In Critical Demand or Crisis: The Identity of the Social Work Profession



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


Social work as a profession in Canada spans many decades and can be dated back to 1927 when professionalization was established through the Canadian Association of Social Workers or may even be traced further back to 1914 when the formal training of social workers began at University of Toronto (Hick, 2010). Despite its long history, and like most other professions, there still exist core issues within the profession which need to be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to identify critical issues in the profession of Social Work. Foremost among these issues is social work’s identity and relevance in today’s society. We contend that identity and relevance are not dichotomous entities but are intricately linked. If the profession social work is to remain relevant, we must grapple with and solve some of the identity issues at large. The exploration of social work’s identity will be undertaken within the framework of a comparative analysis of social work and psychology.



Perspectives on Social Work, Kathy Hogarth, Rachelle Ashcroft, Professional Identity, Relevance of Social Work, Perspectives on Social Work, Social work, Professional Identity, Relevance of Social Work