Social Work Religiously Affiliated Agencies
by
Diana R. Garland
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0084

Introduction

Religiously affiliated agencies are organizations founded by a congregation or other religious organization to provide human services. They are characterized by at least one but not necessarily all of the following variables: (1) the mission and values of the organization derive from religious beliefs and practices; (2) the organization identifies with one or more religious congregations or other religious organizations, often expressed in the organization's name and funding streams; (3) the policies reflect the organization's religious mission, such as hiring only persons who are members of a religious group or requiring or inviting staff or clients to participate in religious practices; and (4) the goal of service is that service recipients embrace religious beliefs and values, and program evaluation strategies may measure this outcome. This entry describes resources for understanding religiously affiliated social service agencies, with specific reference to social work in these practice settings.

Introductory Works

Garland 1994 was the first book to examine religiously affiliated agencies from a social work perspective, while Hall 1998 was one of the earlier works to examine religiously affiliated agencies from a more generalized perspective. Although dated, it is still a good introduction to agencies serving children and families with missions derived from religious beliefs and values. Clark and Mason 2001 describes religiously affiliated community action agencies, which have a long history of close and productive ties to religious entities in their communities. By their nature these agencies are nonsectarian, with a broad mission to eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty in their communities. Community action agencies stress local initiative, community building, problem solving, and inclusiveness. Ellor, et al. 1999 examines services to older adults and their families in religious settings. Cnaan, et al. 2002 examines congregations as contexts for social services. Sherwood 2002 addresses the issues of social work values and ethics when the practice context is religious. Wuthnow 2004 and Cnaan, et al. 1999 describe the policy and practice issues involved in providing social services through congregations and religious organizations.

  • Clark, Robert, and Judy Mason. 2001. Community action agencies and faith-based organizations: A legacy of productive partnerships. Washington, DC: National Association of Community Action Agencies.

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    Explores the scope and characteristics of relationships between community action agencies and religious groups and organizations.

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    • Cnaan, Ram A., with Stephanie C. Boddie, Femida Handy, Gaynor Yancey, and Richard Schneider. 2002. The invisible caring hand: American congregations and the provision of welfare. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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      This research team studied what social services congregations are providing to their communities, the nature and extent of these services, and the population groups served.

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      • Cnaan, Ram A., with Robert J. Wineburg and Stephanie C. Boddie. 1999. The newer deal: Social work and religion in partnership. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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        Explores the dismantling of public social service programs at the end of the 20th century and congregations' and religious organizations' subsequent response to unmet needs. At the same time the political gains of the religious right led to increased comfort in making the religious community a focal point of social policy.

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        • Ellor, James W., F. Ellen Netting, and Jane M. Thibault. 1999. Religious and spiritual aspects of human service practice. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press.

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          Addresses the challenge of understanding religion and spirituality from the client's perspective, even when it involves a religious tradition unfamiliar to the practitioner.

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          • Garland, Diana S. Richmond. 1994. Church agencies: Caring for children and families in crisis. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

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            Describes historical and current services provided by congregations and Christian religiously affiliated agencies in child welfare and child and family services. Garland explores religious texts as a foundation and rationale for Christian involvement in child and welfare services and as necessary content for culturally competent social work practice in these settings.

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            • Hall, Peter Dobkin. 1998. Of the world or in the world? Assessing the place of religion in the organizational universe. Program on Non-Profit Organizations working paper no. 247. New Haven, CT: Program on Non-Profit Organizations, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale Univ.

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              One of the earlier explorations of the topic of organizations with religious affiliations and purposes.

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              • Sherwood, David A. 2002. The relationship between beliefs and values in social work practice: Worldviews make a difference. In Christianity and social work: Readings on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Edited by Beryl Hugen and T. Laine Scales, 9–30. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

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                Explores the beliefs and values of social work and of religious faith that are both significant in religiously affiliated contexts for social work practice.

