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Social work in Brazil in the vortex of three crises: pandemic, social and political.

Garcia, Maria L�cia Teixeira; Spolander, Gary; da Silva Barbosa, Rafael


Maria L�cia Teixeira Garcia

Rafael da Silva Barbosa


Social work in Brazil advocates a radical and critical model of social work theorisation and practice. This article explores the Brazilian theoretical and practice model, identifying the profession as being in a vortex of COVID-19, increasing state economic austerity, attacks on previously hard-won progressive social policy, and increasing inequality and precarity. This provides a challenging practice environment. The professional re-conceptualisation model proposes that social work needs to fully theorise social difficulties to ensure that the profession intervenes to address the causes of the problems, rather than manifestations underlying them. Through aligning itself with working-class conflicts, promoting rights and refusing to accept the rolling-back of support, the Brazilian framework, located within its social realities, offers an opportunity for social workers globally to consider what lessons can be learnt, to recognise the uniqueness of its perspectives and to provide solidarity through its recognition.


GARCIA, M.L.T., SPOLANDER, G. and DA SILVA BARBOSA, R. 2023. Social work in Brazil in the vortex of three crises: pandemic, social and political. British journal of social work [online], 53(1), pages 656-672. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 18, 2022
Publication Date Jan 31, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 2, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 2, 2022
Journal British journal of social work
Print ISSN 0045-3102
Electronic ISSN 1468-263X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
Pages 656-672
Keywords Social work; Social workers; Brazil; COVID-19; International social work; Critical and radical social work; Political social work
Public URL


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