Social work has a long-standing commitment to healthcare and the recognition of the inextricable link to quality of life and well-being across the lifespan. This book emphasizes the critical importance of health for all members of society and the significant role of social work in the field. It presents essential information about health and social work critical to understanding today’s complex health care systems and policies. The book is intended as a core text for masters of social work (MSW) and advanced bachelor of social work (BSW) courses on health and social work, social work and health care, health and wellness, social work practice in health care, and integrative behavioral health taught in social work, public health, and gerontology. The book is organized into three parts containing 18 chapters. The first chapter describes the role of social work in healthcare. The second chapter discusses ethics and values in healthcare social work. The next three chapters present social determinants of health, intersectionality, and social work assessment. Chapter six discusses health promotion and public health. Chapter seven presents integrated behavioral healthcare. Chapter eight describes substance misuse, abuse, and substance-related disorders. Chapters nine and ten discuss palliative care, end-of-life care, correctional healthcare, and psychosocial care. Chapter 11 describes children and family health. Chapter 12 explores healthcare and work with older adults and their caregivers. Chapters 13 to 15 delve on immigrants and refugee health, health and HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ health. Chapters 16 and 17 describe healthcare and disability, and healthcare and serving veterans. The final chapter discusses future direction of healthcare and social work.
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The Council on Social Work Education underscores that social workers should be educated to advance human rights, and social, economic, and environmental justice. This chapter explores empowerment theory and practice as a strategy that social workers can use to promote rights, justice, and well-being for individuals, families, and communities. Empowerment theory is geared toward elevating the rights and needs of individuals, groups, and communities that have been facing oppression throughout history. The history, central concepts, and themes of empowerment are multidimensional and are related to intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and political domains. The close alliance of empowerment practice with human rights, oppression, and ecological systems theories has been a powerful force in assisting the population we commonly serve to embrace and liberate their personal and collective empowerment. Case examples of an individual and community are provided to illustrate how empowerment unfolds in the natural practice environment. Empowerment as a concept and practice serves an important role in understanding and achieving equality, rights, and justice for all. It also is an essential mechanism in achieving individual, family, group, and community well-being for people of all ages across the globe.