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                • Thyer, Bruce A. ed. 2007. Special issue, Research on social work practice 17.2.

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                  A special issue of this journal that reviews research available on the effectiveness of religiously affiliated social service organizations.

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                  • Wuthnow, Robert. 2004. Saving America? Faith-based services and the future of civil society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                    Reports the findings of three national studies that conclude that congregations, despite being more numerous, are less important than more specialized religiously affiliated service organizations as service providers. The most effective religiously affiliated agencies are effective for reasons that probably disqualify them from receiving government funding.

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                    Textbooks

                    Several books can serve as texts for social work education for practice and administration of religiously affiliated organizations. Garland 1994 was written as an introduction to social work in religiously affiliated child and family service agencies. Hugen and Scales 2008 is designed to be a reader to accompany other texts in a course. Ellor, et al. 1999 would also make a good companion reader in a direct practice course, and Ellor and Netting 2005 would serve well in a course on aging. Queen 2000 is a compendium of articles from leaders in this field of research and practice.

                    • Ellor, James W., and F. Ellen Netting. 2005. Faith-based initiatives and aging services. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.

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                      Services for older adults in religious congregations and religiously affiliated agencies and services.

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                      • Ellor, James W., F. Ellen Netting, and Jane M. Thibault. 1999. Religious and spiritual aspects of human service practice. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press.

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                        Explores the role of religion and spirituality in human services, even when the client's religious tradition is unfamiliar to the social worker.

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                        • Garland, Diana S. Richmond. 1994. Church agencies: Caring for children and families in crisis. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

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                          An introduction to child and family welfare services provided by congregations and Christian religiously affiliated agencies.

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                          • Hugen, Beryl, and T. Laine Scales, eds. 2008. Christianity and social work: Readings on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. 3d ed. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

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                            Addresses the relationship of social work with Christian faith and topics such as macro practice, social justice and welfare, spiritual assessment, addiction treatment, mental illness, aging and end of life care, child welfare practice, families and spirituality, and the ethical integration of social work and Christian values and beliefs. Useful for both students and seasoned practitioners.

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                            • Queen, Edward L., II, ed. 2000. Serving those in need: A handbook for managing faith-based human service organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                              An edited volume of resources for administrators of religiously affiliated organizations.

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                              Reference Resources

                              The field of social work in religiously affiliated agencies is changing rapidly, and some of the best resources are thus found online. These online resources can be used to support teaching for religiously affiliated agency practice as well as to support practitioners seeking the latest research on practice in these settings. Practitioners and administrators of these agencies will find most helpful the Center for Family and Community Ministries, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, the Center on Faith in Communities, the Faith and Service Technical Education Network (FASTEN), and Public/Private Ventures. The latest in research can be found at the above sites and at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. For a review of early research, look to the Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society.

                              Associations

                              Community organizers and developers will appreciate the resources of the Christian Community Development Association. The latest in research can be found at the Religious Research Association, the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) promotes research as the most effective way to understand the nonprofit sector. The Islamic Social Services Association offers training programs for imams; community leaders; and Muslim, secular, and other faith professionals and paraprofessionals.

                              Journals

                              It is only recently that established major social work journals have begun to publish articles on the topic of religiously affiliated agencies. Research on Social Work Practice published a special issue 17.2 in 2007 (Thyer 2007, cited in the section Introductory Works) on the topic of faith-based social services. There are specialized journals in social work and related fields that have made religiously affiliated agencies a central focus of their publications. The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion is the multidisciplinary journal of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly addresses such issues as the changing role of religion in public life and social services and the impact of the nonprofit sector on society. Social Work Forum is a refereed journal of social work practice and Jewish social thought.

