Integrating Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Practice in Interdisciplinary Work with Rhode Island’s Homeless Community

  • Megan Christine Smith Rhode Island College
Keywords: homelessness, Relationships, social justice, Helping, integrated (micro-macro) practice, Practice, experiential learning, interdisciplinary learning, social work education


The interrelatedness of micro and macro practice has been a pervasive theme in my decade of work with Rhode Island’s homeless community. Lessons learned along my professional journey and several current practice examples highlight how these spheres of practice are inseparable. Integrated practice elicits philosophical and logistical questions, including how to balance systems-level and client-level work, respect epistemic privilege, acknowledge commonality with our clients, navigate ethical challenges, cultivate frustration tolerance, and maintain multiple accountabilities. It has ramifications for how we teach, manage programs, and practice as individuals and as a profession. I have found that embracing the opportunities and challenges presented by integrated micro and macro practice can lead us to be more impactful in our client- and systems-level work and more creative and fulfilled as practitioners.

Author Biography

Megan Christine Smith, Rhode Island College


Megan Smith, MSW is the Outreach Program Manager with the House of Hope CDC, a Rhode Island nonprofit that works on issues of homelessness and housing.  She is also an adjunct professor at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work and a teaching associate with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.