Art and the Social Work Profession: Shall Ever the Twain Meet?

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Research on Social Work Practice, Volume 29, Issue 6, Page 687-692, September 2019.
Despite evidence of widespread increasing interest in the arts as mechanisms for personal and social change, social work is conspicuous for its lack of organized conceptual attention to this area. This article argues that there are four potential perspectives that might be adopted as a means of expanding social work science and professional practice: the arts as adjunct to clinical treatment and healing, the arts as the “work” in social work, the arts as tool for social investment, and the arts as driver of political and ideological commitment. An argument is presented for a new vision of the profession in academic environments in which the arts are defined as one of the fundamental pillars. This might lead to reimagining of scholarship, the reconstruction of social work education, and acceleration of social reform.  

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