                              Congregations

                              Congregations—aggregates of people that gather regularly and voluntarily for religious activities, such as worship and study of religious texts—are an important subset of religious organizations, with characteristics that distinguish them from religiously affiliated social service agencies. Cnaan, et al. 2002 studies the role of the religious community in the welfare system. Moberg 1984 was one of the first to undertake a sociological exploration of the church. Wind and Lewis 1994 provided the first handbook for congregational study and research. An early work, Ammerman 2005 was the first to explore qualitatively a diverse sample of congregations across the United States. It is complemented by Chaves 2004, the groundbreaking study of the first random sample of US congregations. Cnaan, et al. 2002 and Cnaan, et al. 2006 studied the role of congregations in social services and social welfare, focusing on one American city. Sherwood 2006 is written specifically for social workers in congregational settings. Resources for practitioners include Garland 1999, which explores the congregation as a setting for family services. Jacobsen 2001 provides guidance for congregations engaged in community organizing.

                              • Ammerman, Nancy Tatom. 2005. Pillars of faith: American congregations and their partners. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                The first in-depth study of congregations in the United States across faiths, including an examination of their involvement in community social services. The author describes the role of congregations in social services and their connection with human service organizations.

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                                • Chaves, Mark. 2004. Congregations in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                  Reports findings of the first random sample study of congregations in the United States. It explores the activities of congregations, including their involvement in social services to the community and collaboration with other congregations and with social service agencies.

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                                  • Cnaan, Ram A., with Stephanie C. Boddie, Femida Handy, Gaynor Yancey, and Richard Schneider. 2002. The invisible caring hand: American congregations and the provision of welfare. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                    A seminal study of the ways congregations serve as safety nets for those most in need of food, shelter, counsel, and emotional support. Multiple research methodologies were used: in-depth interviews, case studies, reviews and document analysis, and historical overview.

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                                    • Cnaan, Ram A., with Stephanie C. Boddie, Charlene C. McGrew, and Jennifer J. Kang. 2006. The other Philadelphia story: How local congregations support quality of life in urban America. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

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                                      Draws on the first census of all congregations in one American city to describe their involvement in social services.

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                                      • Garland, Diana S. Richmond. 1999. Family ministry: A comprehensive guide. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity.

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                                        Applies social work theory and practice principles to work with families in congregational settings. The volume includes understanding of the historical role of the Christian church in family life, theological and biblical content relevant to social work practice with families in this cultural setting, and guides for assessment and program development.

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                                        • Jacobsen, Dennis A. 2001. Doing justice: Congregations and community organizing. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.

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                                          An introductory theology of congregation-based community organizing, weaving Christian theology for community organizing into concrete strategies. Designed for use by congregations and church leaders.

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                                          • Moberg, David O. 1984. The church as a social institution. 2d ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

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                                            One of the early examples of a sociological study of the church.

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                                            • Sherwood, David. 2006. Churches as contexts for social work practice: Connecting with the mission and identity of congregations. Social Work and Christianity 30.1: 1–13.

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                                              Reflects on characteristics of churches as contexts for practice, issues that social workers may face as they connect their work with the identity and mission of the church, and the nature of working with faith-motivated volunteers.

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                                              • Wind, James P., and James W. Lewis. 1994. American congregations: New perspectives in the study of congregations. Vol. 2. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                This early volume provides a comprehensive examination of congregations across faith traditions in the United States today.

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                                                Development of Social Work in Religiously-Affiliated Agencies

                                                The academic study of religiously affiliated agencies is relatively recent. The term “faith-based” to describe religiously affiliated organizations became common in the late 1990s and the early part of the 21st century, when reform of governmental welfare services included collaborations between government and religious organizations to provide community social services. Jeavons 1994 has pointed out that “religiously affiliated” is a more accurate descriptive term for social service agencies than “faith-based,” because all organizations hold basic beliefs about ultimate truth that are implied in the term “faith-based.” Moreover “faith” is a term with a particularly Christian connotation that does not communicate well across faiths, and faith refers to beliefs and value systems of persons and their communities, not an organizational characteristic. From a Christian perspective, Garland 1992 is a good introduction to the various religious settings in which social workers practice, including congregations and denominational agencies as well as community-based religiously affiliated social service agencies. Garland 1994 describes the work of child welfare agencies and programs that are religiously affiliated. Unruh and Sider 2005 provides a helpful typology for understanding the congregation's involvement in social change.

