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Trauma and Social Work Practice

The mission of social work is the enhancement of social justice and well-being for all people, particularly those who are vulnerable, oppressed, marginalized, and living in poverty. Because of the focus on these population groups, almost all clients served by social workers encounter numerous and diverse traumatic experiences. Typical examples of such individual, familial, or community traumas include being a survivor of domestic violence, rape, torture, or forced relocation; fleeing from a war zone or a natural disaster; growing up with an abusive, incarcerated, or mentally sick parent; parental divorce; the death or life-threatening disease of a loved one; homelessness; or living in a poor neighborhood with significant exposure to community violence and a high crime rate. Because multiple traumatic experiences exacerbate each other, social ...

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