How do economic stresses on the family, such as dual-earner parents, unemployment, and poverty, affect the human service professional's assessment of the families he or she serves? The field of family sociology is now providing a wealth of empirical, relevant knowledge on the impact of macroeconomic issues on the families most frequently helped by social workers. New Approaches to Family Practice takes current research driven by the family systems theoretical framework and applies it to human services direct practice with families in three specific areas: employed-work and family-work, unemployment, and poverty. To illustrate the linkages from research to practice, the book presents chapters on the theory and research in each of the three target areas, each followed by a chapter on application and tools for direct practice in that area. Individual chapters include case studies, assessment tools, multilevel interventions and evaluations, and strategies for social change. In addition to being a rich resource for the human services professional who works with families, this book is ideal for courses in social work with the family, social work and human services, family studies, and clinical/counseling psychology.

Introduction: Social Work Knowledge Building

Introduction: Social work knowledge building

In the United States and worldwide, a number of critical controversies focus on families and on negative and positive changes among diverse types of families. Social workers and other human service professionals, including direct service providers, administrators, program and policy practitioners, researchers, educators, and students, require up-to-date knowledge for effective practice.

Increasingly, stresses from economic changes at local, state, national, and even global levels are impacting families. Family stressors resulting from macroeconomic shifts include (a) decreasing wages, increases in dual-earner families, and potential role overload in both employed work and family work; (b) loss of high-wage unionized jobs in the manufacturing sector, with subsequent increases in unemployment and underemployment; and (c) increasing poverty, particularly among families with ...

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