                                                • Demerath, N. J., III, Peter Dobkin Hall, Terry Schmitt, and Rhys H. Williams, eds. 1998. Sacred companies: Organizational aspects of religion and religious aspects of organizations. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                  A volume of articles that explore the organizational aspects of congregations and religious agencies, including their relationship to social movements, how they manage conflict and organize authority and power, and their inner and outer orientations.

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                                                  • Ellor, James W., and F. Ellen Netting, eds. 2004. Faith-based initiatives and aging services. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Pastoral.

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                                                    Explores services for older adults in religious congregations and religiously affiliated agencies and services. Examines the history and challenges of religiously affiliated agencies and institutions that serve older adults funding their services with government grants and contracts.

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                                                    • Evans, Christopher H., ed. 2001. The Social Gospel today. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.

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                                                      Examines the premises of the Social Gospel movement. Describes the legacy of the Social Gospel movement that continues today to shape policy and services.

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                                                      • Garland, Diana S. Richmond. 1994. Church agencies: Caring for children and families in crisis. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

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                                                        Describes historical and current services provided by congregations and Christian religiously affiliated agencies in child welfare and child and family services. The author includes an exploration of religious texts as a foundation and rationale for Christian involvement in child and welfare services.

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                                                        • Garland, Diana S. Richmond, ed. 1992. Church social work. Philadelphia: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

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                                                          This early edited volume examines the various contexts in Christian organizations for social work practice, including congregations, mission organizations, and social service agencies.

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                                                          • Jeavons, Thomas H. 1994. When the bottom line is faithfulness: Management of Christian service organizations. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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                                                            Explores what it means to consider management issues in an organizational context in which the affirmation of moral values is as important as the completion of a task.

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                                                            • Mittleman, Alan, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Robert Licht, eds. 2002. Jewish polity and American civil society: Communal agencies and religious movements in the American public sphere. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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                                                              Examines the role of the Jewish community and Jewish social services in American public policy and services. Despite the community's growing use of public funds, most of the community's core human service programs have preserved the primary mission of serving the Jewish community.

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                                                              • Sherr, Michael E. 2008. Social work with volunteers. Chicago: Lyceum.

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                                                                Explores the relationship between social work and volunteerism and how social workers can work most effectively with volunteers.

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                                                                • Unruh, Heidi Rolland, and Ronald J. Sider. 2005. Saving souls, serving society: Understanding the faith factor in church-based social ministry. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                  Provides a typology for how congregations connect spiritual nurture and social change based on case studies of diverse Philadelphia-area Protestant churches actively involved in outreach to their communities.

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                                                                  Origins of Religiously-Affiliated Agencies

                                                                  The mission of religiously affiliated agencies derives from their religious beliefs. Judaism teaches the importance of loving one's “neighbor” as much as one loves self (Leviticus 19:18); Jick 1998–1999 explores the development of Jewish social work. Christian thought is based in Judaism and the teachings of Jesus, who posited that every person in need is considered a neighbor, one worthy of care (Luke 10:30–36) and that his followers would be judged by the extent to which they care for the needs of persons who are poor and oppressed: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:31–46, Today's New International Version). Jane Addams was heavily influenced by the Protestant Christian Social Gospel movement, which Evans 2001 explores. Addams founded the most famous of the social settlement houses in the United States in 1889. Somewhat later, in the 1930s, Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Worker movement, which Coles 1993 describes. Oates 1995 documents the development of Catholic social services. Amato-von Hemert 2002 explores the historical roots of social work in Christian theology. Netting 1982 explores the development of funding streams, both secular and religious.

