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chaity and Band Aid veusoial Jutie and anfomation
e vignettes above describe real-life conicts and tensions that social work students and practitioners experience in everyday frontline practice. Althoughdetails have been changed to protect condentiality, these vignettes are based onreal events and people. ey highlight the complexity of struggles in the worldof social work practice, the need for models that advance social justice at mul-tiple levels, and the kinds of struggles in which social workers nd themselves.Social work is a unique eld in many ways. It contains a number of distinctapproaches and philosophies regarding care, what constitutes care, and how tostop or slow the social problems that generate the need for care. Social work is generally thought to have rst emerged from charitable roots (for example,Carniol 2010; Mullaly 2002; Abramovitz 1988). Employed by groups such asthe Charitable Organizations Society, Victorian-era social workers frequently provided the poor with enthusiastic lectures on morality and hygiene, as wellas infrequent but much-needed food baskets or clothing boxes (Abramovitz1988). ese interventions did little more than place leaky band aids on deeply rooted social problems, failing to challenge systems that exploited the poor andsustained the wealthy (Carniol 2005; Withorn 1984). is tradition continuestoday in social work in the form of interventions aimed at providing a subsist-ence level of support to clients while leaving social systems that generate suchproblems untouched.Fortunately, more social justice-oriented approaches to social work alsoexist. roughout the history of social work, workers, clients, and averagepeople have asked, what are the causes of social problems and, crucially, whatcan we do to address those causes and prevent social problems rather thanmerely treating the victims? ese questions have been central to the develop-ment of a strand of social work emerging from social movements and aimedat fundamentally transforming the political, economic, social, and cultural
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