School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

Forte SU Photo Spr 07

Congratulations to alumnus James Forte, Ph.D. for the recent publication of  his third book, An introduction to using Theory in Social Work Practice.

Forte is a graduate of both the Virginia Commonwealth University M.S.W., 1978, and Ph.D., 1990, programs. While in the doctoral program, he studied men in the Virginia National Guard, and their perceptions of personal contentment, marital satisfaction, and family adaptability and cohesion across seven stages of the family life cycle. As a student Forte wanted to be an educator and to help shape future social workers.

“I looked forward to the opportunity to share knowledge with novice social workers, to read great books and articles as part of my job, and to engage students in the learning process by using my group work skills.”

With the publication of his third book, Forte continues his efforts to educate young social workers.

An Introduction to Using Theory in Social Work Practice equips the reader to use fourteen key social work theories to guide each phase of the planned change process, from engagement through to evaluation. Suitable for a generalist approach, this book illustrates the value of applying theory to practice in a variety of social work roles, across diverse fields and facing assorted challenges.

The first section provides a practical foundation for beginning to use theory in your social work practice.

Section two looks at how you can translate and integrate fourteen theories commonly found in social work across each

An Intro Jpg

phase of the planned change process. The theories discussed are: behavioural, interpretive anthropology, psychodynamic, evolutionary biology, cognitive, symbolic interactionism, strengths, social constructionism exchange economics, role, ecological, critical, feminist, and systems theory.

The final section addresses some key issues for real life social work practice, including common barriers to using theory in practice, the potential for multi-professional communication and theory-sharing, and developing an integrative theoretical model for your own personal practice.

Linking to core competencies identified by the Council of Social Work Education, this text supports social work students and practitioners in developing vital skills, including critical thinking, applying theory and the effective use of the planned change process.

Categories Alumni, Publications