                                                                  • Amato-von Hemert, K. 2002. Battle between sin and love in social work history. In Christianity and social work: Readings on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Edited by Beryl Hugen and T. Laine Scales, 45–62. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

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                                                                    Explores the two social work movements that straddled the launch of the 20th century: the Charity Organization Society (COS) movement and the Social Settlement movement. Examines the religious ideas that influenced both threads of historical social work.

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                                                                    • Coles, Robert 1993. The call of service: A witness to idealism. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

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                                                                      Explores the motivations of those who feel called to serve. Coles includes an account of his conversation with Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker movement.

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                                                                      • Evans, Christopher H., ed. 2001. The Social Gospel today. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.

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                                                                        Describes the Social Gospel movement prior to World War I, the theological movement that was the impetus for Jane Addams and others to tackle the social problems of their day, launching the social work profession. Explores remaining vestiges today.

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                                                                        • Jick, Leon A. 1998–1999. The transformation of Jewish social work: Bernard Reisman and the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University. Journal of Jewish Communal Service 75 (Winter–Spring): 114–120.

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                                                                          Provides an overview of the development of Jewish social work beginning with the organization of the National Conference of Jewish Social Service in 1899, initially with the goal of Americanizing immigrants. Provides an overview of the role of social work in addressing the needs of the Jewish community.

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                                                                          • Netting, F. Ellen. 1982. Secular and religious funding of church-related agencies. Social Service Review 56.4 (December): 586–604.

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                                                                            Reports selected findings from a study of three Protestant social service agencies. This was one of the first studies of the role of government fees and grants in religiously affiliated social services.

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                                                                            • Oates, Mary J. 1995. The Catholic philanthropic tradition in America. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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                                                                              Reviews the development of social services in the Catholic Church in the United States.

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                                                                              Policy

                                                                              Much of the literature on religiously affiliated agencies focuses at the policy level, debating the extent to which the government should channel its resources for social services through religiously affiliated organizations or maintain a clear boundary between government funds and organizations with religious affiliations. Cnaan, et al. 2002 and Cnaan, et al. 1999 explored this debate at the level of congregations in one city and the extent to which congregations are a part of the fiber of social services in their communities. Garland and Chamiec-Case 2005 studied religiously affiliated child welfare organizations that have historically been major contributors to that sector of social welfare. Wineburg 2001 critiques the policy debate based on an in-depth longitudinal study of one city. Vanderwoerd 2004 and Yancey, et al. 2004 have added both qualitative and quantitative research findings that describe the complexity of the relationship between government policy and services and religiously affiliated organizations.

                                                                              • Cnaan, Ram A., with Stephanie C. Boddie, Femida Handy, Gaynor Yancey, and Richard Schneider. 2002. The invisible caring hand: American congregations and the provision of welfare. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                Using their research as the context, explores the policy implications of congregations providing social services with government funding.

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                                                                                • Cnaan, Ram A., with Robert J. Wineburg and Stephanie C. Boddie. 1999. The newer deal: Social work and religion in partnership. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                  Explores the dismantling of public social service programs at the end of the 20th century and how congregations and religious organizations responded to unmet needs, becoming integral and necessary parts of local service systems' resource bases and partners in the design and delivery of services. Describes how the political gains of the religious right led to increased comfort in making the religious community a focal point of social policy.

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                                                                                  • Garland, Diana S. Richmond, and Rick Chamiec-Case. 2005. Before—and after—the political rhetoric: Faith-based child and family welfare services. Social Work and Christianity 32.1: 22–43.

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                                                                                    Examines the provision of the range of child and family welfare services and the distinctive contribution these religiously affiliated agencies are making to the network of services for the most vulnerable children and families in American society.

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                                                                                    • Vanderwoerd, Jim R. 2004. How faith-based social services organizations manage secular pressures associated with government funding. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 14.3: 239–262.

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                                                                                      Reports selected findings from a qualitative case study of two faith-based social service organizations. The findings suggest that the adaptation of secular institutional practices is not as inevitable as some have feared.

