Advanced Praise

Paula Allen-Meares, University of Michigan
"The life narratives, voices, or actual experiences contained in this book reflect the spiritual awakenings, desires to make a difference in the quality of life, and the day-to-day realities of social workers in actions.  These narratives offer contemporary insights and beg the question:  Why were you called to this profession?  The passion for social justice and meaningful activities, the dedication to compassion, and the commitment to building community connections and healing journeys are only a few of the motivational themes that [emerge from this book]."

Barbara W. White, The University of Texas at Austin
"The Call to Social Work: Life Stories offers what has long been needed:  a large dose of crucial, unvarnished stories about the work of social work.  LeCroy has brought erudition of hands-on experience to those who are new to the profession and to those of us who need to experience renewal of the contexts in which we teach and practice.  The stories portray personal, political, and professional struggles of vision, courage, and sacrifice.  This important book should be essential reading for anyone seeking a candid guide that elucidates major themes that define and underlie the profession of social work."

Dennis Saleebey, University of Kansas
"This is a book of narratives, of stories, of practicing social workers from a variety of fields and with a variety of experience.  These stories are rich in detail, emotion, consideration, philosophy, conflict, hope, and determination that make up the dailiness of the lives of social workers.  Professor LeCroy has done a masterful and respectful job of recounting these narratives, and arranging them in themes that emerge not just from the stories but from the very nature of social work itself.  The use of story and narrative is a kind of evidence that we ignore or belittle at our peril. I learned more about the faces and phases of social work reading these narratives than in thousands of pages of surveys or empirical accounts of this life.  The central message here is that social work is a calling, a call to service (as Robert Coles has written).  The words of these social workers speak to the luminous and nearly spiritual essence of the calling.  'I still go back to the core thing,' says one social worker.  'I do something that matters to somebody else, that matters to me.  Something that has value.  That is a demonstration of caring.'  Or, more directly, another social workers says, 'Social work is a calling.  A call to something.  There is restlessness inside of you and you have the opportunity to deal with [it].  That restlessness has to do with injustice in the world.'  These are not sugar-coated stories.  There is trouble, pain, anguish, deep hurt here.  But the urge of the calling, its drumbeat, is unmistakable.  And in the end, really, these are stories of life and work, of possibility and disappointment.  Everyone could learn from them."