After studying the module content and suggested resources, write an explaining the following:
I. The Origins, Rationale, Importance, and Historical and Social Context of the Concept of Social Work as an Applied Social Science
The NASW Encyclopedia of Social Work, which discusses the history and evolution of the practice of Social Work, states emphatically that Social Work developed as a specialized discipline from the middle of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century, from societies organized to help the poor. The activities were developed by volunteers who acquired their skills and knowledge in a self-learning system.
In 1765, Baudeau stated, according to his research findings, that out of a total of 18 million Frenchmen, three million were poor. According to the 1791 census, Paris had 118,884 destitute and 650,000 total number of inhabitants. During that year, the commission appointed by the National Assembly to study begging reported that, in normal times, about one-twentieth of the population of France lacked means and needed some assistance, while in times of hardship, this figure was as high as one-tenth to one-ninth of the population. Poverty was so widespread that the simple denomination of "people" was an essential component of the concept of poverty. In attempting to define "people," in 1775, Necker said that it was impossible to fix the limits of this word or the degree of destitution that characterized the people. He concluded that the people could only be defined as the most numerous and miserable of all social classes (Rosen, 1984:94).
Social work is rooted in society's struggle to cope with poverty and its resulting problems. Therefore, social work is intricately linked with the idea of charity work. The concept of charity dates to antiquity, and providing for the poor has religious roots. For example, the Buddhist emperor Ashoka introduced a policy establishing welfare as a right for all citizens. However, the practice and profession of social work have a relatively modern (19th century) scientific origin.
During the Middle Ages, the Christian church greatly influenced European society, and charity was considered a responsibility and a sign of piety. This charity was in the form of direct relief (e.g., giving money, food, or other material goods to alleviate a particular need) rather than trying to change the root causes of poverty.
After the end of feudalism, the need arose for an organized system to care for the poor. In England, the Poor Law served this purpose. This system of laws classified the poor into different categories, such as the able, powerless, and idle poor, and developed different remedies.
The 19th century marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. There was a great leap in technological and scientific achievement, but there was also a great migration to urban areas throughout the Western world. This led to many social problems, leading to increased social activism. Also, with the dawn of the 19th century came a great "missionary" impulse from many Protestant denominations. Some of these missionary efforts (city missions) attempted to solve the problems inherent in large cities, such as poverty, prostitution, disease, and other afflictions. In the United States, workers known as "friendly visitors," encouraged by church and other charitable agencies, worked through direct relief, prayer, and evangelism to alleviate these problems. In Europe, chaplains or almsmen were appointed to administer the church's mission to the poor.
II. Epistemological, Ontological, and Ethical Nature of Social Work
Social workers are poised to benefit from and provide cross-border leadership for various collaborative and macro practices structured to achieve collective impact. Examples include teamwork, inter-organizational partnerships, and community-wide coalitions. All are necessary to respond to complicated practice problems, particularly those characterized by concurrent and intertwined needs.
As a social science, social work must be considered in its epistemological foundations to allow its essence and prominence within the framework of the social sciences. For this reason, it is necessary to reflect on the aspects that are questioned today in Social Work. Alfred Schütz's assessment is familiar when he states that "the primary objective of the Social Sciences is to achieve an organized knowledge of social reality. That social reality is understood as the sum of all objects and events within the cultural, social world, as it is experienced by common sense thinking among their peers, with whom multiple interaction relationships link them".
Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the expansion of the social sciences took place. After the French Revolution, explanations about how society functioned were replaced by others. These new responses began the incipient development of the social sciences that had to follow the path, the method, and the model of the natural sciences to be considered sciences. It is important to note that the notion of dominant science enjoyed a prominent place in society as a source of truth. Knowledge can only be obtained through a procedure that emphasizes the objective, the quantitative, the experimental, the observation, the verification, and the generation of mechanistic laws in the epistemology of Social Work (Naredo, 1987).
Science was placed at the service of the individual to master reality, whether social or natural. While the social sciences tried to become sciences and, to this end, their precursors developed lines of thought, social work, on the other hand, was born as empirical knowledge, as a philanthropic activity (Zamanillo, 1991), focused on caring for the poor in a mixture of assistance, control, and repression. Its scientific concerns were limited and focused on improving the organization of charity. Later, the need for knowledge of social reality, professional assistance, and training would appear.
