Social Work and Social Welfare

An Invitation, 3rd Edition

By Marla Berg-Weger

© 2014 – Routledge

404 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415501606
pub: 2012-12-19
US Dollars$94.95
Hardback: 9780415520805
pub: 2012-12-19
US Dollars$204.95

Comp Exam Copy Companion Website

About the Book

Social Work and Social Welfare: An Invitation is a nationally recognized, best-selling text and unique website for US Introductory Social Work and Social Welfare 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.

This new third edition 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; sensitive discussions of contemporary ethical issues; and new ?rst-person narratives from social workers in a variety of ?elds. The call to become engaged in some of society’s most challenging issues is clearer than in previous editions.


"This is the perfect intro social work text! I love that there is an entire chapter devoted to poverty. Students are provided with a thorough understanding of practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, including the opportunities and challenges facing today’s social work profession. It is comprehensive, interesting, and accessible."—Jessica Ritter, Social Work, Pacific University "This third edition of Social Work and Social Welfare is an outstanding text for social work students. It has numerous topics ranging from the history of social welfare to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The end of each chapter has a summary of main points and exercises. This text is useful for social work students because, among other topics, it provides history, poverty, social work environment, values and ethics, diversity, types of practice, practice groups, work with families, other groups, communities, and organizations. Every social worker needs knowledge about these topics."—Ski Hunter, Social Work, University of Texas, Arlington

"Highlighting the connection between politics, social programs, and social and economic justice raises thought-provoking questions that all future social workers must consider. The interactive case studies represent a well-chosen range of challenges and problems and will help my students understand and apply social work methods at all levels of practice."—Joy Swanson Ernst, Social Work, Hood College

"Berg-Weger’s introduction text breaks down complex principles into manageable sections. The concepts are well organized and the exercises at the end of each chapter provide practical examples to enhance student learning. My students are inspired by the case studies and practice experiences to explore the field of social work."—Danilea Werner, Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work, Auburn University

Table of Contents


Preface xv

About the Author xxi

CHAPTER 1 A Glimpse into the World of Social Work 1

CHAPTER 2 History of Social Work and Social Welfare 20

CHAPTER 3 U.S. Poverty and the Implications for Social Work 48

CHAPTER 4 The Social Work Environment 75

CHAPTER 5 Diversity in Social Work Practice 94

CHAPTER 6 Values and Ethics in Social Work Practice 125

CHAPTER 7 Social Work Perspectives and Methods 152

CHAPTER 8 Fields of Social Work Practice 178

CHAPTER 9 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families 220

CHAPTER 10 Social Work Practice with Groups 243

CHAPTER 11 Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities and Policy Practice 267

CHAPTER 12 The Social Work Profession 293 References R–1 Credits C–1 Glossary/Index I–1

About the Author

Marla Berg-Weger is a professor in the School of Social Work at Saint Louis University, Missouri, where she also serves as the Director of Field Education. Dr. Berg-Weger has been a social worker for over three decades and holds social work degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Her social work practice experience includes public social welfare services, domestic violence services, mental health, and health care social work. Her research and writing focuses on social work practice and gerontological social work, particularly in the areas of older adult mobility and family caregiving. With Julie Birkenmaier, she co-authored the textbook The Practicum Companion for Social Work: Integrating Class and Field Work. With Birkenmaier and Marty DeWeese, she co-authored another book in this series, Contemporary Social Work Practice. She is the past president of the Association of Gerontology in Social Work and currently serves as the Secretary. She also serves as the Chair of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work Editorial Board Executive Committee. She is a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America, a Co-Convenor of the Society’s Transportation Interest Group, and a member of the Publications Committee.

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