A window into the life of a social worker

The Call to Social Work, Second Edition is a presentation of narrative descriptions about the work and life of a wide variety of contemporary social workers. The book provides an in-depth understanding of why people choose social work, how they garner meaning from their work, and what they struggle with as they provide needed services. Additionally, it presents more information about the everyday practice of social work, both the challenges and the joys. Instructors who use this book in their courses will be able to contrast their ideals of practice with the realities captured in each life story, while students who read the book will be able to think about whether each story represents good practice, or what principles they would adhere to based on their understanding of social work.

A Meaningful Path

A meaningful path

These social work stories demonstrate that each person finds his or her way to social work in a unique manner—personal experience, the desire to change the world, the desire to preserve the dignity of all people, or the need to do something that “matters.” Doing social work can be a struggle, but from that struggle can come greater meaning.

Questions to Consider While You Read

  • How does a professional social worker maintain balance in his or her job?
  • How do these stories represent a life “path” that is distinct from the path of other professions?
  • How do social workers cope with providing services to clients who do not welcome their services?
  • If most social workers' intent is to change the world and make a difference, ...
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