Several pages on this guide relate to the Social Work “Helping Process” for working with individuals, families, and groups that include:
Content on these pages include definitions and approaches, listing of course readings, sample practice manuals and tools and searching tips.
NASW’s Code of Ethics was amended in 2021 to include Self-Care
"Professional self-care is paramount for competent and ethical social work practice. Professional demands, challenging workplace climates, and exposure to trauma warrant that social workers maintain personal and professional health, safety, and integrity. Social work organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are encouraged to promote organizational policies, practices, and materials to support social workers’ self-care."
SSWG 5102 Readings
"Relationship building, or engagement, is the first step in the professional helping process and leads to the other steps of assessment, intervention, and evaluation. *** This chapter explores aspects of engagement—the process of building relationships across direct and indirect practice settings—and its critical role in the overall success of social work practice. The first section examines the importance of listening to ascertain the situation and perspective of the client system (i.e., individual, family, group, community, and organization). It introduces interviewing skills and approaches that can help your client share with you and help you to enlist the assistance of others. This section also discusses skill combinations that can help you establish productive connections with your clients. Later sections in the chapter consider the engagement process from strengths-based, social justice, and human rights perspectives."
Source: Birkenmaier, J., Berg-Weger, M., & Dewees, M. P. (2013). Individual engagement: Relationship skills for practice at all levels. In The practice of generalist social work (3rd ed.) (page 68). Routledge
(relevant for practice in all phases, from Engagement to Termination).
Resources are in the process of being added.
Theories and Concepts
Course readings provide a starter list of the "literature on engagement" in social work and can help you identify the seminal or most influential work/article, language, authors/experts, theories, skills, and location (source) for searching.
Understanding the language, logic, and location (fields) used by databases will help you to learn from the results and adjust your search terms and strategies.
Engagement is generally not a subject heading or thesaurus term used in indexing databases relevant to social work. Instead, for example, Library of Congress Subject Headings "social work with [group]" is used to index books and media. Results in Library Search will show LCSH terms in the subject field.
Engagement and its synonyms or variants may also be entered as keywords or search terms.