Posted: September 4th, 2013
Theoretical Framework as a Social Worker in the Future
Theoretical Framework as a Social Worker in the Future
Social work is a practical field with the aim of transformation of individuals and the community. In my opinion, social work is simply improving the community around. In sociology, different theories are applied in regards to social work with different results. In cultural theory, the main aim is to explain how people relate to each other and their environment in general and utilize that in achieving its goals in community enhancement. It aids in understanding the diverse ways in which people from different backgrounds react to situations. This can be used in analyzing activities that involve human interactions. Narrative theory, on the other hand, strives to understand selected events, past social experiences, organizational histories or political stories that are organized, connected and evaluated for an audience. It focuses on the assembly of the stories and processes them in a way that will suit whomever at which they are aimed. This is especially useful when dealing with interest groups who share a common goal.
Another theory is the solution-focused theory that focuses on creating solutions rather than solving problems. This happens by taking into account present resources and future expectations rather than past problems and their causes. Hence, the social worker puts more emphasis on the outcome and downplays the magnitude of the problem hence making the solution achievable. In strength-based approach, a social worker focuses on the positives and strengths of the community and individuals. It makes available resources and makes use of the knowledge power and skill of the society. It focuses on their positives, their admirable and achievable visions and capacities and ignoring the negative views regardless of the actual situation of the community now. This enables the social worker to work with community in creating the environment that they want.
In task-centered theory, the problem is identified, and the social worker aids in carrying out problem-solving tasks in a given time limit in small, manageable sections. Hence, the solution is found by studying the problem and seeking a resolution from the problem itself. Of all the aforementioned theories, I find the strength passed theory to be most effective hence choose it as my preferred theory in my practice of social work in the future (Payne & Campling, 1997).
The social worker undergoes certain challenges in choosing the theories for their framework. I tend to believe that if a social worker intends to solve a problem, the solution-focused theory might not be that applicable since it only centers on finding solutions, but not solving the problem whereas the strength passed theory may make the client believe that the worker is only interested in strength when that is not the case. I believe that it may also lead to the manipulation of the client. The client may also be misunderstood in this case. This causes enormous challenges to the workers. As a social worker in the future, I may face challenges such as these in my practical application of these theories.
According to my understanding, the cultural theory puts into perspective the diversity in religion, political views and cultures of individuals and communities and their response to situations. It entails how these diverse people interact and relate in order to come up with a strategy that is applicable and effective. From my research, I found that traditional models did not consider women from devalued culture’s experiences. I believe that this was the case because women were considered of less value than men were; hence, this theory was introduced to integrate them. These women come from diverse backgrounds hence eliminates specification of information with different ways of interaction being put into perspective.
In my understanding, cultural social study identifies a place of study and commits itself to studying the political tendencies in the region, the religious preferences of communities, kinds of occupations and how sharing of duties occurs in the community. It compares the current findings and the past to understand the changes with time and tries to understand what to expect in the future in terms of culture. These studies carried out under this theory identifies the problem areas in the community, what brings about marginalization of women, how comes there are undeserving poor and once the problem areas are identified it becomes easier to tackle the issue hence bringing about development. I feel that this theory on identifying the differences in cultures will be able to handle each cultural group in a way most suitable to it and enhance relations between different groups. They try to come up with solutions for the disconnections in the cultures to enhance relations in order to increase productivity gained from better relations.
I find that by studying the diverse cultures the social worker can connect with all the involved parties, hence creating deep connections and making it easier for them to accept the changes suggested. In my opinion, the acceptance of these theories also aids in elevating women’s positions as their opinions are also considered. Therefore, I would suggest that this theory be backed up by financial support to implement the changes and widespread support by governments and financial organizations as it is bound to improve peace, economic levels of the concerned parties (Parker, 2010).
