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Introduction to Social Work, Fourth Edition

The People's Profession

Fourth Edition

Ira Colby and Sophia F. Dziegielewski

Publication Date - 01 July 2015

ISBN: 9780190615666

480 pages
5.8 x 8.4 inches

In Stock


There are certain questions that all students considering social work ask. Who are social workers? What is it that social workers do? How is the social work profession changing? What does it take to become a social worker? Ira Colby and Sophia Dziegielewski bring their decades of experience in social work practice and education to answer these questions.

This engaging text gives readers a practical guide to the many ways in which social workers effect change in their communities and the world. The authors offer an overview and history of the profession; introduce readers to the practice of social work at the micro, mezzo, and macro level; and finally look closely at the many settings and populations that social workers work with. While realistically portraying the pressures and obstacles that social workers face, Colby and Dziegielewski communicate their own passion for social work.

New to this Edition

  • Addresses the new 2015 EPAS
  • Significant updates have been made to reflect political, demographic, and legal changes of the past five years
  • New content on diversity has been incorporated throughout, including information related to work with Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, and the Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Biographies of social workers highlight a variety of opportunities and career paths
  • Activities ask readers to engage personally and critically with the material to examine their own assumptions, thoughts, and goals
  • "Did you know..." features throughout the text call attention to the unexpected and unique aspects of the profession
  • Extensive glossary with clear, applicable definitions of relevant concepts
  • Updated instructor's manual includes sample syllabi, student projects, and a complete test bank

About the Author(s)

Ira Colby (MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University; PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is professor of Social Work at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. He served as the college's dean for fifteen years as well as developing and directing the baccalaureate social work program at Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA. He was a faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington, and directed a new school of social work at the University of Central Florida. Colby has held many positions nationally, including past president of the Council on Social Work Education, and internationally, serving on the International Association of Schools of Social Work board of directors. He received his BS degree from Springfield College, his MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his DSW from the University of Pennsylvania. He is widely published and has presented papers at state, national, and international meetings and forums. His passions are golf, running, and family, not necessarily in that order.

Sophia F. Dziegielewski (MSW, PhD, Florida State University) is professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Central Florida. She also is chair of the Institutional Review Board for this large metropolitan university of over 60,000 students. Previously, she served as dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, and taught in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama, the Departments of Family and Preventive Medicine and Psychiatry at Meharry Medical College, the School of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, and the U.S. Army Military College at Fort Benning, GA. She also serves as editor for the Journal of Social Service Research. She is widely published with over 135 publications to her credit including eight textbooks and numerous articles and book chapters.

Table of Contents

    Part I The Context of Social Work
    1. Social Work: The Profession
    2. Social Welfare: A System's Response to Personal Issues and Public Problems
    3. How Did We Get Here from There?
    4. So You Want to Be a Social Worker!
    Part II The Practice of Social Work
    5. Social Work Practice
    6. Recognizing Diversity and Applying It to Generalist Practice
    Part III Settings for Social Work Practice
    7. Poverty and Income Maintenance
    8. Child Welfare Services
    9. Health Care
    10. Mental Health
    11. Older Adults
    12. Domestic Violence
    13. Social Work Advocacy in the Political Arena
    Part IV Expanding Horizons for Social Work
    14. Global Social Welfare
    15. Conclusion