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Higher Education

Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, 12th Edition

  • Charles Zastrow
  • ISBN-10: 130538833X
  • ISBN-13: 9781305388338
  • 640 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2010, 2008
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

The bestselling introductory Social Work text on the market, Zastrow's INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL WELFARE: EMPOWERING PEOPLE is lauded for being the most comprehensive and practical text available for beginning social workers. In addition to giving readers a thorough overview of the social work profession, this text offers a realistic view of social problems in contemporary society, equipping students with real-world insight that they can apply in practice. By presenting positive strategies in the context of the core values, ethics, skills, and knowledge base of today's professional social worker, Zastrow encourages students to think critically about new, workable methods for problem-solving and empowering clients. Case studies, exhibits and tables on contemporary social problems help students apply concepts and compare and contrast issues. The twelfth edition has been thoroughly updated to align with the latest EPAS (2015) from CSWE, and offers insights into new and emerging issues from the field.


  • With its unique social problems approach, this cutting-edge text describes how people are affected by such problems as poverty, child abuse, emotional difficulties, sexism, alcoholism, crime, and discrimination, to name a few. It also offers information on the nature, extent, and causes of such problems. Presenting both sides of major social issues, Zastrow provides even and balanced coverage to give students greater understanding and insight into the issues.

  • Zastrow's adept use of practical cases, exhibits, and tables helps clarify chapter concepts. Integrated case examples help students identify with people and situations that they will likely encounter as a social worker, while text exhibits help them compare and contrast or learn opposing views of issues.

  • Critical Thinking Questions are interspersed throughout the text to engage students in exploring the practices and policies of social work.

  • Content is organized around three additional themes to aid understanding and give students insight into real-world practice to prepare them for their careers: generalist practice (how to counsel individuals and groups, how to develop new services, and how to improve existing community services); ecological perspectives (the biological, psychological, and sociological influences on human behavior); and real-life experience (via "day in the life" vignettes of social workers).

  • A brief historical review of the development of social welfare, social work, and various social services equips students with a solid background on social work. Zastrow also integrates key social work issues throughout, including the strengths perspective, international perspectives, spirituality, populations-at-risk, and ethnic-sensitive social work practice.


"This text provides an in-depth exploration to the discipline of social work and is written in way that makes perfect since to the introductory student. It is comprehensive in it's coverage of all the areas in which social work is present and is tune with the CSWE standards that are required for programs to address in their curriculum."
— Robin Walters-Powell, University of Findlay

About the Author

Charles Zastrow

Charles Zastrow, MSW, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, where he chaired the Social Work Department for six years. He has also been the Assistant Director and Professor in the Social Work Program at George Williams College in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Wisconsin, Dr. Zastrow has worked as a practitioner for various agencies, chaired social work accreditation site visit teams for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and served on the Commission on Accreditation of CSWE. He also was a member of the BPD board. A leader in social work education and a bestselling author, Dr. Zastrow has written more than 45 articles in professional journals as well as nine books, including four other textbooks: THE GENERALIST SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE, SOCIAL WORK WITH GROUPS, SOCIAL PROBLEMS: ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS, and UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT (with Dr. Karen Kirst-Ashman).

Table of Contents

1. Social Welfare: Its Business, History, and Future.
2. Social Work as a Profession and a Career.
3. Generalist Social Work Practice.
4. Poverty and Public Welfare.
5. Emotional/Behavioral Problems and Counseling.
6. Family Problems and Services to Families.
7. Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals.
8. Drug Abuse and Drug Treatment Programs.
9. Crime, Juvenile Delinquency, and Correctional Services.
10. Problems in Education and School Social Work.
11. Work-Related Problems and Social Work in the Workplace.
12. Racism, Ethnocentrism, and Strategies for Advancing Social and Economic Justice.
13. Sexism and Efforts for Achieving Equality.
14. Aging and Gerontological Services.
15. Health Problems and Medical Social Services.
16. Physical and Mental Disabilities and Rehabilitation.
17. Overpopulation, Misuse of the Environment, and Family Planning.

New to this edition

  • Every chapter of the twelfth edition is updated to include the most current information available. Revisions also assure that the content aligns with the CSWE's 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).
  • New topics include major mental disorders in DSM-5; mindfulness; asset-based community development; gender identity; practice considerations and services for LGBTQ persons; dimensions of sexuality (biological, gender, and sexual orientation); suggestions for social work students to work against oppression of LGBTQ persons; movement toward legalizing the possession and use of marijuana in some states; elder abuse; The Affordable Care Act; the increase in terrorism in recent years; the Common Core Standards in education; and the key therapeutic change agent in counseling/psychotherapy.
  • MindTap® Social Work prepares students to be empowered, responsive advocates. Students track their progress through an intentional learning path that leads them toward licensure and professional practice.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 1305870204 | ISBN-13: 9781305870208)

These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

Online Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1305870239 | ISBN-13: 9781305870239)

Organize your course and capture your students' attention with the resources found in the Test Bank, including multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and essay questions -- most with answers and page references for each chapter of the text.

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305870190 | ISBN-13: 9781305870192)

This detailed manual provides sample syllabi, course guidelines, in-class exercises, and chapter objectives to assist instructors in teaching the course.

MindTap Social Work, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zastrow's Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People  (ISBN-10: 1305658302 | ISBN-13: 9781305658301)

MindTap Social Work for Zastrow's Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, 12th Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap. MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap gives you complete ownership of your content and learning experience. A scaffolded learning experience move students from lower- to higher-order thinking skills by reinforcing learned skills and concepts through application. Design your course to match your own objectives and preferred teaching method. Customize the interactive syllabi, emphasize the most important topics, and add your own material or notes in the eBook.

Student Supplements

MindTap Social Work, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zastrow's Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People  (ISBN-10: 1305658302 | ISBN-13: 9781305658301)

MindTap Social Work for Zastrow's Empowerment Series: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, 12th Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. Take advantage of the MindTap Mobile App. Read or listen to the text and study with the aid of instructor notifications, flashcards, and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Track your scores and stay motivated toward your goals. Whether you have more work to do or are ahead of the curve, you’ll know where you need to focus your efforts. Study tools include videos, exercises and activities. MINDTAP HELPS YOU MAKE THE TEXTBOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards. When it’s time to study, everything you’ve flagged or noted can be gathered into a guide you can organize.