Narrative theory deals with specific interest groups. I believe that every individual has a story, every organization has its history, and that is his or her story. However, I feel that when narrative theory is applied in social sciences, a specific topic of stories is what theorists should concentrate on. A selective group is concerned, and only the stories that relate to that specific group are highlighted. I feel that this theory tries to understand the process of the formation of that story, how it came to be. The processes that were undertaken and experiences that were passed through are put into consideration. Selected events and social experiences in relation to the topic of interest are documented, organized and evaluated. The stories are evaluated systematically and once the interest is discovered a solution is agreed upon based on those past occurrences. In my opinion, the social worker should try to put himself or herself in the situation depicted by the stories and try to construct alternative versions of the story. Based on their understanding, the social worker should come up with the solution that they could implement to bring about the most desirable results. This process should be undertaken with the involved party in order to bring about a change of attitude and mentality for the realization of a long-term solution. I think that the social worker should be actively involved throughout the process of change implementation in guiding the involved parties to give them the motivation and enthusiasm required.
Solution focused theory
I find this theory to be more result oriented as it focuses more on solution creation as compared to the urge to solve problems. It is concerned with the existing problem and how the problem can be solved. It does not deal with the problem directly. Therefore, the social worker can observe the problem and encourage his clients to solve it. The clients, by the help of the social worker are able to identify the resources available whether internal or external and use this to solve their problems. I believe this theory encourages empowerment since the clients learn to use the resources around them with the social workers assistance. This protects them from situations of oppression and incapacity and helps the clients overcome these problems (Roberts & Watkins, 2009)
Strength passed theory
This is a theory that stresses on individual’ self-drive and strength. Personally, I find this theory to be client driven focusing on future results and the strength that individuals apply in problem situations. The social workers help the clients discover and use their strength and the available resources to reach their objectives. I favor this theory as it centers on the strengths and abilities of the clients rather than their problems. The clients can consider the external difficulties experienced as a motivation for their growth. They can also use the social support as a basis of strength. However, a restricted focus on strength will make the client believe that the worker is only interested in success and strength. The client may be mistaken or even manipulated in this theory. I however feel like it encourages positive thinking and re-frames individuals stress reducing their problems. I, therefore, agree with this theory (Gitterman & Germain, 2008).
Task center theory
My opinion towards this theory is that it makes a significant contribution to social work practice. It centers on troubles that cause distress to clients. This theory calls for deliberate tasks. In my understanding, task theory emphasizes on mutual responsibility on the part of clients and the social workers. It has an interest on appraisal and advocates reliance on practice methods that are practical. This theory advocates short-term way of solving problems. It centers on tasks that are used to solve the problems on which the clients have decided to work. This theory has been of help in solving problems for the social workers. It has, therefore, been used successfully. I, therefore, agree with this theory since it can provide solutions to most problems faced by the social workers (Howe, 2009).
In my understanding, a social worker should always abide by the social worker code of ethics. This, I feel, ensures that the social workers make a wise decision in situations that require ethical decisions. A social worker requires several skills such as his commitment to clients. Other qualities I find necessary are that, he should be competent so that he can make wise decisions. He should also be self-driven, and he should remember to maintain confidentiality. The social worker should also be ethical. Their interest should be mostly centered on the service they offer to others and not themselves.
They should ensure solution to problems of the miserable individuals and ensure justice is observed. Another requirement I find vital is their ability to uphold their integrity and treat all people in a respectable way. With these skills and ethics, the social worker can apply these theories in future. I believe these theories can be combined such that with the strength passed theory that focuses on an individual’s strength, the solution-focused theory can be implemented to find solutions to the problems. The task center theory can then be employed to solve the problem. This can only be achieved when the skills and ethics of the social worker are observed (Hepworth & Hepworth, 2006).
Gitterman, A., & Germain, C. B. (2008). The life model of social work practice: Advances in theory and practice. New York: Columbia University Press.
Hepworth, D. H., & Hepworth, D. H. (2006). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Howe, D. (2009). A brief introduction to social work theory. Hampshire England: Palgrave Macmillan.
Parker, J. (2010). Social work theory. S.l.: Opan Univ Press.
Payne, M., & Campling, J. (1997). Modern social work theory. Chicago, Ill: Lyceum Books.
Roberts, A. R., & Watkins, J. M. (2009). Social workers’ desk reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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