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Compiled by S.Rengasamy Madurai Institute of Social Sciences
Compiled by
S.Rengasamy
Madurai Institute of Social Sciences

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Contents INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF SOCIAL WORK 3 Box: Why

Contents

INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF SOCIAL WORK

3

Box: Why social work /Why help people to help themselves

4

Diagram: Two Feet of Social Work

5

Diagram: Two Feet of Social Work

5

Box: What is theory

6

What is theory?

7

Box: Is social work a teachable?

7

What is theory?

8

Models

8

Box: Why do we need theories in social work?

9

Perspectives

9

Explanatory theory

9

Table: Types of theory

10

Different kinds of theory:

10

What do we mean by theory in social work?

10

Why should Social Workers be concerned about theory?

11

Conceptual Framework of Social Work Theories

11

Theories of social work

11

Theories

for social work

12

Box: Framework for Social Work Practice

12

Practice frameworks

12

12

12

12

12

1. Practice Perspective:

13

2. Practice Theory:

13

3. Practice Model:

13

Box: Social Disorganization Theory

14

14

Table: Theories used by Social Workers

21

23

Box: Crisis Theory and Crisis Intervention

24

24

Box: Social Work Critical Theory & Practice

25

25

Box: Theory of social Darwinism and General Systems Theory in Social Work

26

26

26

Box:

Modern Social Work Theory

27

27

Box: Limitations of theory

28

Dia: Need to apply social work theory in practice

28

Box: Personality Psychology

29

Tab: Levels & Definitions of Social Economic Development Practice in Social Work

30

Dia: Models of Social Work Practice

31

Tab: Models of (International) Social Work Practice

32

Tab: Ecological Systems /Strengths /Empowerment Perspective

34

Dia: Undestanding Social Work Theories in general

35

Dia: Theories of Human Behaviour

36

Table: Theories of Human Behaviour

37

Box: Empowerment Theory

38

Box: Conflict Theory

39

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF SOCIAL WORK Social Work is a

INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF SOCIAL WORK

Social Work is a practical job. It is about protecting people and changing their lives, not about being able to give fluent and theoretical explanations of why they got into difficulties … Social work is about social change at the individual as well as at community level. Change is complex, diversified and risk prone. To understand it, social worker need knowledge and imagination, comprehension & creativity….in short, a radical shift in understanding “Knowledge as process” as opposed to “Knowledge as product” is needed. But our understanding of social work (especially with the faculty and students of social work colleges in non metropolitan cities of India and students with low level mastery of English language) is frozen

is the art and science of helping the people to help

themselves. Compilation and interpretation of social work definition accessible to the students (PD Mishra 1994) conveys a meaning that social work is a “helping” “assisting” „enabling” activity, which in turn suggests social work is seen as a benign and uncontentious activity, willingly accepted. This understanding fails to reflect the major transformations social work discipline has undergone as well as its global outlook. There is nothing wrong in simplifying a concept, but if it ignores the complexities associated with the concept, that will end our further seeking. Whatever may be a definition of social work, it is normally based on certain perspectives and understanding of that perspective / theory will help us to appreciate that definition. It is this clarity that normally make one to commit in his/ her professional responsibilities.

with the simple definition of social work

it

Definition of social work generally convey

What is the need of social work or Why Social work?

How social work is carried

To whom social work is going to serve? or characteristics of its cliens

To answer these questions one need to know why people are suffering. What is our responsibility towards fellow human beings? How we gain knowledge about the human problems? What makes us perceive the human problems in a particular way? Why we subscribe to certain methods of solving problems? …. Social workers need to answer these questions before addressing others problems. Theories & perspectives of social work may provide some answers to these questions

Students of social work can be intimidated by the word 'theory'. This immediately inhibits

effective learning about theory. Theory in social work is about how we relate to others and how we make sure that we are providing effective services. It is important that theory is not seen as the preserve of academics or senior

social workers. Through understanding and applying theory to social work practice our work with service users can become far more effective and person centered.

In social work there are actually more perspectives than models and theories. Some of these perspectives include - Conflict, functional, ecological, systems and empowerment, strengths-based.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Why social work / Why help people to help

Box: Why social work / Why help people to help themselves

Why social work Life means to face the demands of day to day life and realize the self. By life tasks we mean the responses people make as they face the demands made upon them in various life situations, such is growing up in a family, entering school or work, raising a family, earning their daily bread, working in the industry, adjusting themselves to work environment, establishing relationship with co workers, problems relating to job or earning, facing illness, accidents and death. People are dependent on social systems for help in obtaining the material, emotional or spiritual resources and the service and opportunities they need to realize their aspirations and help them to cope with their life tasks. In order to realize their life tasks people have to interact with three kinds of resource systems in the social environment

1. Informal or natural resource system consists of family, friends, neighbors, co workers, etc

2. Formal resource system consists of membership in organizations, trade union organizations or any other socio cultural organizations

3. Social resource system such as schools, hospitals, housing societies, police, banks etc

Why people are unable to obtain the resources, services or opportunities in the resource systems,

they need to cope with their life tasks and realize their aspirations?

1. A needed resource or service may be scarce or may not exist or may not provide appropriate help to people who need it.

2. People may not know the existence of a resource system or may be hesitant to turn it for help for several reasons like distance, corruption, delay or poor quality etc

3. The polices and procedures of the resource system may inhibit / prevent it access (eg. eligibility criteria, gender, etc)

4. Several resource system may be working at cross purposes

The purpose of social work is to enable the people to use the social resources to meet their life tasks

What do we mean by helping people to help themselves? 1. Increased understanding of oneself or a situation. 2. Being able to make a decision 3. Being able to confirm a decision. 4. Being able to get a support for a decision. 5. Being able to change a situation 6. Adjusting to a situation that is not going to change 7. Being able to examine options and choosing one 8. Being able to discharge feelings

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Diagram: Two Feet of Social Work Charity Direct Social Services

Diagram: Two Feet of Social Work

Charity Direct Social Services / Personal Justice Social Social Change Services / Social Development Help
Charity
Direct Social
Services /
Personal
Justice
Social
Social Change
Services
/ Social
Development
Help individuals
meet their present
needs:
Correct long-term
problems in
communities:
-provision of a range
of services that
restore & as
possible, enhance
the capacity of
people to meet their
social obligations.
-Access to a basic
standard of social
and economic well
being viewed as a
basic "right" of
citizenship or
residency.
-
Mentor and tutor
relationship
-
Participate in
community self-
help projects
-
Donate food,
clothing, money
-
Advocate for just
public policies
-
Develop local
community
enterprises
- Donate food, clothing, money - Advocate for just public policies - Develop local community enterprises
- Donate food, clothing, money - Advocate for just public policies - Develop local community enterprises

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: What is theory Lots of people think that theory

Box: What is theory

Lots of people think that theory is something purely academic, with no link to "real life". Many social work students cover theory at university, but begin their practice learning experience intimidated by the idea of how to apply theory to their practice and especially concerned about how to demonstrate the links they have made in their assignments and reflective accounts.

Practice learning is about relating the ideas learned in University to the practice setting. However, in order to link theoretical knowledge to practice, student’s need a firm grasp of the fact that theory is something everybody uses every day in social work and that theory has a clear link to common sense/what works/real life or whatever the phrase of choice is. Without this, theory can become something which seems abstract and this develops the idea that theory is something you learn at University and then forget when you enter the "real world" of work.

The Requirements for Social Work Training state that all social work programs must:

"Ensure that the teaching of theoretical knowledge, skills and values is based on their application to practice." (Department of Health 2002)

Theory is an “attempt to retrospectively explain and to prospectively predict”

What is theory? It is important first to be clear what the term theory means in an academic sense. Cottrell provides a useful general definition:

A theory is a set of ideas that helps to explain why something happens or happened in a particular way, and to predict likely outcomes in the future. Theories are based on evidence and reasoning, but have not yet been conclusively proved. Thompson‟s definition includes similar ideas:

An attempt to explain…a framework for understanding…a set of ideas linked together to help us make sense of a particular issue. Writing about social work theory, Beckett makes a connection with practice:

…a set of ideas or principles used to guide practice which are sufficiently coherent that they could if necessary be made explicit in a form which was open to challenge. We can see then that theories are a grouping of interrelated ideas which have been systematically developed to explain not just how things happen and are connected but also why. They are used to illuminate, or throw light on, our understanding of issues and help us to make sense of the world. They must explain the matter logically and clearly enough

for the ideas in the theory to be discussed, criticised or challenged. Thompson explains that there are different levels of theories. These are:

grand, macro-level or global theories

(sometimes known as meta-narratives), such as

marxism or psychoanalysis, which claim to be able to explain everything in society, or all human behaviour;

middle-range theories which focus on a

limited range of issues for instance, labelling

theory, which from a social interactionist perspective aims to explain deviance;

micro theories developed to explain very

small-scale situations for instance, relationships between staff and patients on a hospital ward.

Whilst the basic aspects of social work theory will be taught in the University setting, practice learning is about you transferring your knowledge and applying theory to your practice, and you will need to demonstrate that you can make the links in your written work.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work What is theory? It is our view that social workers

What is theory?

It is our view that social workers in the field and social work students on placement are applying theory every day. However, they may not realize it, and they may not be able to describe the

theory or name it.

Theories in social work are nothing more than an attempt to explain situations and social relationships. Theories have been developed since it became clear that there were similar patterns or repeating cycles of behavior both in an individual's life and in the lives of lots of different people. Since theories have been expressed by academics and social scientists, they often use an academic language. Don't let that put you off. Theories are life dressed up! Many theories actually have a very straightforward, accessible message even if you sometimes have to look beyond the jargon. There has been some debate about what actually constitutes a theory. Generally, a theory helps to explain a situation and perhaps how it came about. In science, a theory is seen as helping to:

** describe (e.g.: what is happening?) ** explain (e.g.: why is it happening?) ** predict (e.g.: what is likely to happen next?) Sometimes theories are also seen as helping to control a situation and bring about changes.

Box: Is social work a teachable?

What aspects of social work might theory be used to explain?

Social workers might use theory to understand and explain three main aspects of social work

the task and purpose of social work the role of social work in society;

practice theories: sometimes called social

work approaches or methods how to go about doing social work;

the world of service users, including the

internal (psychological) world and the external (social) world

How might theory be of use to social workers? Social work, like all professions, uses theory to guide practice.

Observation: theory provides guidance

on what a social worker might need to look out for

when meeting people who use services or carers and their families.

Description: theory provides a

generally understood and shared language in which these observations can be organised and recorded.

