Chapter 21: Social work and family services
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The chapter provides an overview of social work and family services within the context of a changing society and considers its implications for policy and development. It begins with an historical overview of social work and the development of family welfare services. It discusses how non-formal welfare has been influenced by social change, and gradually gave way to formalized social welfare through FBOs, government intervention and professional social work. Approaches and interventions for social work with families are outlined, emphasizing the relevance of empowerment and strength-based approaches from a critical social theory viewpoint. Family services are outlined from a micro_macro practice focus, indicating that both are important for social work to achieve social justice for all people. It is discussed how social work can contribute to social development within the global sustainable development agenda framework by adopting a developmental approach at the local or national level. Future implications for practice, policy, education and research are highlighted in relation to social work families. The chapter concludes that effective social work requires an integrated non-formal and formal welfare framework, based on government policies that strengthen families and communities’ involvement in caring for their members.

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