The End of Social Work: A Defense of the Social Worker in Times of Transformation explores the deeply flawed status quo of the social work profession. Its message is clear: it is not acceptable for social workers to labor under intolerable working conditions and financial strain because they work with the poor and oppressed. Steve Burghardt examines why social workers no longer have the income and status once shared with nurses and teachers. He addresses the leadership failures that cause social workers to be blamed for not ending poverty yet expected to handle burnout solely through self-care.

His book has uniquely inspired social workers from across the country to begin fighting for what they deserve. The Social Worker Equity Campaign (SWEC) has mobilized 1000’s to endorse its efforts to reform NASW’s outdated Code of Ethics, supported collective action as the needed answer to burnout and poor salaries, and worked with the Poor People’s Campaign and local union efforts to enhance social workers’ lives and those with whom we work.

SWEC’s efforts are now situated within the national struggles for racial justice, climate change, and economic equality so that social work and social workers regain their legitimacy as authentic advocates fighting alongside the poor and oppressed—and doing so for themselves as well.

A rallying cry for social work itself, The End of Social Work is an ideal resource for practicing social workers, students, and academics driven to improve the inequitable conditions that affect so many Americans today— including their own.