Explanation: theory can suggest how

different observations might be linked in a framework that explains them.

Prediction: theory can indicate what

might happen in the future.

Intervention: theory can provide ideas

about what might bring about a change in the situation. The importance of theory

Theory is important, in social work and social work education, for a number of reasons because it:

is the mark of a profession;

can ensure accountability;

can help avoid discrimination;

provides a way of making sense of complexity and uncertainty

Is social work a teachable practice? Or does it come from experience and creativity?

Some argue that Social work is less technical, more creative and intuitive. Both client and social worker are important when dealing with issues as the client is the expert of his own personal life. The ideal theory for social work would therefore be one that encourages deep thinking and questioning,

one that respects the inherent dignity of the client and complexity of social problems

categorizes People believe that science can furnish means, but not ends. Methods but not goals. So, Social workers must achieve something other than technical proficiency, i.e. Understanding the human condition, not science. Social workers use contextual knowledge. Synthesis of knowledge from many sources, including personal experience. Common sense and wisdom on the job

not one that

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work What is theory? A theory is an organized statement of

What is theory? A theory is an organized statement of ideas about the world. Fook (2002) argues that even putting names to things helps to provide explanation and understanding in practice.

Professional Research Knowledge from Values Methodology other Disciplines Recognition & Analyze of Social
Professional
Research
Knowledge from
Values
Methodology
other Disciplines
Recognition &
Analyze of
Social Processes
Knowledge about
Different
Theories regard to
Different
Social Work Fields
Raising Awareness
about Life Long Learning
(Professional /Personal
Development)
Knowledge &
Understanding of
Legal & administration
Procedures & Social Care
Institutions
Skills to Work
with Clients
Learning about
Different Theoretical
Approaches

In social work, the term ‘theory’ covers three different possibilities:

Provable explanations why something happens (Explanatory Theory)

Organized description of activity in a structured form (Models)

Ways of conceptualizing the world or a particular subject (Perspective)

Social Work Practice Encounters pressing need Needs personally left Requires immediate action Focuses on interpersonal practice

Requires immediate action Focuses on interpersonal practice Social Policy as theory Seeks cultural Change Requires

Social Policy as theory Seeks cultural Change Requires social action Calla for long term strategy Stress on strategic planning/analysis

Models Models describe what happens during practice in a general way, in a wide range of situations and in a structured form, so that they extract certain principles and patterns of activity which give practice consistency. Models help you to structure and organize how you approach a complicated situation. A good example is task-centered practice.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Why do we need theories in social work? Why

Box: Why do we need theories in social work?

Why do we need theories in social work?

The use of theories makes Social Workers feel more safe & competent in their practice,
The use of theories makes Social
Workers feel more safe & competent
in their practice, reduces feelings of
helplessness & fear of unknown
In order to see the beauty of one theory, it’s important to learn about many
In order to see the beauty of one theory,
it’s important to learn about many
theories. This is how we can prevent
making an ideology out of one theory
For social workers theory is important because it teaches social workers how to perceive people
For social workers theory is important
because it teaches social workers how to
perceive people through their resources, not
to classify them according to their
problems
it’s
a shift from control to help.
The more social workers use theories, less they use intuition, and it makes social work
The more social workers use theories,
less they use intuition, and it makes
social work practice more professional
and efficient

Theory, together with intuition is a way to develop

personal style of professional practice

without

theory, just with intuition, social workers would feel

like a puppet on strings.

Perspectives Perspectives express values or views of the world which allow participants to order their minds sufficiently to be able to manage themselves while

participating. Perspectives help you to think about what is happening in an organized way. Applying different perspectives can help you see situations from different points of view. Examples of perspectives are feminist or systems theories.

Explanatory theory Explanatory theory accounts for why an action results in or causes particular consequences and identifies the circumstances in which it does so. Some writers reserve the word ‘theory’ to ideas that offer this causal explanation. To them, theories have to tell you ‘what works’. Cognitive- behavioral theory is an example of explanatory theory.

From Unfaithful Angels- How Social Work Has Abandoned Its Mission Social work, having adopted

values of individualism and having been socialized to organizational norms, along with mainstream society has abandoned in large part its understanding of the social and communal. They come to the people of the slums not to help them rebel and fight their way out of the

social work does not

muck

even reach the submerged masses. Social work is largely a middle class activity and guided by a middle class psychology. Saul Alinsky

most

Perspective, theory and model are all necessary in a theory that is to be useful in practice. Because social work is practical action in a complex world, a theory or perspective must offer a model of explicit guidance.

Sibeon (1990) distinguishes between formal and informal theory, as shown in the table below. Formal theory is written down and debated within the profession and academic work. Informal

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work theory consists of wider theories and values that exist in

theory consists of wider theories and values that exist in society and constructions from practical experience; those everyday practices that I mentioned at the outset of this chapter. This may include ideas from formal theory.

You may need an explanation of the mention of informal theories ‘inductively derived’. Induction means generalizing from particular examples, deduction means arriving at conclusions about the particular instance from a general theory

Table: Types of theory

 

Types of theory

Theories of what social work is

Formal written accounts defining the nature and purposes of welfare (e.g. upon by practitioners for defining personal pathology, liberal reform, Marxist, feminist)

Moral, political, cultural values drawn upon by practitioners for defining ‘functions’ of social work

Theories of how to do social work

Formal written theories of practice (e.g. casework, family therapy, group work); applied deductively; general ideas may be applied to particular situations

Theories inductively derived from particular situations; can be tested to see if they apply to particular situations; also unwritten practice theories constructed from experience

Theories of the client world

Formal written social science theories and empirical data (e.g. on personality, (e.g. the marriage, the family, race, class, gender)

Practitioners’ use of experience and general cultural meanings (e.g. the family as an institution, normal behavior, good parenting)

Practice theories may, therefore, be seen as a device for transferring knowledge from other purposes to the purpose of assisting social work practice

Different kinds of theory:

Grand theory - comprehensive conceptual scheme (e.g. Marxist theories of class conflict)

example: Grand theory

Theories of Practice for undertaking practice (e.g. anti-oppressive practice, crisis intervention) example: Practice theory - Narrative Practice Wisdom or Working Concepts to guide understanding and practice (E.g. generally help belief that you should not challenge who are under alcohol intoxication) example: Working concepts -dominant and alternative stories deconstruction

- Postmodernism

What do we mean by theory in social work? Payne (1991: 52) helps us by distinguishing four types of theory:

1. theories about social work explain the nature and role of social work in society

2. theories of social work describe which activities constitute social work, set aims for social work activities and explain why those activities are relevant and effective in meeting the aims

3. theories contributing to social work are the psychological, sociological and other theories which explain or describe personal and social behaviour and are used to make theories of social work systematic, related to general social science explanations and to give supporting evidence for the social work theory’s prescriptions

4. theories of social work practice and method prescribe in detail how the other theories so far outlined may be applied in the interaction between workers and clients

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Why should Social Workers be concerned about theory? Observation: it

Why should Social Workers be concerned about theory?

Observation: it tells us what to see, what to look out for

A clear theoretical perspective guides and influences social work practice in five key areas

Description: it provides a conceptual vocabulary and framework within which observations can be arranged and organized.

Explanation: it suggests how different observations might be linked and connected; it offers possible causal relationships between one event and another

Prediction: it indicates what might happen next

Intervention: it suggests things to do to bring about change

Social work theories are concerned with understanding the person in their context and promoting change with the individual and/or their context.

-the purpose of social work: what social workers do and what they should do -the methods of social work practice -the principles of social work practice

Conceptual Framework of Social Work Theories

Conceptual Frameworks Theories OF Social Work Theories FOR Social Work Orienting Theories Practice Frameworks
Conceptual Frameworks
Theories OF Social Work
Theories FOR Social Work
Orienting Theories
Practice Frameworks
Practice Perspectives
Practice Theories
Practice Models

Perspectives, theories and models are often referred to as theory. However, it is useful to make some distinctions. Howe (1987) differentiates between theories of social work and theories for social work.

Theories of social work

Focus on the profession and explain its purpose, domain, and character within the society. They describe what the profession is all about and why it functions as it does.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Theories for social work Focus on clients and helping activities.

Theories for social work

Focus on clients and helping activities. They explain human behaviours, the social environment, how change occurs and how change can be facilitated by the social worker in order to benefit clients.

What Is A Theoretical/ Practice Framework? One’s theoretical/practice framework is grounded in a

PERSPECTIVE (may be narrow, broad, or multidimensional)

based on a

THEORY OR GROUP OF INTEGRATED THEORIES (set of assumptions or beliefs or explanations about human behaviour and which may include guidelines for interventions which guides the selection of a

MODEL (a way of acting, treating or intervening in order to enable a resolution of a problem and/or enhancement of social functioning)

Orienting theories Orienting theories describe and explain behaviour and how and why certain problems develop. They provide important background knowledge and are usually borrowed from other disciplines such as biology, psychology, sociology, economics, cultural anthropology, and the like. Examples include the various theories related to human development, personality, family systems, socialization, organizational functioning, and political power, as well as theories related to specific types of problems such as poverty, family violence, mental illness, teen pregnancy, crime and racial discrimination.

Box: Framework for Social Work Practice

Framework for Social Work Practice Social work draws from many frameworks for practice, but some of these frameworks have had more influence on the profession of social work than others. We would like to highlight three that we think have been particularly influential:

The Ecosystem Perspective This perspective focuses on the interplay between the person and his or her environment. To understand the functioning of the individual, we must understand his or her environmental context:

Individuals exist within families

Families exist within communities and neighborhoods

Individuals, families, and neighborhoods exist in a political, economic, and cultural environment

The environment impacts the actions, beliefs, and choices of the individual

The Strengths Perspective This perspective is built on the assumption that every individual, family, group and community has strengths and focusing on these strengths leads to growth and overcoming difficulties. Under this perspective, clients are generally the best experts about what types of helping strategies will be effective or ineffective. The Cultural Competence Perspective This perspective is the understanding and approval of cultural distinctions, taking into account the beliefs, values, activities, and customs of distinctive population groups. Many cultures have prescribed ways of talking about health and the human body and these factors impact a person's reaction and acceptance of health services. These perspectives are consistent with a Family-Centered or Client-Centered approach, which is central to the standards of best practice with persons with disabilities and consistent with social work's central values and framework.

Practice frameworks

Orienting theories, by themselves, provide little guidance on how to bring about change. For such guidance one must look to practice frameworks. There are three types:

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work 1. Practice Perspective: This is a particular way of viewing

1. Practice Perspective:

This is a particular way of viewing and thinking about practice. It is a conceptual lens through which one views social functioning and it offers very broad guidance on what may be important considerations in a practice situation. Like a camera lens, a perspective serves to focus on or magnify a particular feature.

