Raoul Wallenberg: His Lessons for the Social Work Profession

13-02-2014 , by Susan Boland , ed. Social Work Advance Access

With globalization and what Willem Blok (2012) has described as the development of a singular international identity and growing joint body of knowledge for social work, there is no better time to reexamine and reevaluate that identity and body of knowledge. Furthermore, there may be no better addition to this body of knowledge than the work of Raoul Wallenberg, as it presents us with invaluable opportunities to learn in the following contexts: Blok spoke of the difficulty of social work always having two faces, helping people on the one hand and supporting the established order and
relations in society on the other, even when they are controversial. He concluded: It is a continuous challenge to uphold the initial ideals of social work: to support persons, groups, organisations, and communities, to stimulate participation, empowerment, and democracy, and to contribute to a fair and humane society. To continue doing these things, it is vital . . . to be a living example of a good person and citizen yourself.

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