Society is not lived as a place of tranquility, security, and prosperity but as a place of conflict and tension (Cotarelo, 1987). The social consequences caused by industrialization were significant because they motivated the worker's identification as poor. They were the direct reason for beginning a timid reformulation of economic liberalism from within and more radical proposals from socialism. Rubio Lara (pp. 27-31) points out that a revision of the socioeconomic order established by liberal capitalism began in the nineteenth century, given its patent injustice. These revisions were either carried out by liberalism under humanitarian and moral principles or by more radical positions that sought not to reform the system to ensure its survival but to radically change it (Marx). Actions developed from the most conservative ranks to improve workers and the poor (welfare, charity). With this desire to improve living conditions and make the system acceptable without question, a revision and expansion of charitable organizations will proceed, where social work itself will find its origin.
The indications from the French Revolution affirmed that assistance is a political science that must be carefully studied (Álvarez Uría, 1986). Suppose the impulse of the charitable organizations came from the wealthy classes. Accordingly, the development of the Welfare State began in the nineteenth century because of the pressure of the labor movement and the socialist parties. It will be possible to discuss whether the achievements reached in this period, both in the political and social order, are actual conquests of the workers or concessions of the State and the bourgeoisie necessary for maintaining the capitalist system. In any case, what seems undeniable is that the life of the workers began to improve. An incipient redistribution of wealth took place. The State intervened in regulating economic life and protection, improving workers' living conditions. This intervention was accepted by the liberals to maintain the system and by the socialists (Cotarelo, 1987). It was the beginning of putting the State at the service of the working class.
The emerging social State was born from recognizing the rights of the working class. Social work was conducted to improve their living conditions without questioning the logic that generated situations of enormous inequality. The objective was to intervene with welfare and social protection measures within the working class, and this not so much in the name of the sacrosanct principle of equality as in the expression of solidarity, that is, without granting the assisted people rights over the political space, the space of sovereignty (Alvarez Uría, 1995).
If the working class welcomed the development of the first social securities, it was wary of the first social workers: some were seen, albeit with discussion, as workers' conquests; others were perceived as agents of control.
III. The Concept of Crisis as a Historical Justification for Intervention in Social Work and a Driving Force For Innovation In Social Policy
Movements within Social Work since the 1970s have decisively changed the direction of the profession on the continent. This process, called the Reconceptualization Movement, shifted the debate from the previously dominant methodological approach to a discussion of social relations under capitalism and thus came to provide further visibility to social policy as a space for the struggle to guarantee social rights (Faleiros, 1990).
In Latin American countries, by the end of the 1970s, social workers had already taken a strong position concerning formulating social policies as a form of state intervention. These positions empowered the trajectory of their dialogue to be more consistent with those in the Brazilian technocracy who defended economic productivism. According to Campos (1988), social policy attained a theoretical status in social work that allowed it to articulate between the analytical perspective of society and that of the profession.
On the one hand, this was possible due to the genesis of the profession, which began to be linked to confronting the social question through social policies, ensuring the conditions for the expansion of monopoly capitalism. (Carvalho; Iamamoto, 1982; Netto, 1992; Montaño, 1998). On the other hand, there was a recognition that social policy has a contradictory nature because while it serves the interests of capital, it also serves the needs of the working class. Therefore, its expansion is marked by workers' struggles to conquer and consolidate social rights (Iamamoto, 2003; Yazbek, 2000; Pereira, 2008).
In Brazil, the debate on the profession and the visceral relationship between Social Work and social policy flourished and deepened significantly during the last two decades of the twentieth century and was consolidated at the beginning of the 21st century. The change can explain what the Brazilian social protection systems underwent after returning to the rule of law in 1985. This was a period of intense mobilization of segments of civil society for the expansion and guarantee of rights in critical sectors, i.e., the hardcore of social policy (health, security, and social assistance) and substantial investment in professional references to expand knowledge about the relationship between social issues and policy.
