Social workers use social networks in their practice in community social work

María Dolores Rodríguez Alvarez -

Social workers use a range of theoretical and methodological references in order to understand a situation as a whole, starting with the natural and communal systems of individuals, families and communities of interventions in community social work. This article presents the results of a study of the intervention of social workers from the perspective of social networks in community social work at the local level. The aim is to systematise the knowledge of their professional practices in relation to their intervention in social networks, based on the results of semi-structured interviews with social workers who provide services in municipalities of over 100,000 inhabitants in the Community of Madrid (Spain). The results contribute to a greater understanding of the interventions in social networks in areas such as identifying the social network, the techniques most commonly used in this intervention, the concept of empowerment, social workers’ functions, and the fundamentals of their professional intervention in social networks. The conclusions consider the implications for research in social work based on the consideration of the analysis of social networks as a useful resource for professional practice, and also highlight the need to continue research into the use of social networks in community practice.


Social networks; community social work; local level; professional intervention