Social Exclusion

3380 Words May 9th, 2012 14 Pages
(Word count: 3093)

Social Sciences for Social Work
(SWK 2012)

: Examine the meaning of the concept of social exclusion and discuss how social work may respond to the reality of social exclusion.

The paper will look at ‘what is social exclusion’ and demonstrate how various groups and individuals are affected by it. It will further examine ‘what is social work’, its tasks and how these address social exclusion. This paper cannot examine all aspects of social exclusion, but will use examples of where social work is relevant in dealing with the issue. This paper looks at social work practice in particular in addressing issues arising from; poverty, unemployment, social policy and social work practice in relation to the social
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Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environment. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work’. Social work origins arise from the effects of a change to an industrial sociality and increasing impact and focus upon poverty. However it is argued that current social work practice, as illustrated by the broad definition of social work by the IFSW, finds itself expected to address wider social issues such as racism, sexism, and discrimination relating to physical or mental ability. Furthermore social work itself has changed from its origins of a charity style response to social problems of poverty. Banks (1995, p1) argues that the changes to social work have introduced different roles for different purposes of ’redistribution of resources to those in need... social control and rehabilitation of the deviant’ Banks further argues that as social work changes, the emphasis is less upon a helping relationship and more on the distribution of resources and on social control.

The above change in social work practice can be compared to the introduction of social services departments and it can be argued that the role of social work in addressing social exclusion is in part dependent upon political directive. The Seebohm report (1968, HMSO) states “We recommend a new local authority department, providing a community based and family oriented service, which
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