Social Work Matters

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Social Work Matters

The Power of Linking Policy and Practice

By: Elizabeth F. Hoffler, MSW, ACSW , Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

Publication date: 2012
ISBN: 978-0-87101-485-6
Categories: Practice & Policy

In Social Work Matters: The Power of Linking Policy and Practice, Elizabeth F. Hoffler and Elizabeth J. Clark bring home the truth embodied in that title for practitioners and researchers in a comprehensive range of settings. At heart, the book argues that social work matters because the profession is absolutely necessary to the healthy functioning of society.

The premise for this book emerged, in part, from the breadth and depth of social work services. The chapters that Hoffler and Clark have gathered portray what different kinds of social workers do on a daily basis, opening up the world of practice—in all its intensity and gravity—so that this often misunderstood and sometimes undervalued profession can be appreciated on an unprecedentedly intimate level.

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Title information

Social justice is the fuel that drives social workers and what sets social work apart from other professions. Social workers form the front line of defense for their clients and make up the threads of society’s social safety net. The strength of that net, however, depends not just on the strengths of social workers, but also on the social policies that undergird their practice, defining the horizons of possibility—for themselves and their clients—in specific situations.

In Social Work Matters: The Power of Linking Policy and Practice, Elizabeth F. Hoffler and Elizabeth J. Clark bring home the truth embodied in that title for practitioners and researchers in a comprehensive range of settings. At heart, the book argues that social work matters because the profession is absolutely necessary to the healthy functioning of society.

The premise for this book emerged, in part, from the breadth and depth of social work services. The chapters that Hoffler and Clark have gathered portray what different kinds of social workers do on a daily basis, opening up the world of practice—in all its intensity and gravity—so that this often misunderstood and sometimes undervalued profession can be appreciated on an unprecedentedly intimate level.

In addition, chapter authors link the direct practice side of social work with critical policy and advocacy components of the profession, so the book as a whole explores the transition from micro-level service—working directly to improve the lives of individuals—to the macro-level work of altering our social systems and institutions through broad social action and advocacy.

Social work is more than just a “value added”—it is essential to ensuring that our country continues to provide opportunity, ensure equity, and help millions of individuals as they seek to fulfill their potential. Readers of this book will understand that truth as never before—just how much social work matters and will continue to do so.

Pages: 322
Language: English
Publisher: NASW PRESS
Edition: 1
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Elizabeth F. Hoffler, MSW, ACSW

Elizabeth F. Hoffler, MSW, ACSW, is currently director of Policy and Advocacy at the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to save lives through cancer prevention and early detection. Ms. Hoffler engages lawmakers, policymakers, key opinion leaders, and grassroots advocates to stop cancer before it starts through the promotion of issues such as cancer research funding, patient access, and health care equity. Ms. Hoffler was previously Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Policy Analyst at the National Association of Social Workers where she advised the CEO on key planning, strategic, and policy issues and managed special projects within the association. She also worked within the advocacy and social policy department, serving as a federal lobbyist, supervising the association’s federal political action committee, and managing the Social Work Reinvestment Initiative, which sought to secure federal and state investments in professional social work to enhance societal well-being. Ms. Hoffler is coeditor ofSocial Work Matters: The Power of Linking Policy and Practice and served as coeditor for the special issue of Health & Social Work focused on social work with service members, veterans, and their families. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where she is focusing on public policy and political decision making. Ms. Hoffler has an MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BSW from the University of Kentucky. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, is the former chief executive officer of the National Association of Social Workers, a position she held from 2001 to 2013. She also served as the president of the NASW Foundation and as director of Social Workers Across Nations. Her background is health care with a specialization in oncology. She has worked in direct clinical practice and has held academic positions, including an associate professorship in health professions at Montclair State University (NJ) and an associate professorship of medical oncology at Albany Medical College (NY). Dr. Clark has published articles about the social work and health care workforce, social policy, and public health, as well as clinical topics such as illness and loss, hope and survivorship. She is coeditor of Social Work Matters: The Power of Linking Policy and Practice. Dr. Clark serves as vice chair of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is on the board of directors of C-Change, Collaborating to Conquer Cancer and the National Hospice Foundation. She is a member of the advisory council for the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota and is the Social Work Advisor for the Case Management Society of America. She is the recipient of the Brudny Social Work Award in Mental Health and the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professorship at Texas Christian University. Dr. Clark holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work and a master’s of public health from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree and doctorate in medical sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Wartburg College (IA).