Two perspectives, the general systems perspective and the ecosystems

perspective, are commonly used in assessing relationships between people and their environment. The generalist perspective focuses a worker‟s attention on the importance of considering several practice roles and various levels of intervention. Others, such as the feminist and the ethnic-sensitive perspectives, remind the worker of special challenges faced by certain groups in society.

of special challenges faced by certain groups in society. 2. Practice Theory: It offers both an

2. Practice Theory:

It offers both an explanation of certain behaviours or situations and guidance on how they can be changed. A practice theory serves as a road map for bringing about a certain type of change. Most practice theories are rooted in one or more orienting theories. An example is psychosocial therapy, which is based primarily on psychodynamic theory and ego psychology. Another is behaviour therapy, which is derived from the psychology of learning.

3. Practice Model:

Practice Model is a set of concepts and principles used to guide intervention activities. However, in contrast to practice theory, a model is not tied to a particular explanation of behaviour. For example, crisis intervention is viewed as a practice model rather than a practice theory because it does not rest on

a single explanation of crisis situations. For the same reason, task-centered practice is termed a model.

Most often, a model develops out of experience and experimentation rather than as a derivation from a theory of human behaviour. The term model is also used when referring to a conceptual framework that is borrowed from one field and applied in another, for example, the medical model (study, diagnose, treat) and the legal model (an approach to social action and client advocacy, involving competition and conflict among adversaries).

It is rare for a social worker to use a single orienting theory or a single practice framework. Most social

workers utilize a variety of orienting theories and a set of compatible and complementary perspectives,

theories and models. Such a combination can be termed one‟s theoretical frame of reference or theoretical orientation to practice. Social workers use many of the same techniques and skills and guidelines regardless of practice perspective, theory, or model.

use many of the same techniques and skills and guidelines regardless of practice perspective, theory, or

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Social Disorganization Theory Social Disorganization Theory History Social

Box: Social Disorganization Theory

Social Disorganization Theory

History Social disorganization was put forth in the 1920s by professors at the University of Chicago. At the time, Chicago was racked by violent mobs, Prohibition and the rule of gangster Al Capone. The theory remained popular through the 1940s, but it fell out of favor, until it was rejuvenated in the late 1970s. The original concepts have been expanded upon by Harvard professor Robert Sampson and others. Theories Individuals personalize public conflict between social classes, groups and institutions. One assumption of the Chicago School is that lower classes are the most volatile because. having less, any loss of their possessions is painful. This vulnerability pushes some poor people toward crime as a way of protecting what they have left. While crime occurs in the upper and middle classes, it is frequently, though not always, categorized as white collar or nonviolent crime. A basic premise of social disorganization is that people are basically good, but are vulnerable to temptation. Sampson argues that friends, family and strong community ties are the best way for a society to maintain public order. People invested in a community are less likely to disrupt it. Place Instead of People Sociologists at the University of Chicago noticed that violent crime tends to occur more in certain neighborhoods than others. For instance, less violent crime occurs in business districts or residential areas, while more is likely to happen in what they term transient areas. Transient areas are neighborhoods marked by large populations of renters living among dilapidated buildings, abandoned vehicles, graffiti, litter and other signs of social unrest. These sociologists did not see the residents as inherently criminal, but rather that criminals were drawn to these area by the breakdown of social organization. Effects Gangs substitute for family and community. They offer members support, identity, discipline, shared experiences and money. This gang mentality often becomes popular in certain regions or subcultures, often along ethnic or racial lines. This was the case in Chicago in the 1920s when Italian-Americans dominated organized crime, and has remained popular in inner cities, prisons, and parts of the South. Solutions The greatest successes in improving neighborhoods and turning individuals away from violent activities have come from community-based organizations like athletic leagues, youth centers, citizen watch groups, tenant committees and sanitation programs. Many of the programs that have failed often had initial success, but collapsed after interest and participation waned.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

 

Meaning of Social

Meaning of Work 1. Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.

1. Pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.

2.

Seeking or enjoying the companionship of others;

friendly; sociable; gregarious.

3.

Living or disposed to live in companionship with others

2.

A job; employment: looking for

or in a community, rather than in isolation: People are

work- A trade, profession, or other

social beings.

means of livelihood.

4.

Pertaining to human society, esp. as a body divided into

3.

Something that one is doing,

classes according to status: social rank.

making, or performing, especially as

5.

involved in many activities: We're so busy working; we

an occupation or undertaking; a duty or task:

have to be a little less social now.

6.

Pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human

4.

One's place of employment:

beings in a community: social problems.

Should I call you at home or at

7.

Pertaining to activities designed to remedy or alleviate

work?

certain unfavorable conditions of life in a community, esp. among the poor.

8. Pertaining to non economic/ non commercial activities

5.

Something that has been

produced or accomplished through the effort, activity, or agency of a

9. Pertaining to or advocating socialism.

person or thing:

10. In biology it means living habitually together in communities, as bees or ants. Compare solitary

6.

Full action or effect of an agency:

An act; a deed:

Theories used in Social Work

Theories widely used in Diagnostic & Clinical Social Work

Psychoanalytic Theory Sigmund Freud

Ego Psychology Post Freudians -Anna Freud, Heinz Hartman, Erik Erikson

Psycho Social Therapy Began with Mary Richmond’s recognition of social factors & later given a thrust by Gordon Hamilton, Annette Garrett, Austin & Hollis

Problem Solving Theory Helen Harris Perlman, Barbara Betz

Functional Theories Widely influenced by the philosophy of Herbert Mead, John Dewey & Otto Rank

The Client Centered Therapy (Also referred as Relationship Therapy, Group centered therapy, Person centered therapy Carl Rogers, Virginia Axlines (Play therapy)

Cognitive theory Also known as Rational psychotherapy, cognitive case work -Use in social work by Harold Weiner, Alfred Adler

Theories with social / Sociological thrust in Social Work

Gestalt Theory Fritz and Laura Pearls, Paul Goodman

Role Theory Ruth Benedict, Kingsly Davis In Social Work Pearlman, H.S. Stream etc

Behaviour Modification Therapy ( Action Therapy) BF Skinner etc

Family Therapy (Structural Family Therapy Strategic Family Therapy or Systems Therapy)

Task Centered Treatment

Crisis Theory Harvard School of Psychiatry & Public Health

General Systems Theory L. von Bertalanffy and others

Concepts/ Theories / Philosophies (Lesser Used)

Existential Social Work (Compared with the book of Ecclesiasts in Old Testament – Zen Buddhism

Existential Social Work (Compared with the book of Ecclesiasts in Old Testament Zen Buddhism in the East) Jean Paul Satre and others

Transactional Analysis (social Treatment Model) Eric Berne

Meditation and Social Work Treatment Arose from psycho philosophical systems of American Indians, Central Asian Sufi Tradition, Chinese Taoism, Hindu Yoga, Zen Buddhism, Catholic Christian Tradition and Jewish Mysticism

The Life Model of Social Work Practice

Communication Concepts and Practice

Christian Tradition and Jewish Mysticism The Life Model of Social Work Practice Communication Concepts and Practice

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Table: Theories used in Social Work   Theories widely used

Table: Theories used in Social Work

 

Theories widely used in Diagnostic & Clinical Social Work

 

No

Theory & Theorist

Nature &Discipline

Usage in Social Work

Other usage

1

Psychoanalytic Theory Sigmund Freud

Interpretative & Therapeutic Diagnosis &Therapy Psychiatry

Widely used in case work Individual Therapy

No application for group & community problems

2

Ego Psychology

Theory of Personality Recognizes ego’s autonomous roots, development & functions -Therapeutic Psychiatry

Used in case work Individual Therapy oriented

No application in group malfunctioning & community conflicts

Post Freudians

Anna Freud

Heinz Hartman

   

Erik Erikson

 

3

Psycho Social Therapy Began with Mary Richmond’s recognition of social factors & later given a thrust by Gordon Hamilton, Annette Garrett, Austin & Hollis

More an approach & a thought system than a theory - Influenced by Psychoanalytic theory, ego psychology, sociological theories of Robert Merton, Talcott Parsons, & Anthropological theories of Clyde Kluckholn -Therapeutic Psychology

Largely individual oriented Used in case work

Limited application for family & other problems No use for community work

4

Problem Solving Theory Helen Harris Perlman Barbara Betz

Not a theory rather it is derived from many theoretical constructs - Concerned with individual’s discrete problems - Such problems are consciously brought by the client & affirmed by the case worker - It is a conscious focussed & goal directed activity -Leans on social psychological concepts

Individual oriented intervention - Focus on problem diagnosis, crisis intervention, correction of disparities, assertive counselling -Specific problem solving - Used in case work

Focus on family Not applied on other groups and community problems

5

Functional theories Widely influenced by the philosophy of Herbert Mead, John Dewey & Otto Rank

Therapeutic opposed to diagnostic school & ego psychology - Treatment is replaced by the concept of service. Client / individual is perceived as an active agent rather merely reactive in his own development Use of agency & agency function in service rendering being important It is not theory in strict scientific sense, but a plan of action Psychology & Sociology

Individual oriented intervention Diagnosis is inextricably woven in the therapeutic process but the conceptualization of

Not of any consequential application to the myriad problems of group malfunctioning & community disorders

practice is seen in the broader perspective taking

1. Psychological factors

2. Social bases of the client

3. Functions of the social

 

agency under whose aegis the services are rendered Used again case work

6

The client centered therapy (Also referred as Relationship Therapy, Group centered therapy, Person centered therapy Carl Rogers Virginia Axlines (Play therapy)

Personal counseling & Psychotherapy as basic components Influence of psychiatry Non directive, client centered - Reference to present situation with no refernce to past reactions Clinical psychology

Psychiatric social workers use it It takes holistic & humanitarian view of man - Individual based but helps individuals in groups Marital maladjustments also included

May be applied in teaching, training & education in non therapy situations

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work 7 Cognitive theory Also known as Rational psychotherapy, cognitive case

7

Cognitive theory Also known as Rational psychotherapy, cognitive case work Use in social work by Harold Weiner Alfred Adler

Approaches included “rational” “reality” or “phenomenological”- It is socially oriented - Believes in emotions, motives, behaviour and thinking is influenced by society, immediate social environment, Human relations & experience Discards elemnts of unconscious Psychology

Individual therapy Used in case work

It is argued that cognitive theory is reality oriented, it can serve as a guide to all forms of treatments, individual, group & community No evidence of its use in group/ community mal adjustments and conflicts

