What Led Us Astray?
Implied in the first chapter of this book is the thesis that we in social work have drifted to a position in which, for a large component of the profession, the long-standing tradition that held diagnosis to be the essence and core of responsible social work practice is no longer relevant. This project was begun with the perception that indeed the term was virtually moribund in current practice lexicon and of interest only for historical reasons. This conclusion was reinforced in an examination of the major methods textbooks used in North American schools and faculties of social work. As indicated in the previous chapter, apart from a few exceptions, not only are the majority of the currently used texts neutral about diagnosis give most the term a pejorative meaning and formally eschew it. This need to challenge the term intrigued me because, once I moved beyond the textbook component of our literature, I found that there was continued comfort with, and utilization of, diagnosis in the practice journals and articles.