Project #71258 - Social work

Different discussion questions related to the class theoretical topic will be posted on the Discussion Board. After reading the relevant material available, students are asked to submit their thoughts and reflections as part of your assessment.  These contributions should be 750 words in total but splited into three sections of 250 words per section, and should demonstrate your attempt to understand the theoretical concepts, potential strengths and limitations for meeting service user needs, how you think the service user is viewed by this theory, personal reflections on how you relate to the theory's principles including why and how you might incorporate a specific theory into your developing practice framework.

Question 1/section 1 – Community social work- a constant battle ground

Much of the struggle community-based social projects face is caused by the increasing dominance of the value of the individual over the collective as a perspective for living our lives (this being a Western Liberal philosophical approach).  Community work was it's strongest in the 1970's and 1980's but has faced increased pressure in the past 20-30 years as policy makers looked for evidence that it was effective, and from increasingly manageralistic, neo-liberalist welfare policy approach to social problems.  

The former British PM Margaret Thatcher famously said "there is no such thing as society - there are individual men and women", and this view of society was further reinforced by the Reagan administration in the US.   Yet, as individual human beings we all share common collective concerns, and care about the same things - our children, family, home, our local community, employment, food, housing, etc - fundamental things to our "social" living, and these don't change.  Community work tends to work with marginalised groups who are not able to achieve these basic social and economic needs.  Community work also fits very well with the ECOLOGICAL APPROACH because it works at a grass-roots level across multiple groups, with varied issues and within a specific, localised environment.

 

TASK:

 

This section 1, my questions are...............

 

What skills do you need to practice community work?   

AND

Do you think you would be interested in undertaking community work in your future career, and if so, what appeals to you about this approach?

(Answer this in 250 words)

 

Question 2/section 2 (Humanism, Existentialism and Spirituality)

Carl Rogers has had an enormous influence on social work practice with his humanistic approach to working with people.  It has profoundly impacted on the development of our ethical standards for practice and Code of Ethics.

However, there are many criticisms that it is unrealistic to think that we can practice this way in the 'real world' of the modern state which is pushing the use of evidence-based interventions that can be measured for 'success'.  

What do you think?   I'm going to ask some challenging questions in this section .....

TASK..

Can we remain true to the core principles of Roger's approach to people and be genuinely empathic, congruent, non-judgmental and give unconditional positive regard to all?  

Is it getting harder to hold the belief that people are fundamentally 'good' and that each person is striving for happiness and self-actualisation?  Is this being naive?  

Are we deluding ourselves and not facing the reality of modern life?  

Can we possibly live up to the ethical expectations of this approach?

(Answer this in 250 words)

Question 3/section 3 (Advocacy and Empowerment)

While we may think Advocacy is relatively straight forward to explain, it is still a challenge to ensure that when you, as a social worker, advocate for a client or group or community, that you do it in such a way that your voice doesn't overpowers theirs.  And even more challenging, that you don't disempower them by the type of advocacy that you facilitate.  Sometimes we forget the knowledge and power that we hold at our fingertips, and we leap right in and 'solve' a person's problem by advocating for them, when in fact, they just wanted advice about how to solve their own problem.

Empowerment is a word we hear and read everywhere today in practice and policy documents.  Is it in danger of becoming meaningless from overuse? Does it have different meanings for different people?  What a social worker might mean they we say "empowerment" might not necessarily reflect what is meant by politicians or policy makers, for example.

 

TASK

Please read the article by Sue Bond-Taylor on this very issue.  After reading it, have your say on this section of assignment and.
Question:   In your observations of practice, what is the difference between the rhetoric and the reality of empowerment for those who are the receiving welfare interventions?

(Answer this in 250 words)

 NO REFERENCE REQUIRED.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 05/22/2015 12:00 am
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