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58 Int'l Soc. Work 3 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/intsocwk58 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                                                           International Social Work
                                                                             2015, Vol. 58(I) 3-6
Social work          on    the   frontline                                  @The Author(s) 2014
                                                                          Reprints and permissions:
    addressing          disasters, social                                .u/journalsPernissions.nav
                                                                    DOI: 10.1 177/0020872814561402
problems and marginalization

Social workers' endeavours in helping people to achieve well-being in adverse circumstances form
the underpinning theme in this bumper issue. The articles cluster around four sub-themes: disasters,
cultural competencies, marginalization and educational issues, and are presented and considered in
that order.

Disasters, whether natural or (hu)man-made, are becoming increasingly important in social work
theory and practice as they grow in both frequency and the number of people affected. The three
articles that follow explore different facets of these.
   Social work intervention following an earthquake disaster forms the subject considered by Guat
Tin Ng  and Timothy Sim, who  examine  the relevance of psychosocial support offered to young
victim-survivors after the Wenchaun earthquake of 2008 in China. This disaster affected school
children tremendously because they were in their classrooms when the violent tremors struck.
Many  lost family members and friends as well as their homes and schools. Outpourings of grief
and loss were evident everywhere. Using the newly built village primary school as their base, their
initiative developed the extended mental health model of intervention that included working
closely with young school children, their teachers and their parents, and fostered growing resil-
ience in the community. This model is ongoing, and is a success story from which other social
workers can learn. The focus of this particular article is mainly on the impact of relocating junior
middle school children outside their home area. Their interesting findings are well worth reading.
   The article by Govindasamy  Agoramoorthy  and Minna  J Hsu  explores social work practice
among  tribal groups in the drylands of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India who experience drought and
other climate change-related disasters that undermine their traditional agricultural activities.
Initiating irrigation-based social work, a non-profit agency was able to empower the farmers by
mobilizing them around cooperatives that built social capital and self-help initiatives to reduce the
risks posed by severe drought and erratic rainfall. These activities reduced the economic dangers
that can easily befall poor rural communities and enabled them to devise strategies that enhanced
their ability to resist market-based initiatives that threatened to destroy traditional livelihoods.
   The article by Grant Doxey and Patricia McNamara  is also about a farming community, and
although the farmers face financial disaster and poverty, the authors focus on the lack of social ser-
vices to remote areas which impacts not only on service (in)availability to remote and marginalized
populations, but also on the pressure of those trying to provide them. In this case, they are the finan-
cial counsellors in the Rural Financial Counselling Service who often work alone without profes-
sional support in difficult conditions. The authors go on to explore how these financial counsellors
can engage in more mainstream social work activities to meet the psycho-social needs of farming
families. Climate change lies at the heart of the issues that these farmers face because prolonged and

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