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International Social Work

International Social Work
Issues, Strategies, and Programs

Second Edition

January 2013 | 640 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
International Social Work: Issues, Strategies, and Programs, Second Edition draws together the practice wisdom emerging within the broad scope of international social work practice and its role in contributing to the international community's efforts in combating the major global social problems of poverty, conflict and postconflict reconstruction, the development of countries and disadvantaged populations, migration and displacement, and the needs of specific populations such as child soldiers and AIDS orphans. Utilizing an integrated perspectives approach incorporating global, human rights, ecological and social development perspectives, the International Social Work, 2e is designed to prepare social workers, human services professionals, development practitioners who desire to play significant roles in responding to modern global challenges that are critical to the well-being of people, communities, nations and ultimately of us all.
1. International Social Work
Social Work

The Global Spread and Organization of Social Work

International Social Work


2. The Integrated-perspectives Approach to International Social Work
The Global Perspective

The Human Rights Perspective

The Ecological Perspective

The Social Development Perspective

The Integrated-perspectives Approach as a Whole

The Integrated-perspectives Approach and Existing Social Work Theories

The Application of the Integrated-perspectives Approach to International Social Work


3. The Global Context of International Social Work

The Global Social Problems Context

The Organizational Context

The Ideological Context

The Emerging Policy Context: The Emergence of Global Social and Economic Policy and of International Law, and the Significance of These for International Social Work Practice


4. Basic Programs and Strategies for International Social Work


Capacity Building

Self-help and Self-reliance

Enhancing Social Integration or Social Cohesion


Community Development


5. The Field of Development: Background and Issues
Global Development Since 1945: The Various Paths to Development

Local-level Development


6. The Field of Development: Programs and Strategies
Local-level Development

Goals and Strategies Pertaining to Local-level Development

Key Strategies and Programs Appropriate to Local-level Development

The Place for Integrated Comprehensive Programs


7. The Field of Poverty: Background and Issues
Perspectives on Poverty: The Integrated-Perspectives Approach and Poverty

Global Poverty: Current Dimensions and Trends

Global Poverty: The Various Types or Facets of Poverty

Globalization and Poverty

The Poverty of the United Nations’ List of Least Developed Countries

Globally Induced Poverty

Poverty and the Development Process

Subsistence Poverty

Rural Poverty

Urban Poverty

Poverty and Specific Population Categories

Consequential Poverty

Definitions and Forms of Poverty


8. The Field of Poverty: Programs and Strategies
Poverty Alleviation in Context

A Model of Poverty Alleviation for International Social Work

Poverty Alleviation Programs and Strategies Used in International Social Work


9. The Field of Conflict and Post-conflict Reconstruction: Background and Issues
The Integrated-perspectives Approach and Conflict and Peace Issues

The Extent and Nature of Modern Conflict

The Role of the United Nations

The Role of Global Civil Society

The Postconflict Response

The Postconflict Situation and the Postconflict Reconstruction Agenda

The Humanitarian Aid Debate


10. The Field of Conflict and Postconflict Reconstruction: Programs and Strategies
Implementing the Comprehensive Postconflict Agenda

Some Key Areas of International Social Work in the Postconflict Situation

Delivering Psychosocial Programs

Rebuilding Communities

Securing and Maintaining Peace and Promoting Reconciliation


11. The Field of Migration and Labor Migration: Background and Issues
The Integrated Perspectives Approach to Migration

Global Migration

Labor Market Migration

Migrant Workers

Irregular Workers

Trafficked Persons


12. The Field of Displacement and Forced Migration: Background and Issues
Forced Migration: The Presenting Situation and Its Background

The Nature of Forced Migration in the Contemporary World

Forced Migration Movements and Numbers in Recent Times

A Critical Analysis of the Forced Migration Situation

Specific Aspects of International Social Work’s Involvement in Forced Migration Situations


13. The Field of Migration: Programs and Strategies
Labor Migration

Displacement and Forced Migration

A General Overview of Social Work Programs in Forced Migration Situations

Some Specific Programs and Strategies for Responding to Various Forced Migration Situations

