Responsibility in Social Work

Viviene E. Cree*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Responsibility is central to social work wherever it is practiced in the world, and yet it is a concept that is most often taken-for-granted, rather than afforded serious examination. This article argues that the idea of responsibility must be interrogated both vertically and horizontally, if we are to make sense of the complex dilemmas and contradictions at the heart of social work practice. The article concludes that social workers have particular responsibility to themselves, to others, and to the world in which people live by virtue of social work's unique role.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences:
EditorsJames D. Wright
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2015


  • Blame
  • Collective responsibility
  • Duty
  • Family responsibility
  • Individual responsibility
  • Moral responsibility
  • Professional responsibility
  • Rights
  • Risk
  • Social responsibility
  • Social work profession


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