Social work is an exciting field full of demands and rewards. This book allows readers to look at many aspects of social work practice. The satisfaction of working in a profession that helps others is discussed alongside the difficulties social workers face. Discussion of the differences between social work and the other helping professions helps readers identify where their interests lie. The authors present the basic concepts, elements, and theories of social work and use this foundation to take a closer look at various fields of practice, diverse population groups, and social work environments. Attention is given to social work in the criminal justice system, international social work, and social work in rural and poverty-stricken communities. Social Work: Issues and Opportunities in a Challenging Profession makes social work real and relevant to anyone entering the field.