Humanitarian Aid and Its Distribution

Programs Humanizing Existing Conditions

Trauma Counseling Programs

Support Programs

Social and Recreational Programs

Children’s Education and Psychosocial Programs

Services for Refugee Women

Family Reunion Programs

Repatriation Programs

Integration Programs

Human Rights Programs

Legal Programs

Community Development Programs


14. International Social Work With Specific Populations
Street Children

Child Laborers

Orphans and the HIV/AIDS Crisis

Child Soldiers

Youth in Developing Countries

Elderly Persons in Developing Countries

Persons with Disability in Developing Countries


15. International Organizations – Roles for Social Workers and Preparation of Social Workers for International Social Work
International Organizations

Roles for Social Workers in International Organizations

Preparation of Social Workers for International Social Work Practice


16. Challenges for International Social Work for the Twenty-first Century
The Way Ahead for International Social Work: Where Should International Social Work Be Heading in the Twenty-first Century?

Changes Required to Social Work Education

Changes Required to Social Work Practice

Careers in International Social Work: Social Work

Graduates’ Response to International Social Work

The Global Organization of Social Work


Appendix A: International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)
Appendix B: Acronyms
Appendix C: Useful Websites
About the Authors

This is an absolute for any student on MA social work course - it provides policy and legal frameworks as well as critical debate.

Mrs Toni Benaton
Britannia Mill Campus, Derby University
June 5, 2019

A comprehensive guide to the international social work that includes a variety of useful case examples.

Mr Andrzej Klimczuk
Social Science , Warsaw School of Economics
August 14, 2015

It was the most appropriate textbook I was able to find for teaching an undergraduate course I developed on International Human Services at Elon University. I'll be using it again in fall 2015 because my students found it useful.

Dr Carmen Monico
Human Services Dept, Elon University
November 10, 2014

Broad ranging text which provides a very useful resouce on key issues and stratagems for students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Ms Roma Thomas
Health & Social Sciences, Educ. Ctr., Bedfordshire Univ.
September 19, 2014

Currently using as a supplement for my SW222/policy course.

Ms Dorisa Slaughter
Humanities, West Kentucky Cmty/Tech Clg
July 17, 2014

I would highly recommend this book to any practitioner and academic who is interested in the different ways that social work is practised world wide, as the authors have provided an extensive and informative perspective on social work and the political climates that operate in different parts of the worlds.

Forced migration and program strategies illustrate the difficulties that ordinarily in the west are taken for granted and how social work practitioners have to be able to understand and work within the politics of the majority and contend with trying to advocate for the minority that is not easily attainable within a neutral position.

Mr Robert Bielby
faculty of health and social care sciences, Kingston University
July 14, 2013

A very good book for students considering international work, also for MA students moving into other sectors.

Dr Kim Robinson
Social Work (Medway), University of Kent
June 18, 2013

This book is essential reading for our final year students during their Social Work and Globalisation module.

Dr Trevor Rodgers-Gray
Teaching, Health and Care, Bradford College
May 13, 2013
Key features

Key Features

  • Provides an integrated perspectives approach to international social work and social development practice to give readers alternative theoretical frameworks not found in other books
  • Focuses on the experience of teaching and practicing international social work, rather than reflecting on the field
  • Includes tables, chapter summaries, learning exercises and questions, possible research areas, and recommended readings to prompt critical thinking and classroom discussion
  • Most recent research on indigenous social work, the expansion of international social work, particularly in Asia, and the recent literature relevant to international social work.
  • Updated references, and literature on all the major global problems confronting the international community including development aid, effectiveness and the Millennium Development Goals and progress in relation to them, and to the impact of globalization. 
  • Updated data on global poverty and its reduction including the least developed countries and the relationship between globalization and poverty
  • New chapter on the Global Spread and Organization on to address the growing importance of the many features of global migration and introduces global migration from several perspectives including labor migration, forced migration, and Trafficked Persons.
  • New sections on child soldiers, youth in developing countries, the elderly in developing countries, and persons with disabilities in developing countries.
  • New chapter on international organizations from a social work perspective, the preparation of international social workers, and the types of roles that social workers commonly undertake in these organizations.

