Social Work in Canada - An Introduction, Fourth Edition

Steven Hick & Jackie Stokes

Social Work in Canada | Print Textbook

An Introduction, Fourth Edition

Steven Hick & Jackie Stokes


An Introduction to the Major Concepts and
Contemporary Issues in Canadian Social Work


This new edition was created with your students in mind as an invitation to join the social work profession. It helps your students appreciate the indispensable roles that social workers play in our society. It seeks to give your students a sense of the enormous impact they can have if they choose social work as their career path.

Features of the New Edition


The features included throughout the new edition provide students with an in-depth look at what it is like to be a social worker, as well as the important role they play in helping individuals, families, and communities overcome difficult barriers

In focus features

The special features included throughout this book provide an opportunity for your students to reflect on the many fascinating and complex issues that have a bearing on everyday life—from income inequality to climate change, mental health to child welfare, and more.

Stories from the field

New to this edition, 34 stories narrating real-world experiences, are accompanied by background information contextualizing social work interventions that promote the welfare and self-realization of individuals, families, communities, and society.

Social worker profiles

At the end of each chapter is a profile of a social worker involved in front-line, direct service work with clients in a wide variety of settings, revealing what they love about the work they do. Each profile includes chapter review questions, further suggestions for exploring social work, and helpful websites.

Modelling best practices

New ideas and new techniques continually emerge in the search for effective interventions and lasting solutions. Each chapter includes one or more two-page overviews describing the principles underlying effective social work practice. These overviews can serve as study aids as well as guides to best practice.

Sample Pages

Click the thumbnails below to view samples from the print textbook


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Social Work and Social Welfare in Canada
Chapter 2: Toward a History of Social Work in Canada
Chapter 3: Social Work Theories and Practice Models
Chapter 4: Individuals, Groups, and Communities
Chapter 5: Social Work and Child Welfare in Canada
Chapter 6: Social Work and the Health of Canadians
Chapter 7: Mental Health and Social Work Practice
Chapter 8: Social Work with Women in Canada
Chapter 9: Social Work and Indigenous Communities
Chapter 10: Racialized Canadians and Immigrants
Chapter 11: Social Work with Older Canadians
Chapter 12: Social Work and Sexual and Gender Diversity
Chapter 13: Social Work and Persons with Disabilities
Chapter 14: International Social Work Practice

About the Authors

Steven Hick

Steven Hick is a retired professor of social work at Carleton University in Ottawa, and is also the author of the companion text Social Welfare in Canada: Understanding Income Security. He has practiced at home and abroad as a human rights worker, social service worker, mindfulness teacher and social policy analyst. He is also a co-founder of War Child Canada.

His recent work focuses on mindfulness meditation and its application as a client intervention, a mode of self care and a method to positively affect the therapeutic relationship. His teaching of introductory social work on Instructional Television and on the Internet has won him teaching awards and numerous accolades.

Jackie Stokes

Dr. Jackie Stokes studied at the University of British Columbia (B.S.W.), the University of Northern British Columbia (M.S.W.), and Simon Fraser University (Ed.D.). Jackie is currently an assistant professor in the Social Work and Human Services Program at Thompson Rivers University. Jackie has practised social work in northern British Columbia for over 20 years in the practice areas of substance use, children’s mental health, and child protection. She has also served in leadership roles in British Columbia's Northern Health Authority (substance use) and Ministry for Children and Family Development (child protection).

Her research interests are in complex decision making and using the factorial survey method. Her current research involves child neglect decision making, substance use decision making, and an examination of how students’ perceptions of social problems develop through their social work education. Jackie is an elected member of the British Columbia College of Social Workers Board of Directors.