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Work and the Workplace

A Resource for Innovative Policy and Practice

Sheila H. Akabas og Paul A. Kurzman

Columbia University Press 2004. 320 s. ISBN 0-231-11166-5
Bogomtale fra forlaget.

„In Work and the Workplace, Akabas and Kurzman build upon their history of key contributions to the critical area of social work and the workplace. Their extensive research, teaching, and practical experience combine to produce a work that integrates the emerging issues of workplace-based initiatives with social work traditions. They have produced an important book that will be engaging and accessible for students, faculty, and practicing social workers.“
—Lawerence S. Root, professor at the School of Social Work and director of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations at the University of Michigan
„Doctors Akabas and Kurzman have written a comprehensive text that effectively defines current Occupational Social Work practice. This book successfully discusses today’s world of work and will focus the student and practioner in all social work setting on the opportunities to use our professional skills and values to impact the lives of workers and the policies that exist in today’s complex work place. It is the author’s contention that this field of Social Work plays a vital positive role in the changing nature of the workplace environment.“
—Roslyn Yasser, senior vice president for project management, HIP Health Plan of New York
„Akabas and Kurzman’s, Work and the Workplace, is now the leading comprehensive text in the literature on occupational social work. They have given us a broad context in which to understand how issues in the workplace affect the delivery of services to individuals, the family, and the community. An invaluable contribution to the literature of occupational social work.“
—Gordon Law, director of M. P. Catherwood Library, Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations
„The lives of most adults are defined by their work—or lack of it. But the workplace—because of job loss, growing inequality, attacks on unions, reduced health insurance coverage and smaller pensions—is under tremendous stress. The social work profession’s dedication to individuals, families and communities requires taking on these issues. Work and the Workplace describes why this engagement is necessary and how it can most usefully occur.“
—Bruce Raynor, General President , UNITE HERE
„Work and the Workplace is the culmination and finest expression to date of Sheila Akabas and Paul Kurzman’s long history of inspiring, educating, challenging, and guiding social workers in World of Work settings. Akabas and Kurzman make clear the critical role of occupational social work in creating and integrating services and policies that enhance the lives of workers, their families, communities and employers. They carefully demonstrate how social work practice and goals can be achieved through workplace service delivery and how all practitioners must understand the complex meaning of work in the lives of those they serve. This book offers a framework for a comprehensive understanding of the social policies and cultural values that have shaped the American workplace. It addresses the changing landscape of the workplace, its impact on our future and the necessity to create new safety net systems, particularly for those who face the most challenges—immigrants, the growing contingent workforce, the working poor, and the disabled. This book deserves a prominent place in the library of all social workers and human resource professionals.“
—Barbara S. Davis LCSW
The Actors’ Fund, chief program officer, The Actors’ Fund
For more than twenty years Sheila H. Akabas and Paul A. Kurzman have written extensively about workers and work organizations, and given leadership to the occupational social welfare movement worldwide. Recognized as leaders in their field, Akabas and Kurzman offer an invaluable and comprehensive look at the innovative ways in which management, labor organizations, government, and social workers can better respond to the needs of workers, their families, and communities.
The authors consider the social, psychological, and economic conditions in the world of work; the domino impact of unemployment upon individuals, families, organizations, and communities; and the inadequacy of insurance, benefit and support systems, intended to respond to personal and systematic crises. They also provide case histories that illustrate how collaboration among management, labor, social work, and government opens new options for workers, their families, and those seeking entry into the workplace.
The authors’ discussion provides contemporary illustrations of evidence-based best practices that respond to the needs of the modern workplace. They analyze the barriers to entry into the workforce; the tension between work and family obligations; the sometime unsupportive nature of many jobs and settings; and work implications for persons with chronic or acute illnesses. In the concluding chapter, the authors assess current trends as they offer an optimistic review of the possibilities and positive future potential represented by career counseling, pre-retirement preparation, disability management, executive coaching, manpower programming, and managed care.
Throughout the book, Akabas and Kurzman include case studies to illustrate innovative practice and provide study questions for each chapter.
Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. History and Rationale
2. The Meaning and Context of Work
3. The Changing Landscape
4. Social Work in the World of Work and in Traditional Settings
5. Distinctive Presenting Problems
6. Delivery Systems: Conceptual Dimensions and Structures
7. Disability as a Metaphor for World of Work Practice
8. Social Workers as Workers, Social Agencies as Employers
9. The Future: Issues, Trends, and Potential
References
Index
About the Authors

Sheila H. Akabas is a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, at which she is also the director of the Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace, and chair of the World of Work as a Field of Practice. She is a former board member of the International Committee on Occupational Mental Health and the author of Disability Management: A Resource Workbook (with L. B. Gates and B. I. Warren), Planning for Disability Management: An Approach to Controlling Costs While Caring for Employees (with L. B. Gates and D. Galvin), and Mental Health Care in the World of Work (with H. Weiner and J. Sommer).
Paul A. Kurzman is a professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work and at The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York, and he is chair of the School’s Work, Employment and Rehabilitation Specialization. He is currently president of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the immediate past chair of NASW’s National Competence Certification Commission. He is the author of Psychosocial and Policy Issues in the World of Work; The Mississippi Experience: Strategies for Welfare Rights Action; and Harry Hopkins and the New Deal.
The authors are also the coeditors of Work, Workers, and Work Organizations: A View from Social Work and Work and Well-Being: The Occupational Social Work Advantage.