 

Theories with social / Sociological thrust in Social Work

 

8

Gestalt Theory Fritz and Laura Pearls Paul Goodman

Inflienced by psycho analysis, Existenial Philosohy, Reichan Character Analysis, Gestalt Psychology and traces of Eastern Religions Central to Gestalt therapy is the use of the flow of conscious contat with the environment Gestalt therapy orients the worker toward encouraging the the fullest expression of the client as a person Psychiatry & Social Psychology

With philosophical roots in phenomenology and existentialism, Gestalt therapy has offered a great deal to Social Work Individual, Therapeutic, steeped in case work

It is argued that due to organismic nature of Gestalt theory there is a close connection with systems theory and hence it can be of use for macro or micro systems May be used in Group Work and community Work but there is no evidence of such use

9

Role Theory Ruth Benedict Knigsly Davis In Social Work Pearlman, H.S. Stream etc

Role signifies Cultural Pattern- Social Norm. Basic factor in the process of socilization synonym as behaviour- participation in a specific group carrying a status. Derived from sociology & Social Psychology. It is largely used in conjuction with social systems theory & also Behaviour Modification Therapy. Socilogy & Social Psychology

The notion of role prescription has been used in case work treatment It is individual oriented. It helps the worker also to delineate his role as catalyst, neutralizer, advicate, stimulator etc

Role theory emphasis on social interaction hence the client is not seen as a diseased entity- he is seen as a stimulator. It is gainfully used in work with deprived groups & ethnnic minorities. Inter personal problems in small groups & communities are examined. Problem resolution is viewed as group & community task

10

Behaviour Modification Therapy ( Action Therapy) BF Skinner etc

An approach rather than a theory – promotes changes in client’s behaviour directly. Identify the target behaviour and control the antecedent conditions. Consequences of behaviour are assessed and interventions to avoid harm may be planned. Psychology ( Behaviourist School) & Psychiatry

Intervention with individuals. Dyadic (Therapist-Client) Triadic (Therapist- Mediator- Client) Work for modification

Environmental

engineering as

secondary objective

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work 11 Family Therapy (Structural Family Therapy – Strategic Not a

11

Family Therapy (Structural Family Therapy Strategic

Not a theory

Family Case Work Using sub groups in family diads & triads.

Although family is seen as a “ whole” but the individual person goes beyond the family in the interdependent sub system e.g. neighborhood, community, ethnic sub culture . Other sub systems are not taken care of.

Widely accepted in mental health & social service arena for practice.

 

It

is shift from atomized level of

Ultimately it aims atr improving social functioning, restore equilibrium, strengthen adaptation of individual persons

Family Therapy or Systems Therapy)

individual to the level of family. Focuses on family- centers attention on the social psychological linkage between individual and larger social organization. Embedded in sociological theories and psychiatric approaches. Sociology & Social Psychiatric

12

Task Centered

Evolved from a model of brief time limited Case Work Psycho social case work for helping individuals & families with problems in family relations. Client define their psycho social problems and have hope to solve these problems. Reliance on tasks as a means of problem resolution.

 

The strategy may not be applied to work with clients in families and ‘ Formed Groups’ assembled to help individual members to solve their problems

Treatment

Help individuals Used in case work

13

Crisis Theory Harvard School of Psychiatry & Public Health

Derived from case work practice of social work. Crisis situations put persons in vulnerable situations heightening anxiety, depression and deprivation call for crisis intervention. Psychological models, sociological theories & Social Work practice influenced use of this approach.

Medical situation, disasters, conflict lead to crisis where social workers take work on the front line may apply this approach. Immediate emotional first aid and strengthening individual coping capacity are its strategies

Applied to correct family role net works Applied also to friendship and common interest groups in crisis

Roots in psychodynamic personality theory, stress theory, learning theory

&

ego psychology.

Psychology, Sociology & Social Work

14

General Systems Theory L. von Bertalanffy and others

It

is more a way of thinking, a way of

Used in practice methods improvement in human behaviour and the social environment. The “core” (micro, mezzo, macro) is important in this theory

Social welfare policies and services/ social work as a social institution, marital and family therapy, administration, organizational theory, field work

viewing the world than a theory. Instead of focussing on a system at one level, such a a group, it may take several levels, including the individual, the group, the organizationand the community sociology. Physical Sciences

 

Concepts/ Theories / Philosophies (Lesser Used)

 

15

Existential Social Work (Compared with the book of Ecclesiasts in Old Testament Zen Buddhism in the East) Jean Paul Satre and others

More philosophical perspective rather than specific technique or theory. Impact on social work is unclear.

Used for lessening categorization of people. Cuts the paternalistic

More effective treatment of the poor & minorities

A

philosophy of despair and

attitudes of therapists. More present focused, experiential, task oriented, short term work with people

disillusionment Philosophy/ Religion/ Theology

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work 16 Transactional Analysis (social Treatment Model) Eric Berne People are

16

Transactional Analysis (social Treatment Model) Eric Berne

People are OK/ I am OK. You are OK. People in social/ emotional stress are capable of understanding their stress. They want to be part of healing process and must be so involved. All social/ emotional difficulties are curable. Modeled in Social Psychiatry ( Alternative Psychiatry)

It fits with ethics, goals of social work for advocacy, policy and systems change towards social justice. In social work TA offers an approach to client advocacy, policy planning and change. TA encourages self management and responsibility for the enhancement of quality of life.

Ta can be taught to administrators, legislators and executives so that they make the clients/ beneficiaries the participants in achieving healthy state of mind /action

17

Meditation and Social Work Treatment Arose from psycho philosophical systems of American Indians, Central Asian Sufi Tradition, Chinese Taoism, Hindu Yoga, Zen Buddhism, Catholic Christian Tradition and Jewish Mysticism

Borrowed from Theology/ Philosophy. It is by and large development of consciousness independent of visual & verbal symbols. Deliberate effort to cultivate mental state conducive to intuition. It may be used for stress release. It is also used as a therapeutic aid in psychiatry and social work

In social work (also in psychotherapy) it is a method adjunctive to treatment. For those involved in social work treatment, the learnings transferred from meditation practice into psycho social functioning of the meditator.

Meditation may be used for release of stress and relaxation of group of people

18

The Life Model of Social Work Practice

Based on ecological theories

Since these are not found having a place in the syllabi of Indian Social Work Schools, these are not dealt with here

19

Communication Concepts and Practice

Based on communication theories

Schools, these are not dealt with here 19 Communication Concepts and Practice Based on communication theories
Schools, these are not dealt with here 19 Communication Concepts and Practice Based on communication theories

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Systems Theory – Dia Theories used by Social Workers

Box: Systems Theory Dia Theories used by Social Workers

Systems Theory The term "systems theory" refers to a host of theoretical and methodological practices ranging across

different disciplines. Those who study systems theory tend 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. Research Methodology

1. As a research methodology, systems theory can help social workers understand How systems both

determine and are determined by those who make up the system. Once the dynamics of a system are understood, social workers try to figure out how best to create positive change in that system in order to bring about better standards of living.

Mental Health

2. Mental health professionals tend to use systems theory as a way of understanding how individuals

are both products of and complicit in their personal situations, as well as how these situations tend to affect the people in them. They seek to help individuals understand their situation, and work to help those individuals find healthy ways both to cope with their environments and to help instigate change within their own lives. Policymaking

3. Systems theory can be used to understand social dynamics on a large scale. Social workers who are

concerned with policymaking use systems theory to understand how public policy can be used to

improve living conditions and help bring about social equality for those living within large social systems such as cities, nations, or even the world. Advocacy

4. Advocates tend to focus on particular issues within a society and use systems theory as a means of

understanding the complex dynamics surrounding those particular issues. For instance, those working to

promote racial equality will use systems theory to understand how racism functions on a structural level throughout a given system and determine ways to end racism. Family

5. Family social workers and child advocates tend to use systems theory tounderstand family

dynamics, and try to use its insights to educate and promote healthy family structures. They try to understand how hierarchies and parental responsibility in family structures work, and determine when those hierarchies or responsibilities are not functioning properly, as well as when physical intervention may be necessary to protect members of the family Read more: General Systems Theory in Social Work | eHow.com

3 Crisis Theory Kathleen Ell B. Gilliland & R. James L.G. & H. J. Parad
3 Crisis Theory
Kathleen Ell
B. Gilliland & R. James
L.G. & H. J. Parad
Ecological System Theory 4 Urie Bronfenbrenner
Ecological System Theory
4 Urie Bronfenbrenner
Family Life Cycle Theory 5
Family Life Cycle Theory
5
Empowerment Theory E. Cox & L. Gutierrez 8 J. Lee, E. Canada, P. Chatterjee &
Empowerment
Theory
E. Cox & L. Gutierrez
8 J. Lee, E. Canada,
P. Chatterjee & S.P. Robbins
Cognitive Theories Alfred Adler 2 Jean Piaget Behavioral Theories B.F. Skinner 1 Ivan Pavlov Social-Cultural
Cognitive Theories
Alfred Adler
2
Jean Piaget
Behavioral Theories
B.F. Skinner
1 Ivan Pavlov
Social-Cultural Theory
Lev Vygotsky:
11
Thomas Scheff:
6 Psychodynamic Theory Sigmund Freud, Eric Erickson Family Systems Strategic Therapy 7 (Model)
6
6

Psychodynamic Theory

Sigmund Freud, Eric Erickson

6 Psychodynamic Theory Sigmund Freud, Eric Erickson Family Systems Strategic Therapy 7 (Model)

Family Systems Strategic Therapy

7
7

(Model)

Social Work Theories
Social Work Theories
Strategic Therapy 7 (Model) Social Work Theories Humanistic (Existential/ 9 Transpersonal) Abraham Maslow,

Humanistic (Existential/

9
9

Transpersonal)

Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers Carl Jung

10
10
9 Transpersonal) Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers Carl Jung 10 Object Relations Theory Margaret Mahlen, Otto Kernberg

Object Relations Theory

Margaret Mahlen, Otto Kernberg

Solution Focused Therapy (Model) 12
Solution Focused Therapy (Model)
12
Mahlen, Otto Kernberg Solution Focused Therapy (Model) 12 S t r u c t u r

Structural Family Therapy

Murray Bowen, Virginia Satir

13
13

20

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Table: Theories used by Social Workers Theory   Proponents  

Table: Theories used by Social Workers

Theory

 

Proponents

 

Origin of Distress

Major Assumptions/Change Concepts

Major Techniques/ Role of Help

1. BEHAVIORAL

   

Behavior is learned through observing and modeling.

