Book Review: Tice, C., & Perkins, K., (2002). The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Pittman, Donna R.
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This paper reviews the social policy text, The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective, by Tice and Perkins (2002). The authors introduce their text with the intention of telling history from the experience of marginalized people, particularly African Americans and women. Hoping to spark student interest in social policy by “putting a face” on the people who are being served by social work professionals, they include poetry, art, personal narratives, and the texts of historical documents. Tice and Perkins utilize historical analysis to show how modern social welfare policies are based on beliefs rooted in antiquity. The genesis of social work as a profession at the turn of the twentieth century is explored and social reform and social case work models of ameliorating social needs are compared. The authors discuss the dual nature of social work in light of these two models and assert that the dominance of one over the other has fluctuated over time. The authors take effort to exemplify the dangers of reducing social welfare needs to an individual model and warn that this frequently results in pathologizing and blaming the victim. This text is appropriate for BSW required policy courses or as a supplementary text in BSW diversity or history courses.
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