Social Work and Social Welfare: An Invitation, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Social Work and Social Welfare

An Invitation, 4th Edition

By Marla Berg-Weger


666 pages | 79 Color Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138819498
pub: 2016-02-18
Hardback: 9781138819481
pub: 2016-02-18
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315744407
pub: 2016-02-05
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Social Work and Social Welfare: An Invitation is a best-selling text and website for introduction to social work courses. It provides students with the knowledge, skills, and values that are essential for working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and public policy in a variety of practice settings.

The new edition calls students to become engaged in some of society’s most challenging issues through diverse case studies and an emphasis on global issues. Students will read accounts of real-world social work, such as in Chapter 8 where thirteen social workers share their experiences in twelve different practice settings, including health and mental health, criminal justice, school, public health, and rural settings. Social workers describe working with children and families, immigrants and refugees, military veterans and families, older adults, persons with addictions, and persons with disabilities. This edition also includes new profiles of social workers and one older adult that depict individual journeys, contemporary practice areas, and challenges. 

The fourth edition of Social Work and Social Welfare is in full color, with more visuals and photos throughout. As with previous editions, this book is an up-to-date profile of the world in which today’s social workers practice, with current demographic, statistical, legislative, policy, and research information; and sensitive discussions of contemporary ethical issues. The text includes exercises from six interactive cases, including the new case, Brickville. Visit for the detailed cases and companion materials that teach students about social work through practice.


"A well done revision including a more comprehensive overview of the world of social work, a much stronger focus on social justice, oppression, discrimination and more content on lesbians, gays and transgender populations. With new exercises, case examples, and current issues added to each chapter, my students will love this revised edition, and I already have many new ideas about how I can improve their introduction to the social work profession through the use of this text."

-- Aracelis Francis, University of the Virgin Islands

"Social Work and Social Welfare is a great introductory book for social work students. The book is well written and gives a broad overview of the social work field. I have used this textbook for several years and would highly recommend it for students exploring a career in social work."

-- Linda Wells-Glover, University of Missouri—St. Louis

"I find this book very useful for my Introduction to Social Work course. It is clear and thorough, providing a baseline for social work majors and a comprehensive overview for non-majors. I look forward to using it in class each semester."

-- Danilea Werner, Auburn University

Table of Contents

BRIEF CONTENTS Preface xvii About the Author xxv 1. A Glimpse into the World of Social Work 1 2. History of Social Work and Social Welfare 21 3. U.S. Poverty and the Implications for Social Work 54 4. The Social Work Environment 84 5. Diversity in Social Work Practice 114 6. Values and Ethics in Social Work Practice 146 7. Social Work Perspectives and Methods 175 8. Fields of Social Work Practice 201 9. Social Work Practice With Individuals and Families 266 10. Social Work Practice With Groups 290 11. Social Work Practice With Organizations, Communities, and Policy Practice 315 12. The Social Work Profession 344 References R–1 Credits C–1 Glossary/Index I–1

About the Series

New Directions in Social Work

A Routledge Series
New Directions in Social Work is an innovative, integrated series offering a uniquely distinctive teaching strategy for generalist courses in the social work curriculum, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The series integrates 5 texts with custom websites housing interactive cases, companion readings, and a wealth of resources to enrich the teaching and learning experience. Please visit for more information.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General