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Social Work Practice Theory Essay

Decent Essays
Practice theory is a fairly general term that is ultimately the basis for all social work practice. There are several types of theories, but these particularly describe how the practitioner themselves can help the client and better understand the situation at hand. Practice theories are a set of ideas that give general guidelines relating to human nature that can potentially help to determine the root cause of a problem, if an individual is not developing at what is considered the “typical” rate, and/or how to best relate to the client. Typically, one theory alone is not going to work with every client since humans are all unique individuals, so social workers often employ two or three in their practice.

The social work perspective on theory
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It is one of the most commonly used in the field and has been drilled into me since my first course here at RIC. It focuses on the idea that all environments, or systems, in one’s life are connected and affect every thought and behavior. Examples of such systems include family environment, peer relations, neighborhood, and the workplace. Each mutually influences the others and it is important to look at all aspects of an individual to determine the best system(s) to target. For instance, person’s behavior could certainly be impacted by how their parents raised them and the values, or lack thereof, that were enforced. There is no such thing as an issue that is solely micro or macro, but rather a combination.

Systems theory works with the social work perspective since it can break down an individual’s problem into smaller pieces that are more manageable. This enables the practitioner to carefully examine each aspect that could be affecting the client’s life and is a solid overall framework to use when working with humans. No one is completely isolated from a variety of influences and it cannot be expected that a problem will have one simple
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