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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Challenge of Existential Social Work Practice

ISBN 9781137528292
Publication Date August 2017
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Social work is being constantly shaped by external forces such as new information technology, managerialism, increased public accountability and programme risk management. Although an appreciation of how these forces impact on direct service is required, an exclusive focus on them can prevent social workers from genuinely embracing current practice opportunities.

Existentialism – a philosophy that emphasises our existence in the world as free and responsible agents helping to shape our own experiences through the choices we make – has influenced the development of social work almost from its origins. This ground-breaking text highlights social work’s existential heritage and the existential threats and challenges to current social work practice, and explores how existential philosophy can help direct service social workers find purpose and meaning in their daily practice in a radically uncertain and alienated twenty first century world.

This is a fascinating read from one of the leading scholars in existentialist social work, and an essential guide for today’s student and practitioner in the application of existential social work practice.

Mark Griffiths is a practising social worker in Melbourne, Australia, currently working in family violence. He has practised social work for 38 years. Previous practice includes management of two non-government agencies, direct practice in youth justice and child protection, senior policy advisor roles in justice and human services, and teaching and lecturing in community services and social work at Swinburne and Deakin Universities. He holds a Masters of Social Work from RMIT University, Australia.

Chapter 1: Being-in-a-social-work-world
Chapter 2: Immortal Social Work: the first existential social work practice
Chapter 3: Existential Social Work Comes of Age
Chapter 4: Existential Social Work Assessment and Intervention
Chapter 5: Existential Social Work in Social Policy, Social Movements and Team Work
Chapter 6: Creative Social Work and Existential Social Work
Chapter 7: Evidence-Based Practice and Existential Social Work
Chapter 8: Conclusion. 

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