Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you are invited to think about the important role that Social Workers undertake in supporting individuals who experience homelessness. While learning more about this kind of work, you are encouraged to reflect upon three key questions guiding this chapter’s learning objectives.


  1. We begin by considering the question, ‚ÄúWhat is the role of case management in Social Work?‚ÄĚ There are many ways in which Social Workers support individuals experiencing homelessness, and much of this work occurs through direct one-to-one contact. This section provides an opportunity to learn about, and consider the importance of, case management as a strategy for supporting people experiencing homelessness.


  1. The role of Social Workers will vary according to individual needs, which we explore further by asking, ‚ÄúWhich special populations are at high risk of homelessness?‚ÄĚ In this section, we consider the needs of families, seniors, veterans, refugees / newcomers, and persons with disabilities who experience homelessness. Here you are encouraged to reflect upon why these populations might be at increased risk of homelessness, and about the roles that Social Workers can take in offering them support.


  1. We conclude the chapter by discussing a critical issue of self-care, through the question, ‚ÄúHow can support workers prevent becoming burned out?‚ÄĚ Social Work, and many other frontline positions, can be overwhelming in the amount of sustained care and attention that are required. As you work through this section you are encouraged to reflect upon the meaning of ‚Äėburn out‚Äô and the strategies that can help support the mental well-being of those in professional care-provider roles.


As you move through this chapter it is beneficial to keep in mind that Social Workers are a critical part of the daily support networks for many people who experience chronic homelessness. This work, while essential, can also be emotionally and physically draining. Read on to learn more about Social Work within the homelessness sector.


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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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