Diagnosis in Social Work : New Imperatives book cover
1st Edition

Diagnosis in Social Work
New Imperatives

Edited By

Francis J Turner

ISBN 9780789015969
Published January 10, 2001 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

How can you make necessary professional judgments without being judgmental?

Assessment and diagnostic skills are essential professional tools for the social worker, but all too often they are neglected or downplayed. Diagnosis in Social Work argues for the reinstatement of social diagnosis to its former place as an essential concept in social work. This courageous book demonstrates the detrimental impact of the loss of diagnostic skills on the quality of social work intervention.

Combining meticulous history with insightful analysis, Diagnosis in Social Work shows how the concept of diagnosis in social work has been misunderstood. It examines the negative, narrow definition of diagnosis offered in commonly used texts.

Diagnosis in Social Work includes the tools you need to use the power of correct, careful diagnosis, including:

  • case examples of social work diagnoses
  • a thorough profile of the judgments constituting a social work diagnosis
  • suggestions to enhance diagnostic acumen
  • an analysis of diagnosis as a process and a fact
  • ways to use computers in diagnosis
  • an assessment of the risks of diagnosis
Diagnosis in Social Work includes everything social work practitioners need to know about the process and meaning of this sorely neglected part of the field. It is an ideal textbook as well, and it offers suggestions for further research.

Table of Contents


  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. The History of Diagnosis in Social Work
  • Chapter 3. What Led Us Astray?
  • Chapter 4. Diagnosis: What It Is Not!
  • Chapter 5. Diagnosis: What It Is
  • Chapter 6. Our Ethical Responsibility to Diagnose
  • Chapter 7. Our Ethical Responsibility to Label
  • Chapter 8. A Spectrum of Critical Judgments
  • Chapter 9. Diagnosis As a Process and a Record
  • Chapter 10. Diagnosis and Gut Reaction
  • Chapter 11. Diagnosis and Assessment
  • Chapter 12. Diagnosis and Theory
  • Chapter 13. Diagnosis and the Computer
  • Chapter 14. The Risks of Diagnosing
  • Chapter 15. Diagnosis and Research: A Contemporary Challenge
  • Chapter 16. Enhancing Diagnostic Skills
  • Chapter 17. Final Comments
  • Appendix: Some Examples of Social Work Diagnoses
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Series Editor(s)


Francis J Turner