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ERIC Number: EJ951073
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0037-8046
Social Work and Juvenile Probation: Historical Tensions and Contemporary Convergences
Peters, Clark M.
Social Work, v56 n4 p355-365 Oct 2011
Social work's weak presence in the field of corrections is peculiar, given that those involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems are undeniably among the vulnerable and oppressed populations that the profession has traditionally served. The field of juvenile probation shares roots with the profession of social work but lacks a strong connection to it today. Traditional explanations focus on the reluctance of social workers to engage clients in coercive environments, but historical analysis suggests that this account tells only part of the story. An examination of social work's origins shows that issues involving gender stereotyping and the failure of theory help explain social workers' diminished role in juvenile probation. In recent decades, changes in attitudes regarding gender and working with coerced clients, as well as evidence of effective interventions, suggest that social workers may be ready to reengage meaningfully with juvenile probation and other corrections work. This article outlines steps in professional education and workforce development that would move the profession toward reintegrating social work into the corrections field.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A