Social Ecological Perspective Essay

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Since being developed by Bronfenbrenner in 1979 social ecological perspectives have been widely used to formulate practice guidelines and government policies when planning service needs for children, young people and their families. This essay will discuss what a social ecological perspective consists of, what limitations it may incur and how it can assist us in developing best practice and understanding when working with children, young people and families. It will draw on examples from K218 for illustrative purposes.
Social ecological perspectives are often described as a web of relationships (k218, Learning guide 3, 3.1). They make us aware that each individual has many defining factors making up who they are. Social ecological
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Many studies are specifically related to school children and their achievements and this is what will be discussed here. Feinstein (2003a) looked at results collected from 2500 children in 1979. They showed attainment at various stages of the child’s development, crucially they also noted the social economic status of the parents. Feinstein’s study clearly shows that higher status equates to generally better attainment at the age of 10 regardless of the early years attainment. This would suggest that the school environment in some way favours those that come from a higher social background. Although this data is now over 30 years old the trend continues and resent surveys based on children who receive free school meals show very similar results, with those entitled to free school meals achieving less than their peers (making every child matter, 2005).
Social ecological theories can be used to create best practice guidelines. They can identify the demographic areas that are in most need of support at various stages and enable us to focus early intervention strategies on these areas. They are a helpful tool in identifying which sets of circumstances are likely to result in poor life chances and thus enable practitioners to identify the children most likely to require support. By identifying the areas we are then able to ensure that professionals working in these areas can adjust their strategy accordingly.
The behavioural ecological model, a
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