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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Social Work and the Emerging Occupational Group of Community Developers

Author: Gray, M. M. A.; Wint, Eleanor
Author Background:
Date 1/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Maatskaplike-Werk / Social-Work
Volume/Pages 1998, 34, 1, special issue, 71-79
Subject Matter Community Development
Abstract Examines the relationship between social work & the emerging occupation of community developers in South Africa, drawing on a variety of materials. This relationship became urgent largely as a consequence of a 1995 national conference on social welfare, which called for the creation of an umbrella body for social service personnel. Thus, social workers have been asked to share their traditional role as community developers with other professionals. This transformation has come at a time when social workers have become particularly demoralized by overwork & dysfunctions in the social service system. It is suggested that the greater proximity of social workers to community developers is likely to create more overlap & conflict & necessitates the development of new training programs in community development. Although the theory of community development that informs the occupation is sound, the practice of community developers will not be more successful than that of social workers unless a comprehensive poverty eradication strategy is devised by the government. It is concluded that social workers can emerge from this moment of crisis empowered if they accurately appraise their strengths & innovate new opportunities in the changed political & economic environment. 1 Table, 20 References. D. Ryfe