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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to explore the role of the clinical social worker in a time of unprecedented change. The events of the last decade have transformed health care delivery as well as professional performance expectations. To facilitate understanding, the environmental considerations that surround these changes are traced and discussed. A direct linkage is made to clinical social work practice and suggestions for the future survival of the profession is discussed. These suggestions include: (1) a greater focus on behaviorally-based outcomes that result in cost-beneficial service provision; (2) increased marketing of social work services to health care providers; (3) promotion of social work services as an integral part of the success of the interdisciplinary team, (4) incorporate a macro perspective into micro or clinical practice approaches; and, (5) explore non-traditional roles for social work professionals to expand their current practice arena.

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