Abstract and Keywords
Social workers are uniquely prepared to provide leadership for collaborative practice, especially when they employ intervention logic. Intervention-driven collaboration develops interdependent relationships among people. These relationships are cemented by norms of reciprocity and trust, enabling participants to organize for collective action in response to “wicked” problems characterized by uncertainty, novelty, and complexity.
Among the family of “c-words” (for example, communication, coordination), collaboration is the most difficult to develop, institutionalize, and sustain because it requires new organizational designs, including inter-organizational partnerships, as well as policy change. Notwithstanding the attendant challenges, collaborative practice is a mainstay in multiple sectors of social work practice, including mental health, substance abuse, school social work, complex, anti-poverty initiatives, international social work, workforce development, and research. Growing collaboration with client systems connects collaborative practice with empowerment practice and facilitates the achievement of social work's mission.
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