Two new paragraphs have been inserted. One provides an outline of the international context relevant to the text, and the second outlines the changes in the second edition. The organization section has also been amended in accordance with the changes to chapters' content.
Chapter 1:
This chapter has been edited to reflect, in particular, recent discussions on indigenous ocial work, the expansion of social work internationally in recent years, partricularly in Asia, and the recent literature relevant to international social work. References and the Further Reading section have been updated.
Chapter 2:
This chapter has undergone only minor changes, especially to include reference to recent relevant literature. The Further Reading section has been updated.
Chapter 3:
In outlining the international context of international social work, this chapter includes data on the major global problems confronting the international community. These data have been updated. There are also minor changes and cittaions of recent literature throughout the chapter, while the Further Reading section has been amended accordingly.
Chapter 4:
There are minor changes only to this chapter, largely reflecting the recent literature. The Further Reading section has been amended.
Chapter 5:
The data relating to development aid, and the literature pertaining to aid effectiveness and the Millennium Development Goals and progress in relation to them, and to the impact of globalization, are reflected in the minor changes made to this chapter. The Further Reading section has also been amended accordingly.
Chapter 6:
There are minor changes only to this hapter and one additional case example included. There are new references throughout and a revised Further Reading list.
Chapter 7:
Data on global poverty and its reduction have been updated, as has the material on the Least Developed Countries. The recent literature on poverty reduction, including on the relationahip between globalization and poverty, is reflected throughout in the minor changes made. There are also some new Further Readings.
Chapter 8:
The minor changes reflect the recent literature, with some new Further Reading.
Chapter 9:
The data on conflict has been updated and a few recent examples included. The minor changes throughout reflect the recent literature, as do the changes to the Further Reading.
Chapter 10:
This chapter has a new introduction and only minor changes, including to the Further Reading.
Chapter 11:
This is a new chapter brought in because of the growing importance of the many features of global migration, both generally but especially for national and international social work. The chapter introduces global migration from several perspectives and indicates that discussion here will be confined to labor migration and forced migration. The rest of the chapter is then devoted to labor migration, focusing on its causes and nature, definitional and status issues, and how the presentation of the phenomenon relates to international social work. The final section is on Trafficked Persons.
Chapter 12:
This is the original chapter 11, omitting material pertaining to labor and illegal migration and focusing only on forced migration. It has been edited to reflect more recent data on forced migration and more recent literature. There are additional references throughout and changes to the Further Reading.
Chapter 13:
This is the original chapter 12, modified to include the material on programs and strategies pertaining to labor migration, including what was in the original chapter 13. It has a new introduction and the section on labor migration is largely new. This section is, however, short, reflecting the minimal involvement of international social work to date in labor migration. The greater part of the chapter addresses displacement and forced migration, as was the case in the priginal chapter 12. This material then has only minor changes and some additional references. The end sections related to further work have been modified to reflect the changes in the chapter.
Chapter 14:
This is the original chapter 13 which included a section on migrant workers. That section has now been moved to either chapter 11 or 13 and partly rewritten. Then to expand the range of specific population examples, new sections have been included on child soldiers, youth in developing countries, the elderly in developing countries, amd persons with disabilities in developing countries. The remainlng sections of the originl chapter 13 have been edited in the light of recent data and literature, but with no significant changes to the material on working with each of these populations.
Chapter 15:
This is a completely new chapter. It amplifies the discussion on international organizations found in chapter 3 and provides a number of descriptive examples from a social work perspective. The second section looks at the types of roles that social workers commonly undertake in these organizations. The most important section is, however, that pertaining to the preparation of social workers for international social work, whether as students engaged in social work education or as social work graduates. All of the literature referred to in this chapter is new to this edition.
Chapter 16:
This is the original chapter 14. The relatively minor changes to it reflect recent developments discussed in the recent literature pertaining to international social work.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

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