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                                                                                      • Wineburg, Bob. 2001. A limited partnership: The politics of religion, welfare, and social service. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        Based on a longitudinal study of social services in one community, examines the resources and limitations of religious communities and religiously affiliated organizations to partner with government in providing needed human services. Wineburg states that the resources of a religious community include its mission to serve, a pool of volunteers, sacred space, grant makers, and political strength.

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                                                                                        • Yancey, Gaynor, Robin Rogers, Jon Singletary, Kelly Atkinson, and M. Lori Thomas. 2004. Public-private partnerships: Interactions between faith-based organizations and government entities. Social Policy Journal 3.4: 5–17.

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                                                                                          Offers initial analysis of qualitative data that focus on the nature of relationships between government entities and religious organizations.

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                                                                                          Research and Program Evaluation

                                                                                          Religiously affiliated agencies have unique issues in evaluation as well as those shared with other social service providers. Leake, et al. 2007 studied the outcome of capacity-developing interventions with religiously affiliated organizations. Because they have a religious mission, Ferguson, et al. 2007, Garland, et al. 2008, and Walton 2007 examined the impact of services on the religious and spiritual lives of clients, volunteers, and congregations that are collaborators in service provision. Boddie, et al. 2001 explored the methodological considerations in studying congregations and religiously affiliated organizations. Johnson, et al. 2002 is a systematic review of nearly eight hundred studies, most of them published over the last few years, and deals exhaustively with each of two separate but related types of religious influences in relation to important social and health outcomes.

                                                                                          • Boddie, Stephanie C., Ram A. Cnaan, and John J. DiIulio. 2001. Philadelphia census of congregations and their involvement in social service delivery: Methodological challenges and findings. Paper presented at the Society for Social Work Research, Atlanta, GA, January 18–21.

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                                                                                            Paper presented at the Society for Social Work Research, Atlanta, GA.

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                                                                                            • Ferguson, Kristin M., Qiaobing Wu, Donna Spruijt-Metz, and Grace Dyrness. 2007. Outcome evaluation and faith-based social services: Are we evaluating faith accurately? Research on Social Work Practice 17.2: 264–276.

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                                                                                              The authors synthesize how effectiveness has been defined and measured in evaluation research of religiously affiliated programs. Adopting the systematic review method, they explore how researchers have conceptualized and operationalized effectiveness and faith.

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                                                                                              • Garland, Diana S. Richmond, Dennis M. Myers, and Terry A. Wolfer. 2008. Social work with religious volunteers: Activating and sustaining community involvement. Social Work 53.3: 255–265.

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                                                                                                Reports on a research project exploring the impact of service on the lives of volunteers, including their religious beliefs and practices.

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                                                                                                • Johnson, Byron R., Ralph Brett Tompkins, and Derek Webb. 2002. Objective hope: Assessing the effectiveness of faith-based organizations; A review of the literature. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society.

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                                                                                                  Discusses how the conclusions from this body of research are relevant and directly related to the research on faith-based interventions. This study also reviewed ninety-seven studies that examine the diverse interventions of religious groups, congregations, or faith-based organizations. Available online.

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                                                                                                  • Leake, Robin, Sheridan Green, Christine Marquez, Janine Vanderburg, Sara Guillaume, and Veronica A. Gardner. 2007. Evaluating the capacity of faith-based programs in Colorado. Research on Social Work Practice 17.2: 216–228.

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                                                                                                    Examines faith-based organizations' capacity gains after participating in a targeted capacity-building intervention. A comprehensive tool to assess organizations' levels of capacity was developed specifically for the study. Members of forty-four faith-based and forty-six community-based organizations were interviewed and assessed using the new instrument. The study demonstrated that targeted technical assistance predicted improvements in organizational capacity.