The production of knowledge on social policy has become a central pillar in consolidating Social Work as a field of knowledge in the social sciences. The understanding of social sciences has favored the insertion of the profession and its professionals in the political confrontations of Brazilian society. It has also stimulated the debate on the professional intervention of social workers in the field of social policy.
IV. Global Definition of Social Work
Allice Cheyney (1926) stated, "Social work includes all voluntary attempts to extend benefits in response to needs concerned with social relations and profit by themselves." In this definition, Cheyney has included all attempts that are voluntary in spirit and scientific in nature in social work. But she has ignored the public practice of social work, which is voluntary and involuntary. Arthur Fink (1942) defined social as "The provision of services designed to help individuals, individually or in groups, cope with present or future social and psychological obstacles that prevent or are likely to prevent full or effective participation in society." According to Fink, social work intervenes with individuals or groups to enable them to participate effectively in societal development.
A. Theory as Praxis
Social work practice is based on various theories developed in various fields. A theory is an organized set of ideas that seek to explain a particular phenomenon, which can help social workers understand complex situations (Langer & Lietz, 2015). For example, social workers rely on biological, sociological, anthropological, and psychological knowledge and approaches to help them understand human development.
A theory attempts to explain why something is the way it is. Theories can explain social relationships; for example, some theories explain why people are prejudiced against members of other groups. Theories can also make predictions about the likely outcomes of people's efforts. For example, many therapies are based on the theory that people's understanding of what happened to them during childhood leads to better functioning as adults. A hypothesis must be testable, meaning that research can be conducted to see if it is accurate. For social work, theories help effectively practice and understand the profession (Payne, 2014).
Theories help understand human behavior, which is particularly important for social workers, who must apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment across the lifespan. Theories alone do not create change, but social workers apply various ideas to make desired changes in practice settings. Social workers use conceptual frameworks to help determine which theories to apply. A conceptual framework combines theories, beliefs, and assumptions to help understand how people interact in their social systems and how they help or block health and well-being. A conceptual framework provides social workers with a basis to view clients' situations and provide guidance for the process.
Most theories social workers use today are developed from a central theoretical framework, the general systems theory developed by biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy (1971). Von Bertalanffy described the functioning of living systems, including the human body. Scientists have long realized that systems within the human body are connected. The failure of one human system often affects other systems and the body. Since its development, von Bertalanffy's framework has been applied to systems in many fields, including social work.
1. The Functions of Theory.
The theory is important because it directly influences how social worker approaches their practice. It serves the functions of (Nugent, 1987; Polansky, 1986; Tzeng & Jackson, 1991):
· Simplifying complex phenomena and focusing the practitioner's attention on thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and events in a client's life that are relevant to explore.
· Helping the social worker establish causal relationships and thus predict what will influence a client's future behavior.
· Simplifying the task of selecting achievable intervention outcomes.
· Guiding the social worker's choices among potentially effective intervention options.
· Guarding against irrational procedures because commitment to a body of thought larger than oneself reinforces professional self-discipline.
· Mobilizing sound interprofessional practice because the ability to coordinate the work of multiple service providers effectively depends on understanding one's own and others' theoretical base.
· Making the development of social worker knowledge cumulative, from one practice situation to the next, and promoting some level of generalization among clients.
2. Central Concepts and Theories.
A shared vision, typically referred to as a mission, defines a profession. The primary mission of social work, according to NASW membership, is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and impoverished people. A historical and defining characteristic of social work is the profession's focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in life" (NASW, 2017).
B. Person in Concept of Environment.
Several aspects of the mission make the profession unique. One is the focus, as noted above, on the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. The profession is committed to working with members of society who are often left behind or left out. A second unique feature is that the problems of individuals are addressed in combination with the social context. Social workers understand that they must pay attention to the environment in which people live and work to change the environment to function more effectively for individuals, families, and communities. This dual view is known as the person-in-environment perspective (Karls & Wandrei, 1994).
