The Global Definition of Social Work: Ontology, Implications and Challenges

Abigail Ornellas, Gary Spolander, Lambert Engelbrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary
The revised global definition for social work promotes the profession’s commitment to social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. By reviewing the implications of this definitional shift and locating this within existing influential social work ontological models, the implications for social work within global and national contexts are critically reviewed.

Findings
The changes to the global definition, along with recognition of the importance of strengthening knowledge and theory, encourage critical review of the implications of a shift from an emphasis on individual approaches to the importance of collective and macro perspectives in social work intervention. The location and exploration of these debates using existing key ontological frameworks and socio-economic contexts encourages critical reflection on the purpose, role and function of social work in society.

Implications
Social work must critically review what it means by, along with the implications of, the profession’s commitments. The profession needs to consider how theory, its academic discipline and social work interventions support these commitments. The critical examination of ontological frameworks, indigenous knowledge and social work interventions is vital to inform social work education and practice to enable a reinvigorated profession able to address the contemporary challenges of both society and individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-240
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Work
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

Social Work
ontology
social work
profession
commitment
knowledge work
critical theory
social cohesion
liberation
Social Change
social development
empowerment
social change
Economics
Education
examination
economics
education

Keywords

  • Social work
  • global social work definition
  • ontology
  • neoliberalism
  • critical reflection
  • globalisation
  • international social work

Cite this

The Global Definition of Social Work: Ontology, Implications and Challenges. / Ornellas, Abigail; Spolander, Gary; Engelbrecht, Lambert.

In: Journal of Social Work, Vol. 18, No. 2, 01.03.2018, p. 222-240.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ornellas, Abigail ; Spolander, Gary ; Engelbrecht, Lambert. / The Global Definition of Social Work: Ontology, Implications and Challenges. In: Journal of Social Work. 2018 ; Vol. 18, No. 2. pp. 222-240.
@article{4d5da4921af24baab12530089675531f,
title = "The Global Definition of Social Work: Ontology, Implications and Challenges",
abstract = "SummaryThe revised global definition for social work promotes the profession’s commitment to social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. By reviewing the implications of this definitional shift and locating this within existing influential social work ontological models, the implications for social work within global and national contexts are critically reviewed.FindingsThe changes to the global definition, along with recognition of the importance of strengthening knowledge and theory, encourage critical review of the implications of a shift from an emphasis on individual approaches to the importance of collective and macro perspectives in social work intervention. The location and exploration of these debates using existing key ontological frameworks and socio-economic contexts encourages critical reflection on the purpose, role and function of social work in society.ImplicationsSocial work must critically review what it means by, along with the implications of, the profession’s commitments. The profession needs to consider how theory, its academic discipline and social work interventions support these commitments. The critical examination of ontological frameworks, indigenous knowledge and social work interventions is vital to inform social work education and practice to enable a reinvigorated profession able to address the contemporary challenges of both society and individuals.",
keywords = "Social work, global social work definition, ontology, neoliberalism, critical reflection, globalisation, international social work",
author = "Abigail Ornellas and Gary Spolander and Lambert Engelbrecht",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1468017316654606",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "222--240",
journal = "Journal of Social Work",
issn = "1468-0173",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Global Definition of Social Work: Ontology, Implications and Challenges

AU - Ornellas, Abigail

AU - Spolander, Gary

AU - Engelbrecht, Lambert

PY - 2018/3/1

Y1 - 2018/3/1

N2 - SummaryThe revised global definition for social work promotes the profession’s commitment to social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. By reviewing the implications of this definitional shift and locating this within existing influential social work ontological models, the implications for social work within global and national contexts are critically reviewed.FindingsThe changes to the global definition, along with recognition of the importance of strengthening knowledge and theory, encourage critical review of the implications of a shift from an emphasis on individual approaches to the importance of collective and macro perspectives in social work intervention. The location and exploration of these debates using existing key ontological frameworks and socio-economic contexts encourages critical reflection on the purpose, role and function of social work in society.ImplicationsSocial work must critically review what it means by, along with the implications of, the profession’s commitments. The profession needs to consider how theory, its academic discipline and social work interventions support these commitments. The critical examination of ontological frameworks, indigenous knowledge and social work interventions is vital to inform social work education and practice to enable a reinvigorated profession able to address the contemporary challenges of both society and individuals.

AB - SummaryThe revised global definition for social work promotes the profession’s commitment to social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. By reviewing the implications of this definitional shift and locating this within existing influential social work ontological models, the implications for social work within global and national contexts are critically reviewed.FindingsThe changes to the global definition, along with recognition of the importance of strengthening knowledge and theory, encourage critical review of the implications of a shift from an emphasis on individual approaches to the importance of collective and macro perspectives in social work intervention. The location and exploration of these debates using existing key ontological frameworks and socio-economic contexts encourages critical reflection on the purpose, role and function of social work in society.ImplicationsSocial work must critically review what it means by, along with the implications of, the profession’s commitments. The profession needs to consider how theory, its academic discipline and social work interventions support these commitments. The critical examination of ontological frameworks, indigenous knowledge and social work interventions is vital to inform social work education and practice to enable a reinvigorated profession able to address the contemporary challenges of both society and individuals.

KW - Social work

KW - global social work definition

KW - ontology

KW - neoliberalism

KW - critical reflection

KW - globalisation

KW - international social work

U2 - 10.1177/1468017316654606

DO - 10.1177/1468017316654606

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 222

EP - 240

JO - Journal of Social Work

JF - Journal of Social Work

SN - 1468-0173

IS - 2

ER -