly essential for all aspects of social work. Today's professionals respond to concerns including permeable borders, the upheavals of war, displaced workers, natural disasters, international adoption, and human trafficking. Everywhere, social workers work with service users and colleagues from diverse cultures and countries. Globally relevant concepts such as human rights, development, and inclusion offer new perspectives to enhance policy and practice and facilitate the international exchange of ideas.

This handbook is the first major reference text to provide a solid foundation of knowledge for students and researchers alike. The extensive collection of 73 chapters confirms the integral and necessary nature of international social work knowledge to all areas of practice, policy, and research. Chapters systematically map the key issues, organizations, competencies, training and research needs, and ethical guidelines central to international social work practice today, emphasizing the linkages among social work, development, and human rights practice. In-depth country case studies and policy examples encourage readers to understand how their practice in social work touches on international issues, regardless of whether the work is done at home or abroad.

Representing all regions of the world, a wide range of contributors that are leaders in their fields have put together an exhaustive collection that represents the state-of-play of international social work today.


  • The first comprehensive assessment of the state of international social work practice
  • Emphasizes human rights and social development practices throughout
  • Includes a wide range of practice and policy examples from around the world
  • Extensive collection of 73 chapters

About the Author(s)

Lynne M. Healy, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Center for International Social Work Studies at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.

Rosemary J. Link, PhD, is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Simpson College, Iowa.


"This handbook is the most comprehensive volume of the theory and practice of international social work. Case examples of international social work are highlighted. This handbook will serve as an excellent text for courses in international social work and international social development and as a reference for courses in human behavior and the social environment, social policy and additional methods courses in community building, community organization, social planning, and social development." -- Frederick L. Ahearn, DSW, Ordinary Professor and Co-Director, Center for International Social Development, Catholic University of America

"The handbook is an innovative collection of contemporary narratives and research concerning international social work. It is startling in its range and will be an essential ingredient for the social work curriculum. This content welcomes interdisciplinarity and is equally valuable to undergraduate and graduate study. The emphasis that social work is a human rights profession is of profound, significant importance. This is a 'must-have' resource for practitioners and all professionals interested in international issues of social work." -- Lea Sugman Bohinc, PhD, Senior Lecturer of Social Work, Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

"The profession of social work is a complex one-made even more complex when viewed from a global perspective. This handbook simplifies this view by presenting specific examples of new approaches to global problems and increased awareness of old ones. At the same time it magnifies the nature of international social work by assembling a comprehensive and inclusive volume that presents almost encyclopedic knowledge of theories, concepts, history, methods, problems, laws, and careers. Any scholar or practitioner who wants to appreciate the scope of global social work will want this book as a part of their library." -- Jean K. Quam, PhD, Dean, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

"This is a monumental masterpiece that is destined to become a classic text for students, scholars and practitioners interested in international social work across the globe. It is comprehensive, analytical, and thought-provoking, and is able to capture the dynamic interplay between global issues and local practice in a most powerful and captivating manner. Written by distinguished authors from diverse national and cultural backgrounds, the Handbook has not only enriched our understanding of global issues confronting the international social work community, but has also rekindled our sense of responsibility for social change and development through global action and international collaboration." -- Angelina Yuen, PhD, Professor and Vice President, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and President, International Association of Schools of Social Work

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Lynne M. Healy and Rosemary J. Link

    SECTION I. Theories and Concepts Underlying International Social Work
    2. Defining International Social Work
    Lynne M. Healy
    3. Globalization
    Maureen Wilson
    4. Development
    James Midgley
    5. Human Rights and Their Relevance for Social Work as Theory and Practice
    Silvia Staub-Bernasconi
    6. Social Exclusion and Inclusion
    Karen Lyons and Nathalie Huegler
    7. Social Justice
    Dorothee Hölscher

    SECTION II. History
    8. The History of the Development of Social Work
    Lynne M. Healy
    9. Claiming Women's Places in the World: Social Workers' Roles in Eradicating Gender Inequalities Globally
    Lena Dominelli

    SECTION III. International Social Work Practice
    10. Work With Immigrants and Refugees
    Uma A. Segal
    11. International Adoption
    Karen Smith Rotabi
    12. Trauma Counseling
    Allison Rowlands
    13. International Social Service: Addressing the Need for Intercountry Casework
    Felicity Northcott, Julie Gilbert Rosicky, Andy Elvin, Jean Ayoub, and Christine Lambert
    14. Social Development and Social Work
    Doreen Elliott
    15. Disaster Relief and Management: Readiness, Response, and Recovery
    Golam M. Mathbor
    16. Representing Social Work at the United Nations and Other International Bodies
    Robin Mama
    17. Cultural Efficacy in Communication and Practice in Global Context
    Lois Bosch
    18. Cultural Conflict and Conflict Resolution
    Ngoh Tiong Tan

