Examine Radical Social Work Theory Social Work Essay

First of all, societal work theory is defined as “ an explanatory model, ” the accretion of cognition, thoughts, accomplishments and beliefs societal workers draw upon to assist to do sense of what societal work is and how to make it. ( Oko, 2008: pp.6 ) In other words, theory in societal work helps to organize and construction the universe we live in and assist us to do sense. Particularly this is of import when covering with service users. Vulnerable people are those in demand and under emphasis who frequently lost control under their lives. Therefore, it is critical to help them in explicating world to do sense of what is traveling on and why. Not being able to understand world is nerve-racking for both service user and practician. ( Howe: 2009 ) . Beckett ( 2006: pp.33 ) defines societal work theory “ as a set of thoughts or rules to steer pattern. ” The definition stresses the importance of how theory informs pattern taking to assessment and intercession. This is supported by Teater ( 2010: pp.1 ) who hold the position that “ theories help to foretell, explicate and measure state of affairss and behaviors and supply a principle for how societal workers should respond and step in with clients who have peculiar histories, jobs or ends. ” It is deserving indicating out that theory to be right has to explicate the state of affairs and provides us to solution. However, different types of theory can be used otherwise in the broad spectrum of intercession. Alternate theories can take to a different procedure of apprehension, measuring and intercession. It is indispensable hence to analyze and accommodate theory all the clip. ( Teater: 2010 ) Howe ( 2011 ) likewise refers to theory as a usher that influence pattern in five cardinal country such as observation, description, account, anticipation and intercession. Harmonizing to Howe ( 2011 ) , societal workers must reply a serious of inquiry to understand complexness of the state of affairs and to see pattern. First, societal workers have to specify jobs and place demands of the service users. Second, make sense of what is traveling on by analyzing and measuring state of affairs. Third, set out ends, and do action program. Fourthly, buttocks available resources, accomplishments and methods that will be utilised in societal work procedure. Finally, reappraisal and evaluated the whole procedure.

The beginnings of societal work theory can be traced back to the early 19th century and are strongly embedded within the Industrial Revolution and development of societal scientific disciplines. ( Howe: 2009 ) The age of Enlightenment was really tough and riotous period follow by the Scientific Revolution and rapid industrialization. Migration of people, high grade of destitution, offense and poorness forced to alter. Significant efforts were made to use developing societal scientific disciplines such as psychological science, sociology and economic system to better societal and political conditions of society. ( Howe: 2009 ) The work of Wilson et Al. ( 2008 ) emphasises the importance of formation the Charity Organisation Society ( COS ) in the 1869 as the day of the month from which societal work as a recognise pattern began. It has been suggested that societal work originated by the COS resulted in creative activity a societal work theory as a response to “ societal disadvantage and unrest ” . ( Wilson et al. 2008: pp.50 )

The above account the beginnings of societal work theory lead to justification why societal work theory is contested. Social work theory has explored all types of cognition and experience in its effort to understand dealingss within society and aid people. The work of Maclean and Harrison suggested that “ no individual theory can explicate everything. An eclectic attack is normally required. ” ( 2011: p.15 ) The statement means there is no dominant theory in societal work pattern. People their relationships and interactions are complex, accordingly societal work theories must deduce from different beginnings subject to explicate human behavior, place in society, relationships within psychological, societal, economical and political context. This agrees with the position of Payne ( 2005: 44 ) who refers to “ borrow cognition ” in societal work pattern. Oko ( 2008: p.7 ) draws attending to “ societal constructionism ” and “ fluidness ” as a position of societal work where everything can alter depends on context, clip, statute law, policies and different outlooks about people ‘s behavior. Social work theory is contested because embrace a assortment of different pattern scene, with different groups of service users every bit good as working form and invariably altering context of policies and directives. When discoursing types of societal work theory, it is of import to recognize that those can be seen at three different degrees ; theories of what societal work is approximately, how to make societal work and theories of service user universe. ( Payne: 2005, p.6 ) The first statement apply to expansive theories, these are Orthodox theories that seek to explicate society as a whole. It is of import to advert that there are three chief beginnings of societal work theory such as psychological science, sociology and systemic. ( Howe: 2011 ) However, societal work theory besides derive from other subject such as doctrine, jurisprudence, medical specialty, societal policy etc. ( Howe: 2009 ) An illustration of expansive theories are psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism, systems theory, humanitarianism, Marxism and Feminism. ( Wilson et al. 2008 ) The other group are mid-range, theories that Wilson et Al. ( 2008: p.107 ) called “ pattern theories ” these indicate the methods of intercession and are the consequence of the part of expansive theoretical position with pattern experience. The last but non least, are informal theories, usage to explicate single instances or behavior. Informal theory is the practician ‘s ain thoughts about a state of affairs based on personal and professional experiences. Wilson et Al. ( 2008 ) refers to pattern wisdom, self-awareness, intuition, non cognizing and personal experience as issues related to informal cognition. Whereas, Beckett ( 2006: p.185 ) discusses informal theory as “ common sense ” .

