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This entry describes the diversity among Asian American populations, setting the context to understand the need for different practice interventions. It explains the role of cultural values in the underpinnings of the selection of theoretical frameworks that guide chosen practice interventions. Indigenous and biculturalizations of interventions (Fong, Boyd, & Browne, 1997) are discussed as they relate to general and specific problems relevant to this population. Challenges and dilemmas are raised as ethical decisions are made among practitioners, who serve the Asian American native born, immigrant, and refugee populations.
This entry briefly profiles the dynamic fusion, fluidity, and future of South Asians in America. While Diaspora India is emblematic of immigrant culture as a whole, South Asian duality still remains uniquely enigmatic. People from South Asia represent a confluence of diversity and complexity that calls for understanding and acceptance as a model to deconstruct a tolerant and successful pluralist society.
The end of the Viet Nam war, officially concluded on April 30, 1975, created a global diaspora from the Southeast Asian region. The geographic diversity reflects equally the diversity in language, religion, and ethnicity in the people who settled in the United States. The inherent diversity in refugee experiences and personal backgrounds has produced unequal personal and social adjustment among the three ethnic groups in their resettlement over the years. In general, Southeast Asian refugees have attained social integration as their offspring are developing an ethnic identity as members of the second- or third-generation of U.S.-born Americans.
Catheleen Jordan and Cynthia Franklin
Assessment is an ongoing process of data collection aimed at identifying client strengths and problems. Early assessment models were based on psychoanalytic theory; however, current assessment is based on brief, evidence-based practice models. Both quantitative and qualitative methods may be used to create an integrative skills approach that links assessment to intervention. Specifically, assessment guides treatment planning, as well as informs intervention selection and monitoring.
Since 1991, a new policy discussion has arisen in the United States and other countries, focusing on building assets as a complement to traditional social policy based on income. In fact, asset-based policy already exists in the United States, with large public subsidies. But the policy is regressive, benefiting the rich far more than the poor. The goal should be a universal and progressive asset-based policy. One promising pathway may be Child Development Accounts beginning at birth, with greater public deposits for the poorest children.
This entry presents introductory information on asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants in the United States, including distinctions among them, major regions of origin, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, challenges in social and cultural adaptation, and best practices for social work with these populations.
Attachment Research, Developmental Implications, and Clinical Interventions with Children, Adults, and Couples
This review summarizes contributions to attachment theory and research by John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, and many other researchers. It addresses contributions from the Adult Attachment Interview to the understanding of loss and trauma as well as the intergenerational transmission of attachment patterns from parent to child. The review describes current findings from infant research, and the implications of attachment theory to clinical interventions with children, families, adults, and couples.
Steven P. Segal
Social workers are increasingly working in authoritative settings—that is, settings where they have the power to mandate conformity by the client to the normative and often legal requirements of the organization. Such settings may be residential, such as jails, prisons, and rehabilitation facilities, or community-based organizations that are part of the criminal justice system, the mental health system, the health system, and the child welfare system. The exercise of power derived from the authority vested in the setting’s objectives may and often does alter the total life situation of an individual, such as when a client is compelled to move to supervised care without the client’s consent. Under an outpatient civil commitment order or mental health court supervision, the patient may be told where to live and with whom to associate as well as be required to participate in interactive treatment and to take medication. In authoritative settings, social workers are working with “involuntary” clients—clients who understand, whether or not it is explicitly stated, that the social worker possesses the power to effect unwanted change in their life circumstance. Since the early 1990s, the field has been developing new ideas and skills that are equally useful in working with voluntary and involuntary clients. In the process, social worker authority is now viewed less as a way to gain client compliance and, instead, is understood more as an opportunity to build partnerships with clients that lead to changes that are enduring and more meaningful to clients.
Larry D. Williams, Blenda Crayton, and Agha Erum Agha
The history of social work education is replete with accounts of how the early charity organizations influenced its development. For example, Toynbee Hall in London inspired the founding of Hull House in Chicago as well as the London Charity Organization, the Women’s University Settlement, and the National Union of Women Workers. In addition, Octavia Hill established one of the first training programs in social work education that emphasized the principles for helping impoverished clients. The program was later expanded in 1890 into a one-year program of courses and supervised practice. Later, the program expanded to outlying areas and provinces and eventually evolved into two-year programs of study at the London School of Sociology
Defining today’s baccalaureate social workers as entry-level professionals is indeed a paradigm shift. Tracy Whitaker, Toby Weismiller, and Elizabeth Clark stated in their 2006 work, “Clearly, the social work profession is at a crossroad. If there are to be adequate numbers of social workers to respond to the needs of clients in the 21st century and beyond, the sufficiency of this frontline workforce, must not only be ensured, it must be prioritized.” In our ever-changing society, the social work profession must rethink the various levels of the profession and recognize, as well as promote, a professional career trajectory that embraces the baccalaureate social work professional. Administrators and faculty of each social work program are responsible for ensuring that students are competent, and that they possess skill sets that will elevate their marketable in a competitive workforce. Recruiting new social workers, replacing retiring social workers, and retaining social workers in the profession are all needed.
Paul H. Stuart
Roger Nash Baldwin (1884–1981) was a social worker and progressive reformer. In 1914 he co-authored the first juvenile justice textbook. Jailed in 1918 for refusing to register for the draft, he went on to found the American Civil Liberties Union.