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                                                                                                    • MacMaster, Samuel A., Jenny L. Jones, Randolph F. R. Rasch, Sharon L. Crawford, Stephanie Thompson, and Edwin C. Sanders II. 2007. Evaluation of a faith-based culturally relevant program for African American substance users at risk for HIV in the southern United States. Research on Social Work Practice 17.2: 229–238.

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                                                                                                      Provides the results of an evaluation of a federally funded “faith-based” program that serves African Americans who use heroin and cocaine and are at risk for HIV/AIDS in Nashville, Tennessee.

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                                                                                                      • Schneider, Jo Anne. 2006. Social capital and welfare reform: Organizations, congregations, and communities. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                        A sociological exploration of social policy and the concept of social capital as they relate to congregations and religiously affiliated organizations responding to the needs of communities.

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                                                                                                        • Walton, Elaine. 2007. Evaluating faith-based programs: An introduction from the guest editor. Research on Social Work Practice 17.2: 171–173.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/1049731506296351Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Provides a history of the relationship of social work and the Christian church and defines spirituality as an essential factor in the human condition, worthy of special assessment tools and key in the refinement of cultural competence, and introduces concepts and tools for evaluating “faith-based” programs.

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                                                                                                          Teaching

                                                                                                          As Cnaan, et al. 2005 reports, social work education historically actively avoided teaching about spirituality and religion. Consequently there has been little published specifically to support the education of social workers for practice in religiously affiliated agencies. Netting, et al. 1990 is a helpful guide to integrating content into macro course work. The casebook Scales, et al. 2002, like Wolfer 2003, provides resources for teaching at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels and across social work in a variety of teaching content areas; see also Sherr and Wolfer 2004. The implications of Singletary 2009 relate to educational settings that incorporate content on religion and spirituality in social work education and practice in religious organizations.

                                                                                                          • Cnaan, Ram A., Stephanie C. Boddie, and R. A. Danzig. 2005. Teaching about organized religion in social work: Lessons and challenges. In Social work and divinity. Edited by Daniel Lee and Robert O'Gorman, 93–110. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Pastoral.

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                                                                                                            Reviews the history of the eschewing of teaching about religion and religious organizations in social work education.

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                                                                                                            • Netting, F. Ellen, Jane M. Thibault, and James W. Ellor. 1990. Integrating content on organized religion into macropractice courses. Journal of Social Work Education 26.1: 15–24.

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                                                                                                              Provides practical suggestions for including content on religion in social work education for macro practice.

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                                                                                                              • Scales, T. Laine, Terry A. Wolfer, David A. Sherwood, Diana S. Richmond Garland, Beryl Hugen, and Sharon Weaver Pittman. 2002. Spirituality and religion in social work practice: Decision cases with teaching notes. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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                                                                                                                Provides educators and social work trainers and supervisors pilot-tested decision cases for use in social work courses and clinical training and supervision. The cases are designed to generate discussion and strengthen the skills of practitioners. Includes cases from a diversity of faith perspectives, such as Native American, Buddhist, Jewish, and so forth.

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                                                                                                                • Sherr, Michael E., and Terry A. Wolfer. 2004. Teaching content on social work practice with religious congregations: A curriculum module. Advances in Social Work 5.2: 197–210.

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                                                                                                                  Describes and evaluates a teaching module on charitable choice for Master of Social Work (MSW) students.

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                                                                                                                  • Singletary, Jon E. 2009. A proposal for a multiparadigmatic approach to Judeo-Christian religion in social work education. Advances in Social Work 9.2: 1–16.

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                                                                                                                    Explores different sociological paradigms of knowledge and practice that may be of value when seeking to utilize spiritual and religious content in social work education.

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                                                                                                                    • Wolfer, Terry A., ed. 2003. Decision cases for Christians in social work: Religious faith and social work practice. Special issue, Social Work and Christianity 30.2.

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                                                                                                                      A small collection of decision cases to be used in teaching social work practice. Cases involve social workers employed by congregations and other faith-affiliated organizations.

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