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March '24 - Book of the Month

"The Glass Castle" involves elements of social work through its exploration of poverty, family dysfunction, and resilience. Social workers are professionals who often work with individuals and families facing various challenges, including those depicted in the book.

  • Poverty and Homelessness: Throughout the memoir, the Walls family grapples with extreme poverty and homelessness, moving frequently and struggling to make ends meet. Social workers frequently engage with individuals and families experiencing homelessness, providing support, resources, and assistance in finding stable housing and financial stability.

  • Child Welfare and Family Dynamics: The memoir delves into the complex dynamics of the Walls family, characterized by neglect, substance abuse, and erratic behavior from the parents. Social workers play a crucial role in child welfare, intervening in cases of neglect or abuse to ensure the safety and well-being of children. They may provide counseling, facilitate family reunification, or arrange alternative placements when necessary.

  • Resilience and Empowerment: Despite their challenging circumstances, the Walls children demonstrate remarkable resilience and resourcefulness throughout the memoir. Social workers often work to empower individuals and families facing adversity, helping them build upon their strengths, access support services, and achieve their goals despite obstacles.

  • Access to Education and Social Services: Education is portrayed as a means of escape and empowerment for Jeannette Walls and her siblings. Social workers frequently advocate for access to education and social services for marginalized individuals and families, recognizing it as a pathway to stability, opportunity, and self-sufficiency.

Overall, "The Glass Castle" offers insights into the complex interplay of socioeconomic factors, family dynamics, and individual resilience, all of which are central to the work of social workers in supporting and advocating for vulnerable populations.

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