A critical shortage of trained social workers, a restructuring of the social services, and a national policy of employing the poor in human service organizations have all led to the introduction of large numbers of minority-group and low-income nonprofessionals into social service employment during the last decade. The social work profession has affirmed the necessity and desirability of this trend, not only as a means of solving the manpower problem but also because these new entrants to the field of social work are indigenous to the client groups which social work seeks to serve and they have attributes and skills which enable them to work effectively with these groups. There is some evidence that the process of professionalization which social work has undergone since its nineteenth century origins has tended to alienate it from these groups.

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