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Social Work Practice: Problem Solving and Beyond, 3rd Edition

By Tuula Heinonen, Len Spearman
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176500383
ISBN-13: 9780176500382
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 3rd

Social Work Practice: Problem Solving and Beyond presents a view of social work that incorporates, not without criticism, problem solving as foundational to traditional practice. While drawing upon international and American content, the text emphasizes Canadian social work experience and developments. Tuula Heinonen and Len Spearman also argue that there are newer approaches that both critique and enrich generalist social work practice: strengths, Aboriginal, structural, and feminist approaches need to be incorporated into generalist social work practice. The goal of Social Work Practice: Problem Solving and Beyond is to expand students' exposure to a broad set of approaches and principles of social work within the generalist context.


  • *NEW* Abundant new case situations and examples that encourage students to engage with the material. These case studies have a new inductive approach - case described first, then principles drawn from the case description - encouraging reflection and discussion/debate. Some case studies are carried through the text, and sometimes more than one potential outcome of a case is presented.
  • *NEW* Increased content on mandated practice (most students will work in mandated agencies; special focus here on working with clients who don't want help)
  • *NEW* Rewritten and reorganized Chapter 3 on ideological foundations and values of social work; it now presents, applies and analyzes the ideological principles and values of social work as articulated by the Canadian Association of Social Workers and the International Federation of Social Workers.
  • *NEW* Expanded chapter (chapter 5) on child protection policy and practice that exemplifies and describes policy and practice in the field of child protection and applies the important connection between policy and practice This chapter also recognizes and illustrates the often controversial social control function of social work (e.g. child protection) and how social control and the care or helping functions co-exist in mandated practice
  • *NEW* All new chapter (chapter 10) on social work assessment, a central part of social work practice, exploring a wide variety of determinants that includes the knowledge, culture, and life experience
  • Presents the problem solving process as a foundation of traditional practice, then develops approaches (strengths, Aboriginal, structural, and feminist) to practice that take social work beyond problem solving.
  • Emphasizes Canadian social work experience and developments while still drawing upon international and American content
  • Designed for social work students, mainly at the undergraduate level, who need to understand the principles, values, and knowledge behind generalist social work practice in Canada
  • Useful as both a description of generalist practice and a reference source
  • Examines policy and relates it specifically to social work practice

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: The Emergence of Social Work in Canada
  • Chapter 3: Ideological Foundations and Values of Social Work
  • Chapter 4: Social Work Roles
  • Chapter 5: Practice and Policy in a Field of Social Work Practice: Child Protection Services as an Illustration
  • Chapter 6: The Client?Social Worker Relationship: Voluntary and Involuntary Relationships
  • Chapter 7: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Awareness, and Social Work Practice
  • Chapter 8: Problem Solving in Social Work Practice
  • Chapter 9: The Broad Knowledge Base of Social Work
  • Chapter 10: Application of focused assessment within a broad knowledge base
  • Chapter 11: The Strengths Approach as a Development Process
  • Chapter 12: An Aboriginal Approach to Social Work Practice
  • Chapter 13: A Feminist Approach to Social Work
  • Chapter 14: Structural Social Work and Social Change
  • Chapter 15: Putting It All Together: Problem Solving and Beyond
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index

Author Information

Tuula Heinonen

Tuula Heinonen has spent the majority of her academic career at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. Tuula Heinonen is Professor and teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. She has played a major part in developing the social work practice curriculum, and together with Len Spearman, wrote a distance education course manual that became the framework for the first and subsequent editions of this book. Dr. Heinonen's background is social work in health care and international social development. Her current interests are social work and rural women in China, experiences of newcomers to Canada, and health issues. She co-directs a large social work project in rural China and collaborates regularly with social work colleagues in Finland. She has been active in both undergraduate and graduate curriculum development and teaching.

Len Spearman

Len Spearman has spent the majority of his academic career at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. Len Spearman is now retired but continues to be very active with the Faculty of Social Work as a Senior Scholar. Dr. Spearman has practised in the field of mental health in both Canada and the United States. At the University of Manitoba, he has played a major part in designing the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) curriculum and the northern off-campus and distance education programs. He chaired the BSW Curriculum Committee for more than a decade.