Use reinforcement (positive and negative), systematic

B.F. Skinner:

Ideas are formed on how new behavior will be developed.

desensitization, flooding, skill building, token system

Ivan Pavlov:

 

Maladaptive Behavior

Problems can be changed by addressing the antecedents and consequences that surround the behavior.

contingencies, modeling and role playing.

 

Be empathetic towards clients

   

Distorted and painful thought processes

Think things through according to developmental stages.

Identifies error in cognition.

2. COGNITIVE

Helps client reframe

Alfred Adler:

Error in thinking, irrational thinking and beliefs and unconscious cognitive schema which impact how we view the world and ourselves.

Thoughts behind something drive behavior to it.

thoughts.

Jean Piaget:

Clarify internal

Change in feelings and behavior is a result in change in thinking or cognitive restructuring.

communication and give homework to clarify thinking.

 

Thought blocking

   

Unexpected traumatic events that disrupts the balance of normal

A crisis lowers defenses and provides opportunity for change.

Take action

Rely on past coping.

Kathleen Ell

Reduce individual’s feelings

3. CRISIS

B.

Gilliland &

psychosocial functioning.

Traumatic stress overwhelms

or distress, helplessness and isolation; activate social

R. James

capacity to cope.

L.G.

& H. J.

The more unresolved earlier crises the more vulnerable individuals are to being unable to resolve new crisis.

resources and support effective coping through listening, validation, acceptance, education and resource linkage.

 

Parad

4. ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

 

Disruption or disconnection between a person and their environment

Functioning improves when person is connected to supportive networks

Link

Broker

Resources

Functioning improves when person has access to resources.

Transport

Urie

 

Advocate

Bronfenbrenner

Functioning improves when external systems are engaged with the person.

   

Forces of discrimination and oppression that impact individuals and

Problems arise as a result of society’s failure to adequately and equally meet the needs of all of its members.

Encouragement

5. EMPOWERMENT

Help provide sense of power and self efficacy

E.

Cox and L.

groups

Gutierrez

Refers to individual and group’s ability to access and control resources and people.

J. Lee

E.

Canada,

P.

Chatterjee &

Requires developing a critical awareness of forces of discrimination and oppression and engaging in effective action.

S.P. Robbins

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work 6. FAMILY LIFE CYCLE     The family is an

6. FAMILY

LIFE CYCLE

   

The family is an organism that develops through stages that have

 
 

?

?

specific tasks to be completed.

?

 

STRATEGIC

   

Absence of individual systems that ultimately

Functioning improves when change in patterns of functioning

Reframing

7. FAMILY

SYSTEMS

THERAPY

(MODEL)

Paradox

?

affects family function

changes.

Prescribing relapse

Error with the system of communication

Functioning changes when view of interactions do.

   

Lack of basic needs

Focuses on strengths and how

Clinician acts as a guide, helps client develop

Unclear about life purpose

humans are adaptable

8. HUMANISTIC

(Existential/

Transpersonal)

 

Abraham

People are unique therefore

resources/solutions for problems

Maslow:

Fear as a result of a defensively contracted state and an ego identified self that blocks development

treatment must be unique

Carl Rogers:

Humans are responsible for finding meaning in life.

Encouragement

Carl Jung

Introspection

Individuals develop through pre- egoic, mental egoic and transegoic stages.

Meditation

 

Guided Imagery

 

Margaret

Problems with childhood relationship between the child and his/her primary caretaker (in most cases, a female)

Emphasizes interpersonal relations where focus is on the family.

Clinician identifies patterns with other relationships

Mahlen:

Helps client develop healthy

   

Otto

Focuses on early stages of development where initial relationship with mother is paramount.

relationships

RELATIONS

9. OBJECT

Kernberg:

   

Stage fixation or being stuck in a stage due to one’s environment

Behavior is an end product of a long contentious internal discussion about one’s behavior.

Analyze impact of behavior on others.

 

10. PSYCHODYNAMIC

 

Sigmund

Refers to the client’s

Freud:

Environment is not supportive of individuals development

Change comes through a corrective emotional relationship and insight into patterns

childhood, where their story becomes important.

Eric

Erickson:

Use of transference

 

Awareness of

Strong emphasis on self

countertransference

Individuals develop through stages with specific tasks to be completed, crisis to manage

Interpretation

     

Behavior is influenced by the social environment

Clinician acts as a risk agent and lobbies for change to occur

 

11. SOCIAL-CULTURAL

 

Lev

Culture shapes a pattern of symptoms where disorders develop

Vygotsky:

Social injustices

Thomas

 

Scheff:

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work   FOCUSED THERAPY        There are exceptions
 

FOCUSED THERAPY

     

There are exceptions for all problems.

Help client identify exceptions

12. SOLUTION

(MODEL)

Emphasizes positive envisioning.

Use miracle questions and scaling questions

?

?

“It is easier to do more of what one can already do than to learn new adaptive behaviors or unlearn maladaptive ones.”

   

Family Dysfunction

Families are systems with

Boundary making

Disengagement

individual structures that impact

Realigning

Enmeshment

their functioning.

Enactments

Functioning changes when structure changes and boundaries are realigned.

Spontaneous interactions

13. STRUCTURAL FAMILY THERAPY (MODEL)

 

Murray

Goal is to improve communication

Bowen:

Focuses on individuals in the context of their multigenerational families, encompassing 7 concepts (Differential of self; emotional triangles, nuclear family emotional system, family projection process, multigenerational transmission, emotional cutoff and sibling position.

Role playing and hand holding with client

Virginia

Satir:

 

Major Theories Used in Social Work Practice

Systems Theory

Psychodynamic Theory

Social Learning Theory

Conflict Theory

Developmental Theories

Theories of moral reasoning (Kohlberg, Gilligan)

Theories of cognition (Piaget)

Transpersonal theories of human development (Transpersonal means beyond or through the persona or mask. Going beyond identity rooted in the individual body or ego to include spiritual experience or higher levels of consciousness.)

Stage theories Erikson Primary Perspectives

Strengths

Feminist

Eco-Systems

Current Social Work Practice Models

Problem Solving

Task-Centered

Solution Focused

Narrative

Cognitive-Behavioral

Crisis

In brief, social work practice models are like recipes. They are step-by-step guides for client sessions. Perspectives represent what aspects of the session are emphasized or highlighted in a session (i.e. questions asked or time spent). Theories are overall explanations of the person-in-environment configuration. Theories help explain why the problem is occurring and where the most efficient intervention should take place.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Crisis Theory and Crisis Intervention Crisis Theory and Crisis

Box: Crisis Theory and Crisis Intervention

Crisis Theory and Crisis Intervention

What do we mean by crisis? Crisis is not stress often these terms are used interchangeably Crisis contains a growth-promoting possibility it can be a catalyst

„Crisis disturbs old established patterns of responding‟ (Wright, 1991) Crisis can be seen as:

a hazardous event

decision making (Greek word „krisis‟)

danger and opportunity (Chinese symbols)

Thus, crisis is a time for decision-making in a situation presenting danger and opportunity. Developmental vs Situational Crises What happens in a crisis?

- habitual strengths and ways of coping do not work because the situation is new to us, or it has not been

anticipated, or a series of events become too overwhelming Crisis theory is:

Based in psychodynamic ego psychology Looks at mental health implications of life crises Assumptions:

how one copes with current problems reflects how one coped with previous problems and how one will cope with future problems

everyone experiences hazardous (difficult or dangerous) life events

vulnerable states exist when hazardous events cause people to lose their equilibrium (their capacity to deal with things)

all crises reach resolution in 6 to 8 weeks

intervention during crisis can be more successful than at other times as people are more open to be helped during this period than at other times

new ways of solving concerns may lead to improved coping capacity in the future

in the „reintegration‟ after the active crisis, people become set in newly learned ways of solving

problems, so learning effective problem-solving during the crisis improves their capacity in the future Social worker role: Supportive, listening, empowering Key authors:

Caplan, Golan, O‟Hagan, Parad, Rapoport, Tyhurst Aspects of crisis work similar to other time-limited, brief or focused social work approaches:

brief intervention

structured

„contracts‟ or other explicit agreements between worker and client are used

Crisis intervention Strengths

help is time-limited and therefore effective in terms of effort and resources

crisis intervention relates internal crisis to external changes (i.e. links people‟s internal and external worlds)

where people can develop new adaptive ways of coping, they can achieve better social functioning

it is relevant and useful for a number of short-term crisis situations e.g. loss and bereavement, depression, traumatic experiences such as accidents and other situations of sudden change Limitations

it can involve workers being highly intrusive and directive, which can raise a number of issues e.g. ethical dilemmas and rights re: decision-making process

term „crisis intervention‟ is often used to describe „stress‟ or people living in a chronic state of crisis. This makes it difficult to differentiate between crisis intervention as a specific approach rather than as an intervention used in crisis situations

it may not be possible, given limited resources or time, to assemble all the elements necessary for positive change to occur consequently, this approach may not be viable in some social work settings

24

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Social Work Critical Theory & Practice Social Work Critical

Box: Social Work Critical Theory & Practice

Social Work Critical Theory & Practice

Social Work Social workers attempt to use the insights of social theories such as Critical Theory to promote equality and general improvements in the living conditions of underprivileged individuals and communities. The demographics of these communities include minorities, socioeconomic groups and people living in particular regions. Critical Theory Critical Theorists are concerned with the critique and alteration of industrial and post-industrial social structures. Critical Theorists study societal influences, from cultural products to commercial structures. Critical Theorists believe that by analyzing everything from literary works to social institutions they can better understand how power is situated in society and work to systematically destabilize it. The Frankfurt School The term Critical Theory emerged from the work of a group of mostly German philosophers known as the Frankfurt School. Important figures included Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. The Frankfurt School philosophers were heavily influenced by the events of the first half of the 20th century--particularly the first and second world wars, the failure of working-class Marxist revolution, and the rise of Nazism. They sought, primarily through criticism, to undermine social orthodoxy, whether it was communist or capitalist, in order to help bring about radical social change. Theoretical Analysis and Application Critical Theory is about contrasting the ideals of a society with its actual conditions. Social workers can apply Critical Theory by carrying out such an analysis and then attempting to improve the actual conditions of groups of people. They need not attempt to do this through revolutionary action; indeed, they can affect a lot of change just by bringing to light that the actual conditions of a society do not live up to its ideals, and then working to move those conditions to meet the society's ideals more closely. Practical Application In practice, Critical Theory is perhaps best applied to policy initiatives and advocacy. By analyzing the real conditions of underprivileged or marginalized groups, social workers can pinpoint things that need to change in order to improve those conditions. They can then work through public action to endorse and advocate change, through both democratic processes and grass-roots community involvement.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Theory of social Darwinism and General Systems Theory in

Box: Theory of social Darwinism and General Systems Theory in Social Work

Theory of social Darwinism Social Darwinism is in practice a political theory. It opposes welfare and generally favours lassez faire. It sees the main role of government as the defence of property and the provision of a legal system. However, there were many varieties of Social Darwinism with differing emphases and views. It is less monolithic than is often thought.