C. History of Theoretical Frameworks.
The concepts of human needs have long been central to the assumptions underlying social work practice (Dover & Joseph, 2008; Jani & Reisch, 2011), including in the "life model" of practice (Germain & Gitterman, 2008). The first social worker to seriously address the issue of human needs was Charlotte Towle in her book Common Human Needs (Towle, 1945), which was primarily a training manual for public assistance workers. The book represented what today would be considered a text on human behavior in society. Her work is still cited and discussed today (Jani and Reisch, (2011). Towle argued that "social workers needed to understand the interrelatedness of human needs. Towle adopted a hierarchical perspective. She concluded that universal needs such as food, clothing, and shelter are required for physical health and mental health.
V. Historical Evolution of Philosophy- Social and Human Philosophy
The relationship between philosophy and social work is undoubtedly very close. Philosophy embraces, in its purpose and history, the social dimension in its broadest human sense, especially with the concerns in the sphere of ethics, of social philosophy as a discipline, but also of the existing essentialist-humanist philosophies since social work, as a general theory and axiology, cannot be conceived without a consistent philosophical representation, perspective and foundation. In most cases, the fundamental value system and the mission or methodology of social work are expressed in terms of an explicitly applied social, ethical, and humanistic philosophy. However, an assumed philosophy only sometimes, origin or dimension emphasizes this aspect.
VI. Humanist Existential Philosophy
This philosophical framework gives human relations and people crucial roles. They examine the fundamental humanistic-existential complexes of micro-groups and particular socio-human contexts, focusing on subjective processes, interpersonal relationships, and phenomena of cooperation, attachment, solidarity, love, conflict, etc. In everyday life, in communities and organizations, from the humanistic, existential perspective, every healthy individual has, inherently, an ego and a personality, will, free will, and through these, freedom and the capacity for self-determination, the capacity to reach their potential in human, social and spiritual terms, all depending on their inner activity and will for change, self-realization and happiness. Another area of interest in humanistic-existential philosophy is social existence, emphasizing concrete social relations. In this perspective, each social group member is, among other things, a product of a unique interaction, depending on other people's personalities, place, time, cultural niche, and danger.
VII. Social Work in the United States
The meaning of social work is so complex and dynamic that it is almost impossible to give a universally accepted meaning. Different individuals have qualified it in various ways based on understanding diverse individuals in society under the following points: meaning of social work for one person an ordinary person on the street has a straightforward interpretation of social work. Echevarría, M.L. (2005).
According to Echevarría, anyone who performs some good deeds for people is doing social work. In this regard, the street person, however, tries to make a distinction between an "ordinary person" who carries out community activities voluntarily without any payment and the "social worker" who is appointed by a welfare agency to do welfare work in the community and paid for his work. She has her way of explaining social work in the light of her experience and knowledge of the needy people in the community. According to her, good and voluntary work by a common person and social welfare by paid agents is the same thing, but in the case of the former, there is more warmth of feeling toward the beneficiaries. This interpretation of social work is given by those who are not trained social workers but work in some welfare agency.
In the United States, leaders and scholars in social work have debated the purpose and nature of the profession since its inception in the late 1800s. Those involved with the settlement house movement advocated a focus on social reform, political activism, and systemic causes of poverty. These social workers were primarily young women from middle-income families who chose to live in low-income neighborhoods to participate in community organizing. In contrast to the settlement house movement, "friendly visitors" were women from middle-income families who visited families in low-income neighborhoods. Friendly visitors emphasized conventional morality rather than social activism.
VIII. Role of Social Workers in the United Kingdom
In the UK and elsewhere, a social worker is a trained professional with a recognized social work qualification, primarily employed in the public sector by local authorities. Spending on social services departments is a significant component of UK local government spending.
In the United Kingdom, the title "social worker" is protected by law (since April 1, 2005) and can only be used by individuals who have a recognized qualification and are registered with the General Social Care Council, the Scottish Social Services Council, the Care Council for Wales (Welsh: Cyngor Gofal Cymru) or the Northern Ireland Social Care Council Travi, B. (2017).
The strategic direction of statutory social work in Britain is broadly divided into children's and adult services. Social work activity in England and Wales for children and young people falls under the Department for Children, Schools, and Families remit. At the same time, the same for adults remains the responsibility of the Department of Health. Within local authorities, this division is often reflected in the organization of social services departments. The structure of service delivery in Scotland is different Kulieshov A.C. (2017).