    SECTION IV. Global Social Issues
    19. Global Ageing: Implications for International Social Work
    M. C. "Terry" Hokenstad and Moon Choi
    20. Child Abuse and Neglect
    Letnie F. Rock
    21. Child Labor and Work
    Dennis J. Ritchie
    22. Child Soldiers
    Joanne Corbin
    23. Children in and of the Street
    Kristin M. Ferguson
    24. Community Violence
    Horace Levy
    25. Drugs: Addictions and Trafficking
    Katherine van Wormer
    26. Employment, Unemployment, and Decent Work
    Tatsuru Akimoto
    27. Environmental Degradation and Preservation
    Christina L. Erickson
    28. Ethnic Conflicts
    Darja Zavirsek and Jelka Zorn
    29. HIV/AIDS: The Global Pandemic
    Hugo Kamya
    30. Human Trafficking
    Jini L. Roby
    31. Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Survival
    Jay T. Johnson and Michael Yellow Bird
    32. Mental Health
    Janice Wood Wetzel
    33. Migration and Refugees
    Karen Lyons and Nathalie Huegler
    34. Natural and Human-Caused Disasters
    Michael J. Zakour
    35. Poverty and Human Needs
    Vimla Nadkarni and Govind Dhaske
    36. Racism and Antiracist Strategies
    Narda Razack
    37. SARS: A Case of a Global Health Threat
    Ngoh Tiong Tan
    38. Status of Women
    Susan Mapp
    39. Veterans, Soldiers, and Military Families: The Role of Social Work
    Jesse Harris
    40. Violence Against Women
    Susan Mapp
    41. Youth
    Lincoln O. Williams

    SECTION V. International Profession and Professional Organizations
    42. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
    Nigel Hall
    43. International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)
    Lynne M. Healy
    44. International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)
    Denys Correll
    45. International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD)
    Frank B. Raymond and Charles "Chuck" Cowger
    46. Global Ethical Principles and Dilemmas
    Elaine Congress

    SECTION VI. Organizations and Institutions Involved in International Social Work
    47. The United Nations Agencies
    Stuart Wilson
    48. Nongovernmental Organizations and Global Social Change
    Kathryn Libal and Scott Harding
    49. Regulators of the Global Economy: The IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO
    Peta-Anne Baker with Kimberly Hinds

    SECTION VII. International Social Work Education and Research
    50. Models of Internationalizing Curriculum
    Lynne M. Healy and Rosemary J. Link
    51. International Field Placements
    Pat Lager and Sally Mathiesen
    52. Models of International Exchange
    Rosemary J. Link and Gabi Cacinovic Vogrincic
    53. Using Technology for International Education and Research
    Thomas P. Felke and Goutham M. Menon
    54. Comparative Cross-National Research (World Census)
    Angeline Barretta-Herman

    SECTION VIII. Social Work Around the World
    55. Social Work in Africa
    Lengwe-Katembula Mwansa
    56. Social Work in Asia
    Ngoh Tiong Tan
    57. Social Work in Australia and New Zealand
    Carolyn Noble and Mary Nash
    58. Social Work in the Caribbean
    Peta-Anne Baker and John Maxwell
    59. Social Work in Europe
    Annamaria Campanini
    60. Social Work in Latin America
    Irene Queiro-Tajalli
    61. Social Work in North America
    Julia Watkins (United States), Therese Jennissen and Colleen Lundy (Canada)

    SECTION IX. Poverty and Development
    62. International Social Development Projects
    Lorne Jaques and W. Duffie VanBalkom
    63. Measuring Social Well-Being
    Lynne M. Healy
    64. Microcredit: A Development Strategy for Poverty Reduction
    Rebecca L. Thomas
    65. Variations and Issues of Survival of European Welfare State Models in the Twenty-First Century
    Sven Hessle

    SECTION X. Human Rights
    66. Overview of Human Rights: The UN Conventions and Machinery
    Joseph Wronka
    67. Women and the Human Rights Framework
    Elizabeth Reichert
    68. Children's Rights
    Rosemary J. Link
    69. Human Rights of People With Disabilities
    Gunn Strand Hutchinson
    70. Human Rights and Sexual Orientation
    Gary Bailey

    SECTION XI. Conclusions: Toward the Future
    71. International Careers in Social Work
    Amy Bess and Rosemary J. Link
    72. International Labor Mobility in Social Work
    Karen Lyons and Nathalie Huegler
    73. Conclusion
    Rosemary J. Link

    A. IASSW/IFSW Ethics in Social Work: Statement of Principles
    B. Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession
    C. The Millennium Development Goals and Targets
    D. The IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support: A Quick Guide for Social Workers
    Martha Bragin