General Systems Theory in Social Work

Research Methodology As a research methodology, systems theory can help social workers understand how systems both determine and are determined by those who make up the system. Once the dynamics of a system are understood, social workers try to figure out how best to create positive change in that system in order to bring about better standards of living. Mental Health Mental health professionals tend to use systems theory as a way of understanding how individuals are both products of and complicit in their personal situations, as well as how these situations tend to affect the people in them. They seek to help individuals understand their situation, and work to help those individuals find healthy ways both to cope with their environments and to help instigate change within their own lives. Policymaking Systems theory can be used to understand social dynamics on a large scale. Social workers who are concerned with policymaking use systems theory to understand how public policy can be used to improve living conditions and help bring about social equality for those living within large social systems such as cities, nations, or even the world. Advocacy Advocates tend to focus on particular issues within a society and use systems theory as a means of understanding the complex dynamics surrounding those particular issues. For instance, those working to promote racial equality will use systems theory to understand how racism functions on a structural level throughout a given system and determine ways to end racism. Family Family social workers and child advocates tend to use systems theory to understand family dynamics, and try to use its insights to educate and promote healthy family structures. They try to understand how hierarchies and parental responsibility in family structures work, and determine when those hierarchies or responsibilities are not functioning properly, as well as when physical intervention may be necessary to protect

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Modern Social Work Theory Modern Social Work Theory The

Box: Modern Social Work Theory

Modern Social Work Theory

The Importance of Theory Theory refers to the structured set of assumptions, observations and statements that direct our understanding of the world. In social work, theories help illuminate social structures, human behavior, crisis and conflict, and provides insights into how to alleviate social and personal hardships. Theories are used to guide the practice of social work. Feminist Theory One example of a theory used in social work is feminist theory. Feminist theory seeks to understand how oppressed groups, and in particular women living in male-dominated societies, are affected by their social position. When social workers use this theory, they might look at how power has been exercised over women and how women have achieved greater equality and liberation over time. Social Constructivist Theory Social constructivist theory looks at how people's beliefs and actions shape and re-create their social context, and how in turn that social context reflects upon people, re-creating itself or gradually changing through their practices. From social constructivist theory, social workers can gain insights into how societies reinforce themselves and change through the actions of individuals. They can then go about using insights from social constructivist theory when they try to instigate social change in their own societies. Conflict Theory Conflict theory is like feminist theory in that it observes hierarchical relations of people within society. However, conflict theory posits a society in which groups compete over their collective interests. Eventually, one or more of these groups are dominated by a particular group and marginalized. Conflict theory attempts to emphasize solidarity among marginalized groups as they attempt to resist the status quo created by the dominant social group. As such, it stresses people's ability to work together to better their conditions. It is largely influenced by the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and other prominent Marxist theorists, such as Louis Althusser. Social Cognitive Theory Social cognitive theory is a psychological theory that describes the individual as a complex being molded by personal factors, environment and learned behavior. It emphasizes a technique called self- efficacy, whereby one can come to self-regulate antisocial behavior through an understanding of one's environment and by developing certain expectations about the outcomes of certain behavior. Social workers can use these insights in order to help counsel people suffering from antisocial behavior.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Limitations of theory While considering a theory or theories,

Box: Limitations of theory

While considering a theory or theories, social workers also understand its limitations too:

Limitations of Theories

Recognise that no single theory can explain everything: When a person engages in an action (or inaction) the reason for their behaviour can be rooted in a range of causes or motives.

Related to the first point, recognise that some theoretical approaches just don't work with some people. Applying Brief Solution Focused Therapy can be really effective with some people. For other people, it leaves them cold.

Always apply the value base to theory - much of the theory used in social care practice and social work is drawn from outside of the profession. Theory may have its roots in education, psychology or management. As such, it may not incorporate social work values and you should take responsibility for applying these

Never be intimidated by theory. You use it every day.

Dia: Need to apply social work theory in practice

Why do we need to apply social work theory to practice?

1 Whilst individual social work theories have different purposes, using all kinds of theory in
1 Whilst individual social work theories have different purposes, using all kinds of theory in
1 Whilst individual social work theories have different purposes, using all kinds of theory in

1

Whilst individual social work theories have different purposes, using all kinds of theory in our work offers us, as social workers, some important things.

4

In work with individuals, making use of the theories which may relate to their specific situation will give us more direction in our work with them.

making use of the theories which may relate to their specific situation will give us more
2 Theories can help us to make sense of a situation. Using theory, we can
2 Theories can help us to make sense of a situation. Using theory, we can
2 Theories can help us to make sense of a situation. Using theory, we can

2

Theories can help us to make sense of a situation. Using theory, we can generate ideas about what is going on, why things are as they are etc. For example the information obtained as part of an assessment can seem like a jumble of information - applying theory can help "make sense" of the information.

Using theory can give an explanation about why an action resulted in a particular consequence.

Using theory can give an explanation about why an action resulted in a particular consequence. This can help us review and possibly change our practice in an attempt to make the consequences

more effective.

5

Using theory can help to justify actions and explain practice to service users, carers and society in general. The aim is that this will lead to social work becoming more widely accountable and ultimately more respected.

It is clear then, that theory is important in practice - both for work

with service users and for social work to be more

valued in society.

6

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Personality Psychology Complexities associated with Personality Personality

Box: Personality Psychology

Complexities associated with Personality Personality Psychology Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations Why study personality?

* Constructing a coherent picture of a person and his or her major psychological processes

* Investigating individual differences, that is, how people can differ from one another.

* Investigating human nature, that is, how all people's behaviour is similar? Philosophical assumptions about personality

1. Freedom versus Determinism

This is the debate over whether we have control over our own behavior and understand the motives behind it (Freedom), or if our behavior is causally determined by forces beyond our control (Determinism).

2. Heredity versus Environment

Personality is thought to be determined largely by genetics and biology, by environment and experiences,

or by some combination resulting thereof.

3. Uniqueness versus Universality

The argument over whether we are all unique individuals (Uniqueness) or if humans are basically similar

in their nature (Universality). Humanist psychologists were all advocates of the uniqueness of individuals. Behaviorists and cognitive theorists, in contrast, emphasized the importance of universal principles such as reinforcement and self-efficacy.

4. Active versus Reactive

Do we primarily act through our own initiative (Active), or react to outside stimuli (Reactive)? Behavioral

theorists typically believe that humans are passively shaped by their environments, whereas humanistic and cognitive theorists believe that humans are more active.

5. Optimistic versus Pessimistic

Personality theories differ on whether people can change their personalities (Optimism), or if they are doomed to remain the same throughout their lives (Pessimism). Theories that place a great deal of emphasis on learning are often, but not always, more optimistic than theories that do not emphasize learning. Trait theories Traits are "enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts Type theories Personality type refers to the psychological classification of different types of people. Psychoanalytic theories Psychoanalytic theories explain human behaviour in terms of the interaction of various components of personality. Behaviorist theories Behaviorists explain personality in terms of the effects external stimuli have on behavior. Classical (Classical conditioning (also Pavlovian or respondent conditioning)ian reinforcement) is a form of associative learning) as well as operant conditioning (Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior.) Social cognitive theories In cognitivism, behavior is explained as guided by cognitions (e.g. expectations) about the world, especially those about other people. Cognitive theories are theories of personality that emphasize cognitive processes such as thinking and judging. Humanistic theories In humanistic psychology it is emphasized people have free will and they play an active role in determining how they behave.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Tab: Levels & Definitions of Social Economic Development Practice in

Tab: Levels & Definitions of Social Economic Development Practice in Social Work

Levels of

Major Purposes, Outcomes, or Processes Associated with Levels of Social Work Practice

Practice

Individual &

Through "self help," "mutual aid," and "conscientization" strategies individuals and groups learn how to perceive and act upon the contradictions that exist in the social, political, and economic structures intrinsic to all societies.

Group

Empowerment

Conflict

Efforts directed at reducing: (1) grievances between persons or groups; or, (2) asymmetric power relationships between members of more powerful and less powerful groups.

Resolution

 

Institution-

Refers both to the process of "humanizing" existing social institutions and that of establishing new institutions that respond more effectively to new or emerg-ing social needs.

Building

Community-

Through increased participation and "social animation" of the populace, the process through which community's realize the fullness of their social, political, and economic potential; the process through which communities respond more equitably to the social and material needs of their populations.

Building

Nation-Building

The process of working toward the integration of a nation's social, political, economic, and cultural institutions at all levels of political organization.

Region-

The process of working toward the integration of a geo-political region's social, political, economic, and cultural institutions at all levels of social organization.

Building

World-Building

The process of working toward the establishment of a new system of interna-tional relationships guided by the quest for world peace, increased social jus-tice, the universal satisfaction of basic human needs, and for the protection of the planet's fragile eco-system.

 

Theory A general statement about the real world whose essential truth can be supported by evidence obtained through the scientific method. Must explain in a provable way why something happens. Ex: Learning theory explains behavior on the basis of what organisms have learned from the environment. Model

Is a blueprint for action. It describes what happens in practice in a general way. Ex: The behavioral model

(based on learning theory) gives specific guidelines to for how to effect change. If a parent complains that

his child is having difficulty staying in his own bed at night and the parent has been allowing the child to sleep in his/her bed( thereby reinforcing the child‟s difficulty) the practitioner would help the parent to extinguish the behavior by removing the reinforcement. Perspective

A way of perceiving the world flows from a value position. Note: The perspective will influence choice of

theory and model. Note: Payne (1997) argues that social work theory succeeds best when it contains all three elements of perspective, theory and model. Example: Men who batter their partners Theory: Social learning theory men learn their violent behavior in their family of origin, and from a culture that rewards anger and violence in men; cognitive theory what men say to themselves in situations of stress increases their anger and their propensity to be violent. Model: Cognitive-behavioral Perspective: Feminist

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Dia: Models of Social Work Practice The vast majority of

Dia: Models of Social Work Practice

The vast majority of Social Workers function within one of four basic models of practice: the Personal Social Services Model (PSSM); the Social Welfare Model (SWM), the Social Development Model (SDM), and the New World Order Model (NWOM).

