Social inclusion and the role of social workers

Authors: Lee, S.

Pages: 2108-2122

ISBN: 9783030895938

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-89594-5_123


Social workers work with often marginalized people who experience forms of discrimination and oppression resulting in social exclusion. This chapter will critically discuss international perspectives about the core purpose of social work which is regulated, delivered, and experienced differently across the globe. The chapter will also explore how the profession operates on multiple social levels ranging from work with individuals to enhance well-being to work focused on supporting whole communities, and to work developing social policy, research, and knowledge. The international definition of social work (IFSW 2014) makes clear that the role of the profession is to promote social change through focusing practice on human well-being, human rights, and social justice, factors all closely aligned to inclusion in the social fabric within which people live. This chapter recognizes that forms of social work can promote social inclusion, but also reinforce social exclusion through, for example, its power derived from its statutory functions and relationship with government. The complexity of what can be termed "social work" is discussed, critically reflecting on the variety of functions and practice and their impact on exclusion. The chapter also explores how social work can empower people to be active participants in society by promoting the citizenship of excluded individuals, families, and communities. This includes how social work practitioners must address the discrimination and oppression which is often embedded within cultural norms and social structures.

Source: Scopus

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