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3Practice Framework for Change
Practice Framework for Change
Practice frameworks for change refer to the principles, guidelines, concepts and assumptions that inform the social workers in the performance of their duties ((Chenoweth and McAuliffe 2014, 202). The frameworks for change provide guidance to social workers as they bring change to problems affecting people by providing guidance to the way they make decisions
Theoretical perspectives differ depending on the approach taken in bringing change in the society. Some theoretical perspectives focus on bringing change within the systems or the contexts while others, such as the ecosystems theory, seek to bring change across multiple contexts. The difference is in the approach taken regarding the interaction between change and the context.
The objective of social work is to bring change to the society where there are problems or injustices. A theoretically informed social work practice must, therefore, be focused on bringing change where there are injustices in different societies. Social injustices have to be tackled to ensure that there is equality and freedom for all the people in the society. The practice framework must have a target and goals. In most cases, social workers may target certain vulnerable people in the society such as the poor. The social work practice framework should envision this aspect. It is also important to factor in goals such as the promotion of human rights and the respect for diversity. To achieve this, the framework for social work practice should be guided by the strengths perspective such as the social workers focus on bringing change through maximizing the resources, abilities, and talents of the target group (Hammond and Zimmerman 2014, 3).
Care in social work means focusing on something beyond self. The objective of the concept of care in social work is to promote the taking of actions by social workers that are meant to transform lives such as through the elimination of social injustices. A framework for social work practice should incorporate care in social work to ensure that social workers get motivated by the suffering of the people in the society to desire to bring change by addressing social injustices. Change with care based on the strengths perspective means ensuring that social work is client-based. Social workers involve the society and their clients in bringing change through working within the social systems and also utilizing the available resources to sustain the change programs. The objective of change with care is not only to bring change but to create relationships that promote the continuance of the programs meant to address issues of social injustice.
A theoretically informed framework for social work practice must be capable of bringing change within the contexts in the society or the target population. These contexts include the interpersonal system of family, environment, social structures, social organizations, culture among others. These contexts have a great impact on the lives of people hence social workers have to work within these contexts in bringing change. The strengths perspective in social work promotes the use of the resources and abilities of the target group to bring change. This means that workers have to assess how these contexts can be used to promote change. Within the family system, social workers may, for example, address issues of poverty by making use of the unity in the family system to require people to pool their resources together in addressing poverty. The framework should also seek to understand how change can be introduced within the boundaries set by culture.
Culture as a context in social work has an impact on the way people live in society. A theoretically informed social work practice has to take into account the impact of culture on the people and, therefore, promote social work within the context of culture. Social workers have to understand the culture of the target group to ensure that the programs initiated for change are consistent with the culture of the people and that they are appropriate. In some instances, culture is the source of the social injustice that social work seeks to address. In such a case, the framework must provide a way for the social workers to involve the target group in addressing the cultural problem in a way that is acceptable to them. In other circumstances, social workers find solutions by bringing change within the cultural context. Such change is upheld and continued by the people because they are involved.
The stifling of the power of the people in a society often results in the rise of social injustice. When people are not empowered, it becomes easier for other people to take advantage of them which brings in the issue of oppression. Social work is focused on bringing change. Such change must be introduced through the empowerment of the target group. Through the application of the strengths perspective, social workers seek to promote cooperation and the involvement of the community in designing the solutions to the social injustice. The involvement of the people in decision-making and the implementation of the solution to the social injustice means that they are empowered. Programs that involve educating the people and informing them of their rights are important in empowering people to enable them fight for their rights and stop oppression. Social work should focus on addressing the factors that disempower people in the society (Chenoweth and McAuliffe 2014, 35).
Task 2- Scenario
Through the application of the strengths perspective, Jen’s problem can be understood by looking at it from a positive side. The reason she was in the current situation was that of her desire to give a better life to her children where they were safe from violence which had become common when they lived with the children’s father. Though the situation they were in had become worse, I would look at the problem from the perspective that Jen was striving to have a better life and to provide for her family even without the support of her husband. Her case was not one of careless child neglect but rather was all an attempt to provide for the family (Hammond and Zimmerman 2014, 4).
The main problem facing Jen is lack a proper source of income to provide for her family. As a social work, my aim would be to help her get meaningful employment or source of income which would help her provide for her family through better housing and provision of basic needs. The reason for this approach is because it would be unsafe and improper to recommend to her to return to her husband given his abusive nature. For the sake of her children and her safety, helping her sustain, herself would be the recommended approach. Change in social work has to be accompanied by care such that a social worker is driven by the suffering of others to bring change. Jen had suffered while living with her husband. The solution would be to help her build a life where she can support her family.
As stated above, working with care means that a social worker is motivated by the suffering of others in working to address social injustice. I would ensure that my solution to Jen’s problem would leave her in a position where she can sustain her family. This would include helping her find a job or start a business. Working with care would help to ensure that Jen situation is addressed (Chenoweth and McAuliffe 2014, 203).
The family, the social and cultural systems are some of the contexts that I would consider in addressing the situation. Family as a context would be important to ensure that the solution to Jen ensures that she can raise her family in a better way and in a way that unites them. The social and cultural systems as contexts would be vital to ensure that the solution to her problem is culturally appropriate. This would help prevent stigmatization by the rest of the community.
The use of power to bring change means empowering them to use the resources they have to change their situations or address their problems. Power involves making use of the people’s abilities, strengths, and resources to bring change. Since Jen is determined to provide for her family, I would empower her by educating her on issues such relating to running a business or how to budget for her family. I would also ensure that she takes part in activities that show her that she has the power to change her situation. This would be helpful in instilling confidence in her ability to provide for her family. It would also enable her to be determined in working on the solution.
The theoretically informed framework for practice in social work focuses on ensuring that change is implemented through care and that people are empowered within the contexts available. The framework for practice focuses on bringing change through focusing on the client. This has informed the approach taken in responding to the scenario. The response to the scenario is based on incorporating care in bringing change which is the basis for seeking to help Jen to improve her financial situation in order to provide for her family. It has also incorporated bringing change within the cultural and family contexts to ensure the proper implementation of the solution.
Chenoweth, L and McAuliffe, D 2014, The road to social work & human service practice, Nelson Australia Pty Ltd.
Hammond, Wayne, and Zimmerman, Rob 2014, A strengths-based perspective, Available at: http://www.esd.ca/Programs/Resiliency/Documents/RSL_STRENGTH_BASED_PERSPECTIVE.pdf [Accessed 7 July 2016]