In the book Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice talks about the Life Model of Social Work Practice. The principal of the model is to, “Empowerment and as such is particularly sensitive to culture, physical, and social context” (Cummings, et. al, pg. 49, 2012). This model is a way to guide social workers to assess clients in stress levels, coping skills and to be able to seek intervention that will help their client.
Reading about the different theories, I believe that the psychodynamic theory and the systems theory would both work well with my future profession. Collectively, as Social Worker, I would be working with children dealing with their own unique situation. The psychodynamic Theory talks about the repression and anxiety cause of conflicts. Children who have been removed from their homes or dealing with and still living in their homes may suffer from anxiety or repression of feelings often. This Theory will help me guide the children in understanding how important it is to express those feelings they may be having, and how to do so appropriately. Lastly, the Systems Theory will aid a great deal in my profession, because it helps to understand dynamics
In the professional field of Social Work, there are many terminologies that individuals outside of this group may not understand. During the process of assessing a problem in a family, there are different theoretical perspectives that helps social workers understand different aspects of family situations. There are eight theoretical perspectives that helps social workers understand family’s dynamic and situations. These theoretical perspectives are; system perspective, conflict perspective, exchange and choice perspective, social constructionist perspective, psychodynamic perspective, developmental perspective, social behavior perspective and humanistic perspective.
One of the most useful models for social workers to implement is the generalist model. Since the goal of social work is to work with individuals and assist them in solving their problems, the generalist model seeks to create three levels of practice to better aide the individuals in direct practice service (Farley, Smith, & Boyle, 2011). These three levels are the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The micro level refers to the systems that directly impact a single individual, whereas the mezzo level refers to the small groups (such as marriages and families) that impact the individual. Furthermore, the macro level refers to the large systems, such as cultures and large organizations, which can influence the person. With the establishment of the generalist model, the social worker can better aide the client and work directly with him to help him solve any problems or concerns he may have, and this model has become the most common operational model in social work, though it does have both advantages and disadvantages.
The core of systems theory comes from biology and engineering, and has been translated into social work practice by the identification of social systems as open systems. The significance of this is that:
Shanell Bathersfield conducted a self-assessment. She initially determined that the systems theory was one that she was not comfortable with. Through the last few course weeks, she was able to gain an in-depth perspective on several theories that are impactful in the social work field. The coursework and utilizing Juana and Adelina as case studies, truly gave an exclusive insight on how theories are used to understand the client’s circumstances and improve their well-being.
This section of the paper will discuss the definition of social work, values associated with social work and arguments for and against the use of systems theory in social work practice. Social work can be described as a field of study that encompasses individuals and their environment. Social work can be defined as work trained professionals do to elevate stressors of individuals so they may become more self-sufficient and empowered to live to their fullest potential.
For this paper, I have decided to research two social work theories and how those theories apply to residents in long term care facilities. The primary focus will be those residents who are alert, oriented, and showing minimal symptoms of dementia.
The two key elements in successful practice are the social workers ability to guide clients through the phases of the change process and assist clients in making decisions that will result in enhancement of their social functioning or the improvement of a social condition (Bradford W. Sheafor, 2008, p. 52). Social workers select and use specific techniques that have been individualized to the needs and situation of the client or client group being served, and the resources that are applied to help resolve the client’s problem or concern (Bradford W. Sheafor, 2008, p. 51).
In the generalist social work practice, a social worker is a change agent due to the expansive and complex umbrella of social and human services and roles. A change agent works to promote positive changes for the well-being of an individual, family, group, organization or community. In order to fulfill the tasks of a social worker, one should be trained and equipped with a wide variety of skills: such as setting appropriate boundaries, possessing and utilizing self-awareness and the ability to counsel or advocate for clients. In addition to many skills, the generalist social work practice includes a surplus of methods to either prevent or intervene when necessary. A method often utilized by social workers is the person-in-environment conceptualization. The person-in-environment perspective considers factors, such as familial or economic, beyond the individual to better understand the client’s behaviors or situation. Another method is the strengths perspective. The strength-based perspective focuses on the client’s or client system’s positive qualities to build upon those capabilities. And the recognition of strengths helps to achieve goals in a more client-led approach. Generalist practitioners are professionals with a wide range of knowledge and a repertoire of diverse skills in order to enhance the social functioning of all within society.
“Those who study systems theory tends to view any system as the result of a dynamic interrelationship between its component parts and its whole. They view the parts as mutually determinate with the whole. Social workers utilizing systems theory view societies and social groups as dynamic systems. They are concerned with bettering the conditions of the individuals who make up such systems.” (Flamand, 2010) Systems theory is used by many social workers. This theory helps social workers understand how the surroundings of the client’s environment
Systems theory is a lens with which to view human behavior in relation to interactions with different systems, such as family, school, work, and community (Rogers, 2016). Assessing how families function through a systems theory lens allows social workers to examine and understand the different systems that affect the family and the individual. It is a necessary tool in identifying how a family functions in relation to the systems in which it exists as well as identifying what influences are affecting the family. Recognizing these many influences will allow the social worker to understand strengths, weaknesses, and issues of the individual members of the family, as well as the family system as a whole (Thomlison, 2010).
The early 1940’s found the median age in Canada to be approximately 26, whereas today it rests at just under 40 (Hick, 2014). This rising trend in age further continues when looking at that of the elderly (those aged 65+). The Government of Canada (2016) projects that beginning in 2011 and stretching over the next three decades, the number of elderly persons in Canada will rise from 4.2 million to that of 9.8 million, with the latter estimated to represent almost a quarter of the total population at that time. The impact this increase has on social policy regarding the elderly has yet to be fully actualized, but will undoubtedly affect Canadians across the board as additional pressures are placed on the system, as well as calls for more aggressive changes are likely to correct current policy pitfalls. This paper reflects on the chapter findings in the text, Social Welfare in Canada, as well as analyses the issues and proposes foreseeable implications that this has on social policy practice for social workers.
The journey towards the attainment of the Bachelor of the social work degree has been an enlightening and educational experience, as the individual is exposed to the realities of many social and political issues in the society. As a student, I ventured into the degree, with minimal insight as to how the degree can influence and shape the way I perceive the social world, and the way I relate these matters to myself. However, throughout my endeavour, which encompasses years of theoretical studies, and two intensive placements at two drastically different organisations, I believe I have accumulated the bare minimal knowledge to possess a solid foundation about the unfairness and inequality that people in disadvantaged conditions face. Social workers are predominantly found in welfare organisations which Howe (as cited in Limber, 2015) suggested largely influences the practice, direction and values of the social worker, and impacts on their ability to act autonomously (Lymbery, 2015). During my placements, there was a dominant theme that frequently stood out and enticed my attention. This was the accepted practice of focusing on the individual’s problem, as opposed to the social problems that existed and the lack of acknowledgement about the social restrictions of the human agency that limited self-determination. The realization that organisations were managed this way was important in ensuring that I made a proactive effort to understand and untangle the reasons behind such