Social work has been called the profession of hope. When looking for a change or a solution to a problem, we turn to manifestations of hope—expectation, optimism, belief, promise— both as individuals and on a societal level. The capacity to hope for change enables social workers to serve people who have experienced torture, trauma, drug addiction, domestic violence, or child abuse The challenges facing clients are multilayered and complex, and require a sensitive, informed approach.
In keeping with this attitude of hope, NASW Press has published the anthology Hope Matters: The Power of Social Work, edited by Betsy Clark and Elizabeth Hoffler. Hope Matters brings together essays from a variety of experts in social work. The 40 chapters in Hope Matters are divided into nine sections which showcase the range of impact hope has in the field of social work:
- Personal Hope
- Professional Hope
- Fostering a Community of Hope
- Using Hope Clinically
- Hope and Transformation
- Hope and Culture
- Families and Hope
- Researching the Concept of Hope
- Hope and Human Rights
Hope Matters can inspire hope in each one of us, no matter our personal and professional challenges. The editors explore the stories of professional social workers in all fields of practice as they promote the clinical and community uses of hope to inspire their clients and help them solve seemingly intractable problems. The contributors to this collection highlight the role of resilience in making progress toward overcoming obstacles and reaching a positive outcome. Hope Matters is filled with uplifting examples of the power and importance of social work.
Hope Matters: The Power of Social Work is a companion to the recently published Social Work Matters: The Power of Linking Policy and Practice, which has demonstrated social work’s central role in working toward achieving healthy functioning in society.
As the editors point out in their introduction:
The 58 authors in this text address the continuum of hope from the individual to the global. Some describe transformation through hope; others used hope as a catalyst for change. Still others write about restoring hope at the client, community, or organizational levels. … [S]ocial workers intertwine hope at all levels and in all instances with advocacy and social justice. This linkage is what sets social work apart.