Disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity across the world, causing significant destruction to individuals and communities. Yet many social workers are ill-prepared for the demands of this field of practice. This book discusses the role of social workers in disaster work, including in disaster-preparedness, during the disaster and in post-disaster practice.

It addresses the complexities of social work disaster practice, noting the need for social workers to understand the language of trauma and to respond effectively. The authors discuss disaster theory and practice, drawing out elements of practice at macro-, meso- and micro-levels and at various stages of the disaster. They examine the factors that shape vulnerability in disasters and draw out the possibility of post-traumatic growth. The final section discusses strategies for self-care in disaster practice, noting the organisational and personal strategies that can be adopted to facilitate the wellbeing of workers in the field.

With real-life case studies from top scholars in the field, this book is essential reading for social work practitioners working in the field of disaster practice, as well as social work students and academics. It will also be useful to other health professionals who wish to understand this field of practice.

chapter |9 pages


part I|68 pages

Theories for practice in disaster social work

chapter 1|10 pages

Social work and the environment

An historical overview

chapter 2|18 pages

Global policy contexts

chapter 3|18 pages

Providing conceptual clarity

chapter 4|20 pages

Theories of social work and the environment

Incorporating disasters

part II|83 pages

Practice theories

chapter 5|22 pages

Disaster social work practice

chapter 6|16 pages

Community-based practice

Working at the meso-level

chapter 7|21 pages

Trauma, grief and loss

Meso- and micro-levels of disaster practice

chapter 8|22 pages

Social workers and disasters

Organisational contexts

part III|52 pages

Vulnerability, resilience and intersectionality

chapter 9|16 pages

Factors shaping vulnerability

chapter 10|17 pages

Gender and disasters

chapter 11|17 pages

Vulnerable populations

part IV|19 pages

Social workers engaged in disaster practice

chapter 12|9 pages

Social work and self-care

chapter 13|8 pages

Shaping social work disaster practice