IX. Social Work as a Profession
Social work as a profession began in Amsterdam in 1899 and later spread simultaneously throughout Europe and the United States. Eventually, in the 1920s, it found its way to other parts of the world, including South America, the Caribbean, India, and South Africa (Kendall, 2000). The formation of the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International Federation of Social Work in 1928 and 1929 gave impetus to the profession in organizing social work practitioners and educators worldwide. These two major international social work organizations have also provided leadership in connecting international development agencies and organizations with social work worldwide.
Social workers have played and continue to play a vital role internationally in promoting humanitarian assistance, post-disaster development and reconstruction, and social and economic development. While social work is commonly used in the United States, other developing nations often use development or developmental social welfare. As the social work profession continues to develop worldwide, there has been an effort to approach social work from a global perspective as a professional practicing in many different countries (Popple and Leighninger, 2002).
International professional organizations formed and established a mutually agreed single profession concept as a global perspective developed. As recently as two decades ago, formal restructuring of the social work program curriculum started to ensure the inclusion of international social work in the training and preparation of social work students (Asamoah, Healy, & Mayadas, 1997).
The social work profession aims to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and scientific research-based knowledge, the purpose of social work is realized through its pursuit of social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the improvement of the quality of life for all people, locally and globally (CSWE, 2015).
The unique contribution of social work practice is the duality of the person's mandate and the profession's environment. Social workers must help society work better for people and allow people to function better within society. Assisting people to fit better into their environments is typically called micro practice, and changing the environment to make it work better for individuals is called macro practice. In other words, social workers are committed to professional training to help people, improve society, and pay particular attention to the interactions between people and their environment.
Connecting clients to needed resources is an essential thing a caseworker can do. For this reason, caseworkers must learn about the resources available in each community they work or serve. The social worker would also connect Maria to local, state, and federal resources, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
In addition, if Maria could not get access to a needed resource, such as quality childcare, or if the resource was not available in the community, her social worker would advocate for providing the resource and could help create it by campaigning for new social policies and programs (macro practice). Instead of working alone from their offices and waiting for clients to come to them, social workers are out in the field trying to change social structures so that fewer people like Maria need help.
A. Myths About Social Work
What people think they know about social work is often a myth (naswdc.org).
· Most social workers work for the government.
· Less than 3 percent of all professional social workers work for the federal government.
· About one-third of all professional social workers are employed by federal, state, and local governments combined.
· A psychologist or psychiatrist is needed for therapy.
· Professional social workers are the nation's most numerous mental health and therapy services providers. Professional social workers are often the only mental health care providers serving many poor rural county residents.
· Social work is designated one of the four core mental health professions under federal legislation establishing the National Institute of Mental Health.
· Most social workers are employed in public welfare or child welfare.
· Professional social workers handle about one-quarter of all child welfare cases.
· About 1% of NASW members work in public assistance.
· Professional social workers practice in many settings: family service agencies, mental health centers, schools, hospitals, corporations, courts, police departments, prisons, public and private agencies, and private practice.
· More than 200 professional social workers hold elected office, including one U.S. senator and six representatives during the 115th Congress.
B. Social Work Education
The social work profession's unique integration of knowledge from various disciplines with the profession's skills, values, ethics, and knowledge can be seen in the context of social work education. Accredited BSW programs include relevant material from biology and other social sciences. Most require students to take economics, political science, human biology, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.
This material combines social work-specific courses on human behavior and the social environment, research, practice, and social policy.
In addition, students in accredited BSW programs complete a minimum of 400 hours of field practice, and RSU students complete a minimum of 900 hours. In the field practicum course, students are assigned to a social service-related agency or organization under the supervision of a social work professional. Field practicum organizations include child welfare agencies, schools, hospitals, mental health agencies, senior centers, homeless and battered women's shelters, and juvenile and adult probation programs. (Reamer, F., 1993).
C. The Concept of Crisis as a Historical Justification for Intervention in Social Work
With the ultra-modernistic environment with increasing population, urbanization, increasing dependence on technology,
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