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This subdivision of the essay will analyze extremist societal work theory and authorization paying particular attending to the factors such as professional and political subscribers. By the 1960s, more attending was get downing to be paid to the societal effects of capitalist economy. Capitalism started to be seen as the economic order of an unequal and unjust society shaped by psychodynamic theory particularly casework. ( Howe: 2009 ) First strong critical position of the societal and personal consequence of capitalist economy and the economic constructions became known as Marxism or extremist societal work. The beginnings of extremist societal work day of the month back to 1970s to the Case Con pronunciamento. ( Wilson et al. 2008 ) Peoples like Karl Marx, Beatrice Webb or Octavia Hill radically questioned bing constructions that caused poorness and want. ( Howe: 2009 ) . Groups expressed necessity to work with people within a broad socio-political context and non in isolation. ( Wilson: 2008 ) Ideology of Marxism has had immense impact on societal work theory as a consequence created Bolshevism, authorization, anti-oppressive and critical theory. These lead to development of “ pattern method ” with service user such as, anti-oppressive pattern, protagonism, public assistance rights, service user engagement, extremist casework and community development. ( Wilson: 2008: p. 107 ) It is clear that on the evidences of extremist theory grew up the thought of authorization. The construct was developed based on the review that services provided frequently lending to serve user sense of impotence and deficiency of pick. Authorization is about the service users holding pick and control over ain life. It promotes a manner of working with service users based on equality and partnership.

There is no uncertainty that societal work is profoundly rooted and shaped by socio-political context. ( Wilson et al. 2008 ) Horner ( 2009: p.3 ) justly points out that “ good pattern is non a ‘truth ‘ , but is a map of political, moral and economic tendencies and manner. ” Presently, it has been suggested that the “ infinite ” for practising in an ethical and authorising mode have been increasingly limited by the managerial, budget-driven constabularies of the last few old ages. ( Ferguson & A ; Woodward, 2011: p.15 ) Social workers still work with service users but usually in the conditions that do non depend on them. The restraints frequently lead to inordinate caseload, deficiency of resources every bit good as deficiency of support, supervising and unfilled vacancies. Professional work puting can restrict originative usage of theories by enforcing favourite good know theories, as a effect of managerial and bureaucratic docket. Managerialism and bureaucratisation seems to be a possible danger for modern-day societal work theory and critical contemplation. Meeting deadlines, make fulling in signifiers, standardised and integrated assessment model are important presents. It looks like humanity has been lost in paperwork and one size fits all attack. In add-on, issues are trivialized by media and political hostile attack to societal work. ( Ferguson & A ; Woodward: 2011 ) This can be clearly seen when a calamity happens such as the decease of the kid in attention so the response is frequently a faulting one “ bloody societal ” worker alternatively of wider societal and political context. ( Thompson: 2009 ) An illustration of this can be a instance of Victoria Climbié and the societal worker who was working on this instance Lisa Arthurworrey. ( The defender: 2007 )

When discoursing political influences it is of import to recognize that the publication of the Kilbrandon and Seebohm Reports are a affair of the relationship between societal work and political relations. It is clear that these paperss and the follow statute law “ lodged societal work steadfastly within the province sector ” with the voluntary sector as auxiliary. ( Ferguson & A ; Woodward, 2011: p.57 ) Since so societal work has been driven to a different grade by political relations, professionals, cardinal authorities and disposal. The subsequent grounds of political influences can be observed in a instance of Clement Attlee and Jacqui Smith, politicians who have affected modern-day societal work. Clement Attlee former Labour Prime Minister has seen societal workers as militants. In his understanding societal workers should “ ..work in non-oppressive manner… challenge constabularies and structural inequalities.. ” ( Ferguson & A ; Woodward, 2011: p.15 ) The statement shows political influences of extremist tradition such as to be critically brooding, willing to alter the system non the service users. It besides identifies the authorization theory and anti-discriminatory pattern in working with service user. In contrast to this, Jacqui Smith, the former Minister for Health argued that “ societal work is a really practical occupation… .. non about being able to give a fluent and theoretical account ” of grounds and causes of jobs. ( Horner, 2009: p.3 ) Smith claimed that new societal work grade classs had to concentrate on practical preparation. The above is an first-class illustration of political influences societal work has to cover with. Surely, Jacqui Smith was right practical abilities are critical in societal work pattern but on the other manus, she has decreased the value of theoretical issues that are every bit of import. Merely through account of service users universe a societal worker empower the person, make sense of his/her world, by understanding the state of affairs service user can take control over ain life. The following of import point when discoursing political influences are devolved disposals that shape the political relations of societal services ( Drakeford: 2011 ) The actions of cardinal authorities shape the footings and the capacity of societal work services but the bringing of those commissariats lies within local governments. This is seen as another illustration of relationship between societal work services and wider political and organizational context.

