Social work in Brazil advocates a radical and critical model of social work theorisation and practice. This article explores the Brazilian theoretical and practice model, identifying the profession as being in a vortex of COVID-19, increasing state economic austerity, attacks on previously hard-won progressive social policy, and increasing inequality and precarity. This provides a challenging practice environment. The professional re-conceptualisation model proposes that social work needs to fully theorise social difficulties to ensure that the profession intervenes to address the causes of the problems, rather than manifestations underlying them. Through aligning itself with working-class conflicts, promoting rights and refusing to accept the rolling-back of support, the Brazilian framework, located within its social realities, offers an opportunity for social workers globally to consider what lessons can be learnt, to recognise the uniqueness of its perspectives and to provide solidarity through its recognition.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite as

Garcia, M., Spolander, G. & da Silva Barbosa, R. 2022, 'Social work in Brazil in the vortex of three crises: pandemic, social and political', The British Journal of Social Work, article no: bcac129. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcac129

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Last updated: 25 July 2023
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