After reading the Foreword by Dr. Cheryl Hyde, for the book, The End of Social Work, and listening to the discussion with Dr. Steve Burghardt, please answer the questions below:
We will read the first chapter of the book, The End of Social Work, the following week. I will re-post this document with different questions.
1. In 50 words or more, what are your thoughts on this statement? Do you agree or disagree? Or both?
In the Foreword, Professor Cheryl Hyde, states: “…But as a whole, I have found the response by social work as a collective entity that espouses social justice to be tepid at best. We wring our hands, issue statements, and bemoan current events. But innovative and bold initiatives seem few and far between. Why? Why are we mostly reactive and so “in the system” that we can’t enact strategies that address the root causes of these challenges? Why, in far too many instances, are we more part of the problem than the solution? Why can’t we move beyond good intentions and “woke” rhetoric to lead courageous, systemic, and meaningful change?” (p. XIV).
2. In 50 words or more, what are your thoughts on the passage below? Do you agree or disagree? Or both?
In the next passage, Dr. Cheryl Hyde, state: “Our economic, educational, and political systems are killing us ,with the fatality rates being so much higher for members of oppressed and disenfranchised groups. Yet, as Berghardt shows, these conditions and repercussions shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention for the last several decades. The real problem, he argues, is that too many of us didn’t pay attention, and in the process, we became cogs in this death machine. What is so seductive about the American “way of life” is the mythology that anyone with hard work and a bit of spunk, can make it. So individually and collectively, we cede ground through silence or inaction to score a coveted invite to the success table. We commodify ourselves and, ultimately, lose our way. Very, very few achieve real “success” (p. XIV).
3. “As Burghardt notes, you can’t engage in meaningful practice, nor can you find fulfillment in that practice, when you have a ridiculously large caseload or a treatment session of 15 minutes with a high-need client” (p. XV). In 50 words or more, why do you think, as a profession, we continue to overload social work practitioners with large caseloads and short treatment sessions? And do you agree or disagree with Burghard’s point about not being able to engage in meaningful practice with “ridiculously large caseload or a treatment session of 15 minutes with a high-need client”?
4. Dr. Hyde argues, “Social workers should be well versed in, for example, critical race theory, feminist theory, queer theory, Marxist/neo-Marxist theory-but they aren’t. Maybe we get suminaries through textbooks, which don’t begin to do these theories justice, but I know of very few educational programs or even courses that encourage students to do deep dives into any or all of these frameworks (apparently that’s what independent studies are for)” (p. XV). In 25 words or more, what do you think about social workers being well versed in the theories she mentions?
5. In 50 words or more, what are your thoughts, in terms of which direction social work ought to move?
Professor Hyde also argues, “Social work needs to move from competency, which I think is a flat and uninspiring term, to excellence. We need to reorient ourselves to collectively advocate for the issues that really matter so that we can do our jobs to the best of our abilities. This means, for example, less focus on licensure and much more focus on working environments. This means being aggressively involved in the policy arena to stop harmful measures from being put into place and promote those that uplift clients, constitutes, and practitioners. This means that we must refuse to constantly martyr ourselves in the name of serving others and shining a very bright light in an unflinching way on the conditions that make it impossible to live, let alone thrive” (p. XVIII).
6. In 50 words or more, what are your thoughts about the closing of Dr. Hyde’s Foreword to the book by Dr. Stephen Burghardt, The End of Social Work?..
“Social work, I believe, is at a crossroads. If we continue to go down our current paths, I don’t think we will survive, or if we do we will be a shell of our original selves. We need to gain clarity as to which side we are on, because there are sides, and we ought to be standing firm with those we serve. We need to collectively advocate for more humane and better-resourced settings for our clients and ourselves. We need to make partnering with communities to promote their capacities and well-being a priority, not an afterthought. We need to be at the policy table, and if we aren’t invited we need to barge our way in. We need to place relationships, along with justice, back at the center of our craft. So, I need to get off my porch, out of my bubble, and recommit myself to the struggle. I hope others will join” (p. XIX).
7. What are your thoughts on what Dr. Burghardt talks about the difference between self-care and collective-care?
8. Spend 15-30 minutes researching the campaing, Social Work Equity Campaing, https://www.swequitycampaign.info/home, … what are 5 things you learned about this campaign that others should know about?
9. In 50 words or more, what are your thoughts about the SWEC? Do you think it will gain more momentum? Why or why not?
10. Come up with a well-developed question from the reading and in 25 words or more, provide a well-developed answer to your question.