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This portion of the essay efforts to demo the chances of favoritism and authorization in societal work. It is deserving indicating out that in the new planetary economic system, neo-liberalism has become a cardinal issue for extremist societal work pattern. In the UK, neo-liberal policies have resulted in making an unequal society where the rich grow richer and the hapless grow poorer. ( Ferguson & A ; Woodward 2011 ) Neo-liberal attacks such as consumerism and marketism, undermine societal work values and relationships with service users every bit good as bound possibilities for critical and originative pattern. An illustration of this are the differences and quandary in nomenclature between patients, clients, service users and users of service that reflect on the manner practicians think and relate to people. A strong review is presented by Ferguson and Woodward ( 2011 ) who blamed the direction of societal work for being excessively willing to diminish values establish and increase managerial docket. The writers besides argue that presents excessively many societal workers present autocratic function in relation to service users handling them like objects instead than topics. In relation to favoritism, extremist societal work theory direct societal workers to work as agents of societal control by assisting people to understand their state of affairs and unfairness every bit good as why and how it was created. In other words, societal workers are raising people ‘s political and societal consciousness ; accordingly, people are able to retrieve power and control over their lives. Discrimination in societal work, from extremist point of position can be viewed through societal policy, designation of service user demands, allotment and handiness of resources. Therefore, it is of import to recognize regard of rights, duties and chances as chief issues of anti prejudiced pattern. Social workers can be discriminatory because they have a power and control over people ‘s lives. That is why, they have to exert them with consciousness, thought and sensitiveness. ( Howe, 2009: p. 146 ) The construct is supported by Backett ( 2006: p.186 ) who suggests that “ common sense ” which is frequently used by practicians in theories, “ tends to integrate the biass and premises of a peculiar clip ” and can be insufficiently used particularly by societal workers with small personal experience. Practitioners bring into societal work pattern and theory their ain beliefs, values, histories, civilization experiences and prejudices. Judged by these standards, it is clear, that societal workers must be critical and self-reflective. It seems to be a affair to understand that we do non populate in equal society. Oppression is profoundly rooted in the procedure of our socialization. If societal workers want to work in anti-discriminatory manner they need to develop assurance and accomplishments in researching the manner subjugation operates in society. This is supported by Thompson ( 2009 ) who argues that authorization in societal work is something more than procedure of deriving control over service user ‘s life but is about taking history of favoritism and subjugation at the first topographic point. Social work theory can help practicians by steering and explicating the theoretical accounts of subjugation. This is necessary in order to back up service users to understand and undertake the subjugation they may confront. An illustration of this is PCS theoretical account presented by Thompson. ( 2009: pp. 144 ) The theoretical account has been designed to show how our personal biass are strongly embedded within cultural influences and structural power. The PCS theoretical account operates at three degrees such as personal, cultural and structural. Personal refers to single subjugation ideas and attitudes every bit good as psychological factors. This can besides mention to bias and personal positions of societal workers. Cultural explores the manner that groups, based on normally agreed values, specify what is “ normal ” . Authorization in this instance will include ambitious stereotypes. Structural degree refers to oppression within wider socio political clime and societal power and refers to the manner differences are viewed by society such as category, race, gander etc… ( Maclean and Harrison: 2011 ) It is deserving indicating out that to handle everyone the same is non to handle everyone every bit. Dominelli ( 1997, pp. 31 ) draws attending to “ color blind ” attack based on false premiss that everyone is the same. The possible favoritism when utilizing theories can be “ recommended theories ” on the evidences of their effectivity with similar instance. Social workers when utilizing theories must take into consideration that everyone is different, has different experiences, demands, jobs. They have to be brooding and work against one size fits all attack. It is of import non merely to measure demands but besides to see differences. The intercession in people ‘s lives without taking history of cardinal issues such as age, disablement, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation can make more injury than good. ( Thomson, 2011: p106 ) Form this perspective societal work is a portion of emancipatory undertaking advancing societal equality and societal justness among people who are marginalised or disadvantages. Croft and Beresford ( 2005 ) noted that authorization has possible to “ be both regulative and liberatory ” , it brings about societal alteration based on corporate duty to the person. Therefore, authorization is frequently used as portion of discourse of single rights and duties. ( Oko: 2008 ) It is more than “ enabling ” is assisting service users to go better equipped to cover with the jobs and challenges they face. ( Thomson: 2009 ) It is deserving observing that authorization is non about reassigning power from societal worker to serve user this can be really disempowering as good can do dependence to societal work services. Another possible danger in utilising authorization theory is seeing service users as weak and vulnerable instead than experts who require support to turn to the demands and achieve ends. ( Maclean & A ; Harrison: 2011 ) Wilson et Al. ( 2008: p. 81 ) argues that people are “ ain agents ” with non merely rights but besides the capacity to do pick and determination. Empowerment theory in modern-day pattern can be seen by non merely holding a voice but besides holding an advocator ; informing about services available in relation to demands, back uping in developing accomplishments such as parental accomplishments, information engineering etc. The purpose of authorization is to increase self-pride of service users, presently this is carried out by seting in topographic point autonomous support and personalisation programmes.

