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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Ecological Social Work

Towards Sustainability

ISBN 9781137401359
Publication Date June 2016
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

The world is on the brink of ecological crisis. In the last decade we have seen a number of catastrophic events that illustrate this, including the 2004 tsunami across the Pacific, which killed over 150,000 people, and Hurricane Katrina in the United States, which left thousands dead and millions displaced. As the frequency and scale of environmental disasters has increased, social workers have found themselves on the front line of crisis interventions, working to ensure that the basic needs of communities are met.

This evocative, highly thought-provoking book encourages social workers to incorporate an awareness of the physical environment into their work with individuals, groups and communities. Written by an international group of experts and led by two of the top names in the field, it offers an examination of key theoretical concepts combined with specific guidance on developing an ecological social work practice in a variety of situations – from daily life in urban communities to post-disaster sites – from areas across the globe.

A fresh new perspective on a topic that gains greater significance day by day, Ecological Social Work calls for practitioners to use their skills in speaking on behalf of the vulnerable to lend their voice to the physical environment: to bring forward the stories of those marginalised by environmental disaster in order to lead creative solutions to this most fundamental of crises.

Professor Margaret Alston OAM is Head of Department of Social Work at Monash University, Australia, where she has also established the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit.

Professor Jennifer McKinnon practiced social work in a range of fields before entering academia, where she taught and researched for over twenty years. She retired in 2015 as Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Charles Sturt University Australia.

1. Conceptual and Historical Analysis of Ecological Social Work; Aila-Leena Matthies and Kati Närhi
2. Social Development and Sustainability; Julie Drolet, Haorui Wu, and Allyson Dennehy
3. Developing Ecological Social Work for Micro Level Practice; Heather Boetto
4. Building Sustainable Urban Communities; Joke Vandenabeele, Katrien Van Poek and Jef Peeters 
5. Rural Community Sustainability; Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury and Deb Western
6. Social Impact Assessment for Social Workers; Peter Raymaekers
7. Ecological Social Work in a Developing Nation: Africa; Robin L. Ersing, Jesse SeyAyivor, Osman Alhassan, Kiki Caruson
8. Grassroots Ecological Social Work in India; Satu Ranta-Tyrkko and Arpita Das
9. Social work in post-disaster sites; Margaret Alston, Tricia Hazeleger and Desley Hargraves
10. A Safe and Just Space for Humanity: the Need for a New Concept of Well-being; Jef Peeters 
11. Empowerment, Resilience and Social Capital: Building Blocks for a Sustainability Transition; Jef Peeters
12. Developing an Individual Professional Ecological Practice Framework; Margaret Alston, Aila-Leena Matthies, and Jennifer McKinnon.


McKinnon and Alston have created an important resource for social work students, practitioners and academics who are concerned about social work's response to the global ecological crisis – the most pressing issue of our time.' – Dr Justin Rogers, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Bath, UK
'Jennifer McKinnon and Margaret Alston's edited collection provides a comprehensive overview of the key theoretical, policy, and practice concerns that link the environment and social work, in both developed and developing countries.' – Dr Carolyn Snell, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of York, UK
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