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Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare: Critical Thinking Perspectives 5th Edition

Karen K. Kirst-Ashman

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2013
  • 608 Pages
Starting At 100.00 See pricing and ISBN options


Karen K. Kirst-Ashman's introductory book enhances readers' ability to grasp the essence and spirit of generalist social work and the issues in social welfare that social workers address every day. Giving those who are contemplating a career in social work a solid introduction to the profession, Kirst-Ashman presents a balanced introductory look within a unifying theme of critical thinking that trains readers to be more evaluative of key concepts. This fifth edition is completely updated in every chapter, and includes practice concepts, social welfare policy concepts, history and current state of the profession, the contexts of practice and populations served, and professional development. Written in a clear and straightforward manner, the book provides numerous case examples to illustrate social work practice.

Karen K. Kirst-Ashman, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Karen K. Kirst-Ashman, BSW, MSSW, and PhD, was a full professor and a former chairperson in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, where she taught for 28 years. She is certified as a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Wisconsin and has worked as a practitioner and administrator in child welfare and mental health agencies. She received the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1986 and its Outstanding Teaching Award in 2007. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Council on Social Work Education in addition to being an accreditation site visitor, and is a current member of BPD and NASW. She has served on the editorial board of Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, and as a consulting editor for many social work journals, including the Journal of Social Work Education. She is the author of numerous publications, articles, and reviews concerning social work and women's issues. Other books she has authored or coauthored include INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL WELFARE: CRITICAL THINKING PERSPECTIVES (5th ed); HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE MACRO SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT: AN EMPOWERMENT APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITIES, ORGANIZATION, AND GROUPS (4th ed); GENERALIST PRACTICE WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES (5th ed); THE MACRO SKILLS WORKBOOK (2nd ed); and UNDERSTANDING GENERALIST PRACTICE (8th ed).
  • This edition is thoroughly up to date with the new 2015 Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). Helping Hands icons within the chapters and end-of-chapter Competency Notes spotlight text coverage of the required core competencies and recommended practice behaviors detailed by the new EPAS -- helping social work majors relate text content to the competencies they must achieve.
  • New content as well as updated references and statistics are incorporated throughout the text. Topics include the competencies and practice behaviors inherent in the 2015 EPAS (Ch. 1); international social work organizations (Ch. 2); racial demographics in the United States, racial and cultural differences (including tribal sovereignty, collectivism, the desire to keep problems within the family, interpersonal harmony in Asian American families, and child-centeredness in African American families); the gender spectrum; and the status of women (Ch. 3).
  • Chapter 4 (on the process of generalist practice) has added material on spokesperson, coordinator, and manager roles; and Chapter 5 (on practice settings) contains expanded information concerning social work organizations; updated information on licensure, the Association of Social Work Boards, and NASW credentials; and new and updated data on social work practice settings and salaries, including earning variations by geographical location.
  • The overview of social welfare and social work history (Ch. 6) includes updated content on Charity Organization Societies, elaboration of trends during the progressive period, updated facts about the future of Social Security, and updated material on the fringe economy and unsecured credit. New and updated material on policy (Ch. 7) includes using electronic media and supporting political candidates as approaches to policy practice and advocacy, and discussion of social workers in politics.
  • Information on policies and programs to combat poverty (Ch. 8) includes new or updated content on globalization, health care and the poor, and homelessness as well as on OASDHI, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, Medicare, TANF, SSI, Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, and housing assistance. Coverage on services for children and families (Ch. 9) offers updates on international legalized gay marriage, new information on family life education, and new content on advocacy for resources at the macro level.
  • New and updated material discusses poverty concerning older adults; older adult abuse, including incidence, types, and treatment; and assisted-living facilities (Ch. 10); the NASW policy on people with disabilities, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (including 2010 amendments); and offers opportunities to think critically about personal feelings and stereotypes concerning disabilities (Ch. 11).
  • New content offers information on public health; Veterans Affairs (VA) health services and the social work role within the VA; the Affordable Care Act; and HIV/AIDS concerning race and gender, treatment options, and international incidence (Ch. 12); DSM-V, with discussion of neurocognitive, depressive, paraphilic, disruptive, impulse-control, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders; managed care and mental health; cultural competence in mental health settings (Ch. 13); updated criteria on substance use disorders established by the DSM-V; and recently appearing recreational drugs (Ch. 14).
  • In Chapter 1, Karen Kirst-Ashman presents the "AAA Model," which instructs students to "Ask questions, assess the established facts and issues, and assert a concluding opinion." By following this model, which provides a framework for the text as a whole, students learn how to approach concepts critically.
  • Themes integrated throughout the text include the pursuit of social and economic justice for populations at risk; client empowerment; dimensions and the intersectionality of human diversity; the significance of professional values and ethics; a generalist approach that interrelates social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; and the inclusion of various global and international perspectives.
  • Kirst-Ashman includes such CSWE-mandated areas as diversity and difference, empowerment, human rights, social and economic justice, policy practice, and professional values and ethics, thus ensuring that students are well prepared to enter the world of social work.
  • By encouraging students to identify values and evaluate serious issues, Kirst-Ashman helps them develop critical-thinking perspectives on important topics. Features such as the "Focus on Critical Thinking" boxes highlight engaging topics that draw students into the discussion at hand.
  • The writing style is clear and straightforward, with numerous case examples that bring the content to life. The author includes topics that are intended to be interesting and relevant to students; for example, salaries and credentials in social work, mental health conditions featured in the new DSM-5, new recreational drugs recently appearing on the substance use scene, health care and insurance, and issues concerning veterans and their treatment.
  • Learning Objectives at the beginning of each chapter are reinforced clearly throughout the text, reflecting the emphasis on student learning outcomes and demonstration of core competencies required by CSWE.
1. Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare.
2. Social Work Values and Ethics.
3. Empowerment and Human Diversity.
4 The Process of Generalist Practice.
5. Practice Settings.
6. An Overview of Social Welfare and Social Work History.
7. Policy, Policy Analysis, Policy Practice, and Policy Advocacy: Foundations for Service Provision.
8. Policies and Programs to Combat Poverty.
9. Social Work and Services for Children and Families.
10. Social Work and Services for Older Adults.
11. Social Work and Services for People with Disabilities.
12. Social Work and Services in Health Care.
13. Social Work and Services in Mental Health.
14. Social Work and Substance Use, Abuse, and Dependence.
15. Social Work and Services for Youths and in the Schools.
16. Social Work and Services in the Criminal Justice System.
Epilogue: Your Values and Your Future: Applying Critical Justice System.
Name Index.
Subject Index.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

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"I love the critical thinking sections -- they may be my favorite way the text attempts to engage the students in the practice of examining their own values and biases so that they can accurately develop their all-important personal values statement."

"The learning objectives for each chapter are concise and fulfilled throughout. Lastly, I utilize the Critical Thinking and Highlight sections as exercises and references for my students."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 9781305857452
The Instructor's Manual (IM) contains a variety of resources to aid instructors in preparing and presenting text material in a manner that meets their personal preferences and course needs. It presents chapter-by-chapter suggestions and resources to enhance and facilitate learning.

Online PowerPoint®

ISBN: 9781305857926
These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

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