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If a Holistic Approach to Social Work Requires Acknowledgement of Religion, What Does This Mean for Social Work Education?

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There is growing recognition that promoting wellbeing requires a holistic approach to social work practice which includes understanding the role of religion in the lives of service users. This is reflected in a number of mentions of religion in the new code of ethics produced by the Australian Association of Social Workers. However, any consideration of whether religion has a place in social work should not only occur at the individual level, but also consider faith-based agencies. This paper considers the implications of this for social work education in respect of developing curriculum which acknowledges the religious dimension of the lives of many service users; skill development to enable social workers to broach issues of religion with service users; and working in or with faith-based agencies.
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Keywords: Faith-Based Agencies; Religion; Social Work Education; Social Work Practice; Wellbeing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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