The Personal Social Services Model The Personal Social Services Model (PSSM) of social development practice seeks to extend to people everywhere a range of basic social services that are needed to either restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning. The model's primary goals are: 1) to provide

remedial and preventive services to individuals, families, and groups whose optimal social functioning is either temporarily impaired or inter-rupted; and 2) to extend social protection to population groups that are threatened by exploitation or degradation. The PSSM also seeks to ensure increased sensitivity and responsiveness on the part of human service providers to the special service needs of culturally diverse population groups.

The Social Welfare Model

The Social Welfare Model (SWM) of social work (development) practice is rooted in comparative social policy and comparative social research. The goals associated with the SWM include: 1) self help; 2) mutual aid; 3) humanitarianism; and 4) the establishment of effective, preferably universal, systems of formal social provision. The SWM also views developmental social welfare practice as part of the worldwide movement that seek to promote social security and social justice for people everywhere (Elliott et al., 1990; Evers & Wintersberger, 1988; USDHHS, 1997).

The Social Development Model The Social Development Model (SDM) has its origins in community organization and

community devel-opment practice and does, therefore, promote the fullest possible participation of people in determining both the means and goals of social development. In doing so, the model seeks to provide a framework for understanding the underlying causes of human degradation, powerlessness, and social inequality every-where in the world. The ultimate goal of the SDM, however, is to guide collective action toward the elimination of all forms of violence and social oppression.

The New World Order Model The New World Order Model (NWOM) of social development practice is closely associated with the writings of "visionary" economists, political scientists, legal scholars, and environmentalists (Brandt Commission, 1981). Major components of the NWOM are reflected in the fundamental social, political, and economic reforms in the existing international "order" that are being sought by the United Nations (UN, 1990; UN/ESCAP, 1992b), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 1997), World Bank 1997) and other leading international development assistance organizations. Elements of the NWOM also have been described by social work

theoreticians. The NWOM asserts that the most serious problems confronting humanity are rooted in the fundamental inequalities that exist in the present world "order," i.e., in the system of

international social, political, and economic institutions that govern relationships between nations and, within nations, be-tween groups of people. In promoting its social change objectives, the NWOM calls for the creation of a "new world order" based on: 1) recognition of and respect for the unity of life on earth; 2) the minimi-zation of violence; 3) the satisfaction of basic human needs; 4) the primacy of human dignity; 5) the re-tention of diversity and pluralism; and 6) the need for universal participation in the process of attaining worldwide social transformation.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Tab: Models of (International) Social Work Practice   PERSONAL SOCIAL

Tab: Models of (International) Social Work Practice

 

PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES MODEL

SOCIAL WELFARE

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL

NEW WORLD

MODEL

ORDER MODEL

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING THE HUMAN CONDITION

At various times in their lives people require limited assistance in coping with problems of daily living (e.g., serious illness, disability, family dysfunction, income insecurity, etc.). Others, owing to more serious problems, are unable to function independently and require more intensive assistance over the long- term. The personal social services seek to restore or enhance the social functioning of people to an optimal level of self- sufficiency.

Owing to the interdependent nature of contemporary society, all people confront predictable social "risks" for which formally organized programs of social protection are needed (e.g., loss of income, serious illness, old age, solitary survivor-ship, etc.). Other groups of people owing to factors that are largely beyond their control are disadvantaged by stratification norms that reward some, but penalize many. Social welfare is viewed as the primary mechanism through which societies respond to the legitimate needs of dependent population groups.

Dominant national & international systems frustrate the efforts of disenfranchised people (and countries) in their efforts to achieve parity with "social haves." Persistent social, political, and economic inequalities in developing countries result from: 1) a legacy of colonialism; 2) "victimization" by in- ternational systems that better serve the interests of rich and powerful countries; 3) internal corruption; and 4) "accidents" of geography that trap resource poor countries in conditions of perpetual deprivation. Within rich countries, persistent inequalities mirror patterns that exist in the global system

Existing social, political, and economic "world order systems" are controlled by a minority of rich and powerful countries that have a vested interest in maintaining the economic and political dependency of poorer, less powerful, countries. Persistent inequalities between rich and poor nations contribute directly to recurrent wars, civil strife, and increasingly to more serious problems of global poverty and social injustice.

SOCIAL CHANGE GOALS

The protection of socially vulnerable population groups from exploitation and human degradation. The provision of a range of services that restore & as possible, enhance the capacity of people to meet their social obligations.

The establishment of effective and cost efficient sys-tems of social provision that benefit the largest possible number of people. Access to a basic standard of social and economic well being viewed as a basic "right" of citizenship or residency.

The redistribution of power and material resources to historically disadvantaged population groups, but especially to the poor, landless persons, women, minorities, and others. Fuller participation of people at all levels of social organization in the dominant political and economic systems of their countries.

Transformation of existing world order systems to systems that reflect: active participation of all people and all relevant sectors in the transformation pro- cess; the alleviation of human suffering everywhere; Increased social and distributive justice; and the attainment of world peace and war prevention.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work   PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES MODEL SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL
 

PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES MODEL

SOCIAL WELFARE

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL

NEW WORLD

MODEL

ORDER MODEL

CHANGE

TARGETS

Individuals, families, and small groups

The broader society with special emphasis on the social and economic well-being of individuals and family groups

Groups, formal and informal organizations, communities, national sub-regions and nations

People at all levels of social organization including people's movements, nations, world sub regions and regions, and international co- operative movements.

SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL EMPHASIS

Increased sensitivity and responsiveness to the special service needs of culturally diverse population groups.

Social work and so-cial welfare are viewed as world-wide social movements that seek to promote peace, social justice, and social security for people everywhere.

Through a sense of identification with oppressed people everywhere, local groups are assisted in undertaking change efforts that benefit themselves and others.

The model emphasizes the need for new international systems based on: global sharing rather than squandering; global cooperation rather than competition; and global conservation rather than exploitation.

 

The provision of various forms of psycho-social treatment and rehabilitation. Limited financial assistance and other economic services to the poor based on eligibility and established need.

The extension of basic social guarantees and protections to people everywhere, i.e., to minimal standards of living and assured access to at least basic health, education, and other essential social services.

A

broad range of group

Change activities are multifaceted and draw from the full spectrum of governmental and non-governmental actors, practice methods, and organizational skills.

BASIC CHANGE

STRATEGIES

and community building methods are employed:

conscientization (i.-e., social animation), self- help, mutual aid, conflict resolution, institution building, etc.

PRIMARY AGENTS OF SOCIAL HANGE

Professionals & Non professionals employed by public or private human service organizations.

Interdisciplinary teams of human service professionals working in various welfare related sectors (e.g., housing, health care, education, income security, etc.).

Teams of trained professionals & development experts in cooperation with governmental entities,

People and governments working cooperatively in creating new social systems that reflect dramatically altered

people's organizations,

&

other collectivities.

international realities.

PRESSURES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Increasing numbers of "dysfunctional" or socially dependent people. Deteriorating social conditions that threaten the life style or economic security of more advantaged population groups.

Recognition of new or emerging social needs coupled with a willingness to respond to those needs. Social conflicts arising from a growing "under class" of people who are unable to participate meaningfully in existing social order.

The social "animation" of previously oppressed peoples. International pressures to respond more equitably to the legitimate needs and rights of disenfranchised populations.

Recurrent crises stemming from: 1) the inability of existing world systems to cope with mounting pressures for change; or 2) the occurrence of serious global catastrophes such that fundamental changes to existing world systems cannot be avoided.

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Tab: Ecological Systems /Strengths /Empowerment Perspective Ecological Systems

Tab: Ecological Systems /Strengths /Empowerment Perspective

Ecological Systems Perspective

Understands human behavior within environmental contexts

Explores the transactional nature of human behavior

Assumes an evolutionary nature of human development

Seeks to achieve a ‘goodness of fit’ between individuals and their environments

Dimensions of human systems

The Strengths Perspective Practice Assumptions

Clients bring strengths to the helping process in the forms of resources and competencies

Clients have a capacity for growth and change

 

Client problems reside in the transaction between client systems and the environment

A collaborative approach and practice to augment strengths and resources

Clients are experts on their own lives

Interventionist holds a positive vision for future possibilities for the client

Practice Theories that Inform Social Work Practice

Psychosocial theory

Casework

Psychodynamic theory

Case management

Behavioral theory

Crisis intervention

Cognitive behavioral theory

Family preservation

Social learning theory

Family therapies

Symbolic interactionism

Organizational change

Moral development theory

Community change

Problem solving

 

Empowerment Based Practice

Provides a relationship, climate and resources through which people can enrich their lives

Requires a collaborative relationship with clients

 

Personal power

Develop critical consciousness

Interpersonal power

Reflect and act

Sociopolitical power

Take social action

Use group modalities

 

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Dia: Undestanding Social Work Theories in general 1 2 Purpose

Dia: Undestanding Social Work Theories in general

1
1
2
2

Purpose of Social Work Practice

Enhance the problem - solving and coping capacity of people

Link people with systems - resources, services & opportunities

Promote the system’s effective and human operations

Development & improvement of social policy

Basic Assumptions of Social Work

The centrality of the human being

Personal familial & communal problems are the result of human interactions with others

Problems can facilitated & enrich human life

3 
3

The Ecological Systems Theory

(Germain&Gitterman,1980)

People constantly adapting in an interchange with different aspects of the environment

Reciprocal adaptation - developing through change and support by the environment

Social problems pollute the social environment reducing the possibility of reciprocal adaptation

the

Living

systems

must

maintain

a

good

fit

with

environment

Appropriate inputs (information, food, resources etc.) are needed to maintain and develop ourselves

Problems - arise from maladaptive life space of people

The System Theory in Social Work (General System Theory)

Each system is compounded of:

5
5

Sub - systems

Boundaries - open & close

Feedback loops - input output

Homeostasis - change - preservation

Non - summativity - the whole is more than the sum of its parts

Reciprocity

the

-

change

in

one

component

affects

whole system

7
7

Social Work Ideology Basic Values (NASW)

1. The individual is the primary concern of society

2. There is interdependence between individuals in society

3. Individuals have social responsibility for one another

4. There are human needs common to each person, yet each person is essentially unique and different from each other

5. An essential attitude of democratic society is the realization of the full potential of each individual, and the assumption of his social responsibility through active participation in society

6. Society has the responsibility to provide ways in which obstacles to the self realization can be overcome or prevented.

