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The Practice of Social Work in North America

Culture, Context, and Competency Development

Kip Coggins

Publication Date - 01 April 2016

ISBN: 9780190656386

388 pages

In Stock


Kip Coggins offers a fresh perspective on social work as he discusses practices in Canada and the United States. This is the first book to discuss the skills and insights necessary for practicing social work in either country. Practicing Social Work in North America provides readers with a thorough and sensitive look at the historical, cultural, and environmental contexts of social work practice with individuals, groups, and in larger settings. The book includes in-depth presentations of the theories upon which social work practice is based, but encourages readers to continuously evaluate the application of these approaches in light of evolving practice issues. Alternative views and voices-including those of minority populations, Indigenous Peoples, and socially diverse groups-further social work knowledge and skill development to reflect contemporary social change. This is a book that students will use throughout their education and careers-from introduction, to field practicum, to their first years as a professional.


  • Connects practice skills to both the US core competencies and Canadian Core Learning Objectives
  • Includes detailed case studies with examples of diverse clients in a range of social work settings
  • Includes a stand-alone chapter dedicated to Indigenous-Centered Practice

About the Author(s)

Kip Coggins (MSW, Michigan State University; PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) is associate professor of social work at New Mexico Highlands University. He has taught and practiced social work in the United States, Canada, and Mexico working largely with marginalized and underserved groups. He has previously published books on social work in correctional settings, culturally diverse approaches to healing, and skill building for field work.


I found the book's approach and content refreshing. It is comprehensive in its coverage of all levels of social work practice, and the integration of diversity material is exceptional, indeed the best I have ever seen in a general social work textbook. -Eleanor Downey, Lewis and Clark State College

Table of Contents

    1. Social Work Education in North America
    2. Canadian and American Codes of Ethics
    3. Social Justice and Anti-Oppressive Practice
    4. Multiculturalism and Cultural Competence in Social Work
    5. The Individualized Worldview
    6. Getting Started with Clients
    7. Research and Evidence-Informed Practice in Social Work
    8. Indigenous North American Theory and Practice
    9. Early Euro-Western Theories and Techniques
    10. Theories of Individual Development
    11. Cognitive-Behavioural Theory and Practice
    12. Ecological Systems and Postmodern Practice Theories
    13. Family Practice Theories and Intervention
    14. Micro-Level Biopsychosocial-Cultural Assessment
    15. Case Management in Social Work
    16. Comprehensive Clinical Practice
    17. Social Work with Groups
    18. Organizational Theory and Practice
    19. Community Theory and Practice
    20. The History and Purpose of Field Instruction

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