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The last subdivision of this essay assesses how perceptual experience of theory can back up to be a more effectual practician. As presented earlier theories outline explanatory model for assisting to do sense of the state of affairs every bit good as form our thought ( Oko: 2008 ) In other words, theories represent organised thoughts and beliefs that guide societal workers believing and pattern. Doel ( 2012: p135 ) comparison theory and pattern to “ a cup of oil and a cup of acetum ” which shaked mix for a piece and separate out. Theory is necessary, in order to derive control over the state of affairs. It non merely explains the state of affairs, from a different position but supply counsel about what to make with these accounts. ( Doel: 2012 ) Theory to be utile has to be invariably verified and updated. The relationship between theory and pattern can be build upon IBL so “ issue based attack to larn ” ( Oko: p. 99 ) . The attack inspires societal workers to believe about what has been learned and how this new cognition, experience or accomplishment can be assimilated and utilised in pattern. There is no uncertainty that values base, accomplishments and cognition facilitate personal and professional development. This is a key of being a critically brooding practician. A good apprehension of the different theories can steer pattern and make effectual and successful intercession. Theory makes sense of the state of affairs and creates thoughts about why things are as they are. It non merely shows the way of intercession but besides explain service users behaviour and actions. Theory can bespeak why an action has resulted in a specific behavior, it besides helps to see forms. Consequently, societal workers may acquire to cognize the issues impacting service user lives. Another statement for utilizing theories is that its assist societal workers to be more confident and better prepare to review of their point of position. It is critical to be able to warrant the determinations made in societal work pattern. Using theories give societal workers a backup to warrant actions and explicate working pattern to service users, directors, other professionals or themselves. This justification of actions on the evidences of theories leads to greater answerability. An illustration of this can be appraisals or studies both are professional documents that look for grounds and non undue opinions based on common sense. When working with service user, empowerment theory can be utilised by constructing positive self-pride and concentrate on strength and potency of service users instead than jobs and troubles. It is indispensable to try to work in partnership and coaction with service users. Extremist societal theory in pattern can be seen as effort to alter system to suit to serve user instead than alter service user to suit the system. It is of import to admit that even if theory seems to fit to a service user, it does non ever intend that this is the right apprehension of service users life. Even if theory appears to work, societal workers still need to remain unfastened minded and go on the procedure of being critically brooding. Social work pattern is portion of a procedure of grounds doing where issues have to be invariably verified and checked out in the visible radiation of new fortunes or information. As mentioned before “ no individual theory can explicate everything ” . ( Maclean & A ; Harrison: P 15 ) Different attacks in societal work pattern are needed to accommodate different fortunes. As a qualified societal worker, holding in a deepness cognition of theories will help me to be a brooding and critical practician, unfastened to a greater grade to the demands of service users. Deeply and accurately see all facts and issues and non taking anything at face value. Alternatively, one must retrieve to ever examine beneath the surface in looking for a right reply.