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Jill E. Manske
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the nation's largest health-care system, with 1,300 facilities providing health care to 5.6 million veterans. VA offers pension and compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education benefits, home loan guarantee, life insurance, and burial in national cemeteries. VA social workers have played key roles in the delivery of psychosocial and mental health services since 1926, creating seamless transition processes for combat veterans, care coordination programs for home health-care monitoring, and long-term case management for veterans with polytraumatic injuries. VA employs 4,500 M.S.W.s and trains 600–700 M.S.W. students each year.
Karen S. Knox
Social workers provide services for crime victims and their families in a variety of settings, including law enforcement, the court systems, corrections, and parole or probation. This entry presents a historical overview of the types of victim-services programs and models that have been developed since the beginning of the 20th century. Social-work roles and interventions in victim-services programs are discussed. The need for specialized education and training in crisis intervention, domestic violence, and child abuse is addressed, along with recent challenges and innovations in the field of victim services.
Joseph Vigilante (1925–2005) made contributions to the fields of international social work and neighborhood-based social services and promoted the rights of people with developmental and learning disabilities. He became Dean of Adelphi's School of Social Work in 1962.
Kenneth S. Carpenter
Robert Vinter (1921–2006) was an educator and consultant and worked at the University of Michigan School of Social Work for 31 years. He was well known for this work in the fields of juvenile delinquency and group work. He was a founding member of the National Association of Social Workers
Sheara A. Williams
Violence is a serious social issue that affects millions of individuals, families, and communities every year. It transcends across racial, age, gender, and socioeconomic groups, and is considered a significant public health burden in the United States. The purpose of this entry is to provide an overview of violence as a broad yet complicated concept. Definitional issues are discussed. Additional prevalence rates of select types of violence are presented in addition to risk and protective factors associated with violent behavior. The entry concludes with a summary of approaches to address violence in the context of prevention and intervention strategies.
Mary Pender Greene
Sociologists and social workers have long been invested in understanding the role of communities in shaping identities and influencing behavior; however, the study of virtual communities is still new despite the dramatic ways in which online social networks have replaced traditional, geographically bound conceptions of community. The present article briefly reviews some of the early theories of community that have influenced practically all scholars studying computer-mediated virtual communities. The focus then shifts toward an analysis of early, important theorists focusing on virtual communities. The article concludes by examining contemporary research and practices utilizing virtual communities in social work, with a particular emphasis on ways to integrate virtual communities into professional practice.
Lauren B. Gates
Vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, provided through a jointly funded state–federal rehabilitation system and available in each state, help people with disabilities prepare for, secure, and sustain employment. Since 1920, VR Programs have helped 10 million individuals with disabilities reach employment. Anyone with a mental or physical disability is eligible for VR services. While a range of services is provided, the services most consistent with VR goals are those, such as supported employment, that promote full integration into community life. Social workers are essential to community-based VR services; however, a challenge for the profession is to assume new roles to meet best practice vocational standards.
Dennis L. Poole
Voluntarism can be interpreted at the levels of values, structure, and ideology. In Western society, voluntarism rests heavily on secular and religious values originating in both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions. Today the voluntary sector in the United States can be divided into five main types: social support networks, grassroots associations, nonprofit organizations, human service agencies, and private foundations. At the level of ideology, voluntarism can be interpreted as “civil society.”
Frances Fox-Piven and Lorraine C. Minnite
Scholars often refer to “American exceptionalism,” meaning that unlike other rich, capitalist democracies, the United States has never had a strong working-class political movement. One form of exceptionalism often overlooked in the academic literature offers two strong explanations for this. Some scholars argue that the voting process has been encumbered by procedures that make actual voting difficult. Other scholars offer an alternative explanation that legal rights or not, the voters must be mobilized by political parties and other activist groups. This entry examines the dynamic interplay of electoral rules and political action to mobilize and demobilize the American electorate since the 1970s.
Larraine M. Edwards
Lillian Wald (1867–1940) was a pioneer in public health nursing. In 1893, she co-founded the Henry Street Settlement which provided professional nursing care to poor people at little or no cost. She is credited with the proposal that led to the establishment of the Children's Bureau in 1912.