Social work promotes “social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people” through central tenets of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversity (International Federation of Social Workers [ISFW], 2014, para. 2). Founded upon theories of social work, social sciences, humanities, and Indigenous knowledge, “social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing” (ISFW, 2014, para. 2).
Social work utilizes multiple skills, knowledge, ethics, and values in numerous areas, including direct practice (for example, at the micro level, in clinical social work), group work (for example, at the meso level, in schools), and social community development (for example, at the macro level, in community social work).
Social work addresses the interplay between people and their natural and built environments. Through synthesis of a range of skills, techniques, strategies, principles, activities, and other efforts, social work practice spans a range of activities, such as therapy and counseling, group work, community work, policy formulation and analysis, advocacy, and political intervention at various systems levels. Social work strategies are often aimed at increasing people’s hope, self-esteem, and creative potential to confront and challenge oppressive power dynamics and structural sources of historical injustices. The holistic focus of social work is universal, but the priorities of social work practice differ according to historical, cultural, political, socioeconomic, and other backgrounds (IFSW, 2014).
In Disaster Research
Social work raises disaster awareness, provides support and trauma relief, addresses social vulnerabilities, empowers human dignity, promotes recovery, and contributes to different levels of resilience through social and physical inventions including community organizing and clinical counseling before, during, and after disasters (“Disaster Social Work,” 2018).
Disaster Social Work (2018). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_Social_Work
International Federation of Social Workers. (2014). Global Definition of Social Work. Retrieved August 8, 2018, from https://www.ifsw.org/what-is-social-work/global-definition-of-social-work/