Class-competent social work: A preliminary definition

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The article seeks to present a theoretical framework for defining class-competence in social work practice. Social work has made significant progress in enhancing practice competence with respect to contextual factors that transcend social class such as gender, culture, race and ethnicity. But this positive development in overcoming the rigid view, which framed class as the sole explanation of diversity, has obscured the current impact of social class differences in social work practice. This article takes a critical look at the historical approach of the profession to class issues, extends the boundaries of the social class concept beyond its narrow economic dimensions, discusses the relevance of addressing class issues in light of current challenges in social work practice and, lastly, proposes a preliminary definition of class-competent social work practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cultural competence
  • Social class
  • Social differences
  • Social work practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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