Social work emerged as a profession in response to social


Social work emerged as a profession in response to social disparities brought on by the Industrial Revolution and subsequent urbanization. One type of practice, called macro practice, developed through the community work of Jane Addams and Hull-House, which focused on creating a socially just environment in which communities could thrive. Another pivotal figure, Mary Richmond, focused on helping the individual and family to develop skills and resources needed to be successful in society—what is known as micro practice. The history of the social work profession includes countless individuals who devoted their lives to social change, equality, and social justice, incorporating their accompanying values into the profession.

What will be your role in the history of social work? How will you draw upon that rich history? What from that history can help you articulate how you see your role? How can your role help effect positive social change? Consider these questions as you engage with this week’s Discussion.


  • Explain how 1 or more aspects of the history of social work relate to the social work population with whom you want to work.
  • Explain how the mission of social work aligns with your goals for your social work career.

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