4
4

Social Work Aims System & Ecological Theory

To strengthen the adaptive capacity of people - Problem solving capacities, establishing linkages to resource systems

To influence people environment towards more adaptive transactions

Facilitating interactions with resource systems, influencing social policy

6
6

Problems in the fit between needs and capacities

Life Transitions (Developmental changes, status and role changes)

Environmental pressures (Unequal opportunities, harsh organizations)

Interpersonal processes (Inconsistent expectations, exploitation)

Informal resource systems Family friends, neighbors etc.

Formal resource systems Organizations, union committee, associations etc.

Societal resource systems Hospitals, schools, police, occupational services etc.

8
8

Social Work’s Hierarchy of Solutions (Rosenfeld, 1985)

1. Help people to use their inner resources

2. Help people to use their informal social resources (family, friends etc.)

3. Activate formal and general social sources

(Legislation, social & organizational policy)

9
9

The Primary Values of Social Work

1. Society has an obligation to ensure that people have access to the resources, services and opportunities they need to meet various life tasks, alleviate distress and realize their aspirations and values.

2. In providing social resources, the dignity and individuality of

people should be respected. Specific Values in Social Work Practice Respect the client * Maximize clients’ self determination *Non judgmental attitude *Observe the confidenentiality of the client *Honesty in dealing with the client *Partnership in client social worker relations *Respect cultural differences

10
10

Social Work Primary Roles Rehabilitation * Resources provision *Prevention of inadequate social functioning *Broker *Enabler *Empowerment *Educator *Mediator *Advocator

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Dia: Theories of Human Behaviour SYSTEMS HEORY Includes: PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY

Dia: Theories of Human Behaviour

SYSTEMS HEORY Includes: PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY Includes: Ecological Systems [Systems Perspective] Includes:
SYSTEMS HEORY
Includes:
PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY
Includes:
Ecological Systems
[Systems Perspective]
Includes:
BEHAVIORISM &
SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY
Includes:
Family Systems
[Systems Perspective]
Cognitive theory,
Behavioral theory,
Social Learning theory [Social
Behavioral perspective]
Classical psychodynamic theory,
Ego-psychology, Object-
relations theory, Self-
psychology
[Psychodynamic Perspective]
PSYCHOSOCIAL
DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY
[Developmental Perspective]
TRANSPERSONAL THEORY
[Developmental Perspective; built
upon Humanistic Perspective]
Theories of
Human
Behavior
SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM
[Social Constructionist Perspective]
CONFLICT THEORY
[Conflict Perspective]
CONTINGENCY THEORY
[Systems Perspective]
SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY [Rational Choice Perspective] SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]
SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY [Rational Choice Perspective] SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]
SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY [Rational Choice Perspective] SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]

SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY [Rational Choice Perspective]

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]

SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY [Rational Choice Perspective] SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Table: Theories of Human Behaviour Theory of Focus of Theory

Table: Theories of Human Behaviour

Theory of

Focus of Theory

 

Main Concepts Regarding Human Behavior

Human Behavior

   

SYSTEMS THEORY Includes:

How persons interact with their environment. How the family system affects the individual and family functioning across the life- span

*Persons are in continual transaction with their environment *Systems are interrelated parts or subsystems constituting an ordered whole *Each subsystem impacts all other parts and whole system *Systems can have closed or open boundaries *Systems tend toward equilibrium *Individual functioning shapes family functioning and family systems can create pathology within the individual *Boundaries, roles, communication, family structure influence family functioning

Ecological Systems [Systems Perspective] Includes:

 

Family Systems [Systems Perspective]

BEHAVIORISM & SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Includes:

How individuals develop cognitive functioning and learn through acting on their environment

*Imitation & reaction to stimulation shape behavioral learning *Knowledge is constructed through children physically and mentally acting on objects *Intelligence is an evolutionary, biological adaptation to environment *Cognitive structures enable adaptation & organization

Cognitive theory, Behavioral theory, Social Learning theory [Social Behavioral perspective]

PSYCHODYNAMIC

How inner

 

*Unconscious and conscious mental activity motivate human behavior *Ego functions mediate between individual and environment *Ego defense mechanisms protect individuals from becoming overwhelmed by unacceptable impulses and threats *Internalized experiences shape personality development and functioning *Healing occurs through attention to transferences and the treatment relationship

THEORY

energies and

 

Includes:

external forces

Classical psychodynamic theory, Ego-psychology, Object- relations theory, Self-psychology [Psychodynamic Perspective]

interact to

 

impact

emotional

 

development

 

PSYCHOSOCIAL

 

How internal & external forces shape life development, generally by life stages

*Human development occurs in defined & qualitatively different stages that are sequential & may be universal *Individual stages of development include specific tasks to be completed & crises to be managed *Time & social context shape & individualize the meaning of life stages

DEVELOPMENTAL

THEORY

[Developmental

Perspective]

 

TRANSPERSONAL

 

How the spiritual and religious aspects of human existence can be understood How spiritual development builds upon and goes beyond bio-psychosocial development

 

*Focuses on meaning, connection, and purpose *Some people achieve developmental level beyond the personal (ego- based) level into transpersonal (beyond self or ego) levels of consciousness and functioning. *There is an inherent tendency to express innate potentials for love, creativity, and spirituality *There is a difference between psychopathological phenomena and spiritual growth experiences

THEORY

[Developmental

Perspective; built

upon

Humanistic

Perspective]

     

SOCIAL

 

How persons

 

*Antecedents, consequences, personal expectations, and interpretation shape and maintain behavior in the present *Self-interest determines social exchange *Unequal resources determine power inequities and reciprocity is essential *Six propositions:

EXCHANGE

minimize costs

THEORY

and maximize

[Rational Choice

rewards

 

Perspective]

through social

exchange

 

--Success proposition --Stimulus proposition --Value proposition --Deprivation-satiation -- proposition --Aggression-approval proposition --Rationality proposition

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM [Social Constructionist Perspective]

 

How socio cultural and historical contexts shape individuals and the creation of knowledge How individuals create themselves

*All experience is subjective and human beings recreate themselves through an on-going, never static process *Knowledge is created through an interplay of multiple social and historical forces *Social interaction is grounded in language, customs, cultural and historical contexts *All phenomenon, including the sciences, must be approached with doubt in order to understand how people construct reality *Humans are self-interpreting beings

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work SYMBOLIC How the “self” is influenced and shaped by social

SYMBOLIC

How the “self” is influenced and shaped by social processes and the capacity to symbolize

*Human action is caused by complex interaction between and within individuals *Dynamic social activities take place among persons and we act according to how we define our situation *We act in the present, not the past *Individuals are actors on the stage and take on roles, interacting with the environment

INTERACTIONISM

 

[Social Constructionist Perspective]

CONFLICT

How power

 

*All societies perpetuate some forms of oppression & injustice and structural inequity *Power is unequally divided & some groups dominate others *Social order is based on manipulation and control by dominant groups *Social change is driven by conflict, with periods of change interrupting periods of stability *Life is characterized by conflict not consensus

THEORY

structures &

[Conflict

power disparities

Perspective]

impact people‟s

lives

 

CONTINGENCY

How individuals & groups gain power, access to resources, & control over their lives, often through collective action

 

*Groups are open, dynamic systems with both change and conflict present *Groups are stratified, with different and unequal levels of power and control *High discrimination and low privilege equals low opportunity *Oppression occurs when upward mobility is systematically denied *The social context must be critiqued and deconstructed *Assumptions for analyzing organizations:

--there is no best way to manage organizations --there must be a match between the environment and internal resources --the design of the organization must fit with the environment

THEORY

[Systems

Perspective]

Box: Empowerment Theory

Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities. The process of empowerment The process which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal/collective power, authority and influence, and to employ that strength when engaging with other people, institutions or society. In other words, “Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently We define empowerment as letting this power out (Blanchard, K)." It encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately, help them develop within themselves or in the society. Empowerment includes the following, or similar, capabilities:-

The ability to make decisions about personal/collective circumstances

The ability to access information and resources for decision-making

Ability to consider a range of options from which to choose (not just yes/no, either/or.)

Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making

Having positive-thinking about the ability to make change

Ability to learn and access skills for improving personal/collective circumstance.

Ability to inform others‟ perceptions though exchange, education and engagement.

Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self-initiated

Increasing one's positive self-image and overcoming stigma

Increasing one's ability in discreet thinking to sort out right and wrong

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work

S.Rengasamy - Theories of Social Work Box: Conflict Theory Conflict theory Conflict theory states that the

Box: Conflict Theory

Conflict theory Conflict theory states that the society or organization functions so that each individual and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as changes in politics and revolutions. The theory is mostly applied to explain conflict between social

•Postcolonial theory •Queer theory •World systems theory In sociology and biology, conflict theory states that the society or organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as changes in politics and revolutions. The theory is mostly applied to explain conflict between social

classes, proletarian versus bourgeoisie; and in ideologies such as capitalism versus socialism.

It

is the theory that a continual struggle exists

classes in ideologies such as socialism and communism. The theory refutes functionalism, which considers that societies and organization function so that each individual and group plays

a specific role, like organs in the body. There are radical basic assumptions (it is only conflict, which might explain social change), or moderate ones (custom and conflict are always mixed). In understanding conflict theory, competition plays a key part. The following are four primary assumptions of modern conflict theory:

between all different aspects of a particular society. The struggle that occurs does not always have to involve physical violence. It can pertain to an underlying struggle for each group or individual within a society to maximize its own benefits. The theory was founded by Karl Marx, and later developed by theorists such as Max Weber, etc. The theory attempts to refute functionalism, which considers that societies and organizations function so that each individual and group plays a specific role, like organs in the body. There are radical basic assumptions (society is eternally in conflict, which might explain social change), or moderate ones (custom and conflict are always mixed). The

moderate version allows for functionalism to as an equally acceptable theory since it would accept that even negative social institutions play

1. Competition. Competition over scarce resources (money, leisure, sexual partners, and so on) is at the heart of all social relationships. Competition rather than consensus is characteristic of human relationships.

2. Structural inequality. Inequalities in power

a

part in society's self-perpetuation.

and reward are built into all social structures. Individuals and groups that benefit from any particular structure strive to see it maintained.

3. Revolution. Change occurs as a result of conflict between competing interests rather than through adaptation. It is often abrupt and revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

Types of conflict theory Conflict theory is most commonly associated with Marxism, but as a reaction to functionalism and the positivist method may also be associated with number of other perspectives, including:

•Critical theory

•Feminist theory

4. War. Even war is a unifier of the societies involved, as well as war may set an end to whole societies.

•Postmodern theory •Post-structural theory