Interpersonal Social Work Skills for Community Practice

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Interpersonal Social Work Skills for Community Practice

SKU# 9780826108111

Author: Donna Hardina PhD


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Specifically dedicated to the skills that social workers need to advance community practice, this creative book is long overdue. Grounded in the wisdom and evidence of well-honed interpersonal social work skills...Donna Hardina's new text takes community practice to a higher level than ever before developed in book form; indeed she displays the most thorough understanding of research on community practice that I have read in any community practice text."--Journal of Teaching in Social Work

Community organization has been a major component of social work practice since the late 19th century. It requires a diverse set of abilities, interpersonal skills being among the most important. This textbook describes the essential interpersonal skills that social workers need in community practice and helps students cultivate them. Drawing from empirical literature on community social work practice and the author's own experience working with community organizers, the book focuses on developing the macro-level skills that are especially useful for community organizing. It covers relationship-building, interviewing, recruitment, community assessment, facilitating group decision-making and task planning, creating successful interventions, working with organizations, and program evaluation, along with examples of specific applications.

For clarity and ease of use, the author employs a framework drawn from a variety of community practice models, including social action and social planning, transformative/popular education and community development approaches, and multicultural and feminist approaches. The text is linked to the competencies outlined in the Council of Social Work Education's (2008) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), as well as ethics and values identified in the National Association of Social Workers' (NASW) Code of Ethics, and the International Federation of Social Workers' statement of ethical principles. Most chapters begin with a quote from a community organizer explaining how interpersonal skills are used in practice, and student exercises conclude each chapter. The text also addresses other important skills such as legislative advocacy, lobbying, and supervision.

Key Features:

  • Describes the essential skills social workers need in community practice and how to acquire them
  • Includes examples of specific applications drawn from empirical literature and the author's experience working with community organizers
  • Grounded in social justice, strengths-based, and human rights perspectives
  • Linked to competencies outlined in EPAS and values identified in the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Based on a variety of community practice models

Product Details 

  • Publication Date July 23, 2012
  • Page Count 512
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826108111
  • EISBN 9780826108128

Table of Contents 



Chapter 1 Introduction: The Application of Interpersonal Skills in Community Practice


Chapter 2 Entering the Community and Using Interviewing Skills to Find Out About People

Chapter 3 Recruiting Potential Participants

Chapter 4 Developing Relationships and Partnerships with Formal Organizations


Chapter 5 Using Dialogue, Story-telling, and Structured Group Work Techniques to Identify Community Problems

Chapter 6 Engaging Participants in the Discovery, Assessment, and Documentation of Community Strengths and Problems

Chapter 7 Facilitating Leadership Development and Group Decision-making: Encouraging Public Participation and Engaging Constituents in the Development of Action Plans

Chapter 8 Taking Action: Group Processes for Implementing Action Campaigns


Chapter 9 Working with Constituent Groups to Critically Reflect and Engage in Dialogue on the Process and Outcomes of Action Plans

Chapter 10 Discovering Whether and Why the Action Worked: Using Participatory


Chapter 11 Using Interpersonal Skills to Advocate for Legislation

Chapter 12 Interpersonal Skills for Community Building

Chapter 13 Supervision

Chapter 14 Interpersonal Skills in a Global Context: Advocating for Human Rights

Chapter 15 Future Directions in Community Organizing: Where Do We Go From Here?



Related Blog Posts 

Interpersonal Social Work Skills for Community Practice -- A Letter from the Author

Community organization has been considered a major component of social work practice dating back to Jane Addams and the settlement house movement in the late 19th century. However, only a small number of social workers engage in community organizing practice. One of the prevailing myths in social work is that students who choose this curriculum option either are not interested in working... Read More