Theoretical Frameworks and Social Work Essay


The essay shall research and analyze the theoretical underpinnings and cardinal elements of critical societal work. The history shall so depict appraisal in societal work pattern contexts and see how critical societal work theories like Marxism, Feminism, Radical Social work and Post Modernism have shaped pattern. A scope of values runing from personal, professional, institutional, organizational or bureau, political, spiritual and cultural necessarily characteristic and must be dealt with in pattern. Over and above this lies the societal justness, emancipatory docket vehicle by anti-oppressive attacks.

Empathy is required and the societal worker must be in the clients ‘ places ( Egan, 1998 ) . Theoretical bases and attacks enable practicians to traverse societal divides and be with the client in a supportive manner in an accountable and ethical mode. Vast energy must be invested to chase away and dispute both the personal and the structural dominant forces of oppressive patterns. The writer shall try to show how theories have shaped the response approaches to serve bringing and contributed to professional pattern.

Critical Social Work Theoretical Frameworks

The outgrowth of Socialism, Marxism, Liberalism and Conservativism shaped the emerging ‘social ‘ professions at the bend of the 20th century wholly and reshaped the mode in which life was understood. How the societal, political, economic shaped that world became core in gestating world and the manner worlds reacted to the universe around them. In most instances socially constructed worlds could be explained through the stuff worlds if one was to look at the universe through a Marxist position. The 1960-70s reading of societal jobs, described as ‘the rediscovery of poorness ‘ .

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Marxist rules understood the universe as socially divided by category, rendering some categories more susceptible to poverty than others as economically determined by holding no control of the agencies of production. Marxist theory locates category battle as a agency of righting this sort of socio-economic instability and the inequality The nucleus elements in this stage were manners of production and power, the equality that came with the bundle and the desire for alteration, societal alteration could merely be achieved through category battle.

The human place could therefore be understood as driven and controlled by the external, in this instance the hapless as the laden group desired alteration. Social work ‘s function involves working with people ‘s lives, societal jobs centred on poorness and disadvantage and the nucleus concern involves set uping balance, societal stableness and societal justness. Intervention without disputing societal exclusion, inequality and poorness has proved to be deficient yet traditional societal work pathologised the person.

At the early stages societal work was more about keeping public order and stamp downing civil agitation and category battle instead than acquiring down to the nucleus issues of poorness relief and disputing the beginnings and grounds for the differences that affected the people. Norms of behavior and life style for the people were determined by the eligibility standard as the beneficiary elements of philanthropic intercessions more than rights driven determiners.

Extremist societal work emerged to instil that it was in fact a political activity. Social work should be about back uping those in demand, disputing inequality and societal alteration, non societal control covering with material worlds. With extremist societal work emerged the community component in societal work, witting raising attack, gradual incremental alteration in the procedure and oppositional activism. As the profession developed critical societal work begins to understand oppressive forces and work to retrace power instabilities ( Thompson, 2007 ; Dominelli, 1988 ; Braye and Preston-Shoot

Extremist societal work had been excessively minimalistic and was criticised for over concentrating on category and paying no attending to other signifiers of inequalities. Bhatti- Sinclair ( 2011 ) argues that ‘social workers remain committed to human rights, moralss and values and continuously seek a sharper apprehension of how to use theoretical constructs found in cosmopolitan human-centered rules, professional moralss and national jurisprudence, policy and process ‘ . ( twelve ) Inclusivity and citizenship are the chief marks in critical societal work pattern as opposed to sing people as corporate groups ( Glaister, 2008 ) . Anti-oppressive pattern thereby pursues societal justness and challenges pattern favoritism and subjugation bluffly. Battle with societal world must affect critiquing of societal systems and constructions, and set platforms for societal alteration and difference. The attack has an ethical committedness to societal justness by exposing inequalities and disputing unequal power kineticss in society. The mode in which society maps has constructions that can either oppress or emancipate some societal groups. As the practician works, there is doubtless the challenge of professionally compliant.

Social Work Practice Approaches

Critical societal work pattern at all times engages with how other people on the other societal, cultural, spiritual divide are understood by us. Understanding diverseness and how personal positions and values are located must be a changeless brooding professional committedness. Personal or social perceptual experiences are shaped over clip or driven by historical and socio-political realities/environments must be understood. Where stereotypes have been shaped over clip in persons ; a professional operational base must be adopted. Braye, S & A ; Preston-Shoot, M ( 2003 ) dispute hypocritical professionalism by reasoning that personal values and attitudes will ever be at that place, the issue is that they should non impact effectual service bringing. This is the bosom of critical societal work pattern ; being able to exceed the personal and being a professional.

Social work can dispute or keep position quo and that societal workers are invested with power to care and command. In the context of what shall be discussed subsequently about appraisals, Braye & A ; Preston-Shoot ( 2003 ) province that. ‘Preparation for and reappraisal of pattern requires workers to understand themselves, their relationship with and impact on others, and their strengths and failings in relation to keeping a professional function ‘ ( 2003:135 ) .

Respect is necessary both when working with service users and fellow co-workers. As explored in Thompson ‘s theoretical account – Personal computers, Social work must research the personal, cultural and structural dimensions of favoritism, and how these come together, and can be challenged in different ways ( Dominelli, 2009 ) . Social work must non reenforce subjugation, favoritism or any inequality. Social work can reenforce patriarchal and other oppressive systems and power dealingss.

There are societal worlds that societal work either challenges reinforce, statistically cultural minority groups by and large experience higher rates of unemployment, live in poorer lodging, have poorer wellness, lower degrees of academic accomplishment, higher rates of exclusions from schools and are over-represented in prison statistics. Families who are from black and cultural minority groups are more likely to be referred to kids ‘s societal work services, receive support services subsequently, and kids are more likely to travel into the attention system. There are other signifiers of bias, inequality and favoritism which can cross, and these can impact people in many different ways. In visible radiation of these nonsubjective worlds, what could be the drivers of such worlds? What thoughts are generated about the societal group and how could this impact on a practician ‘s opinion when covering with an person from BME groups.

The same applies when working with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, consciousness of professional duty and a societal justness attack when carry oning an age appraisal must be the pattern base. The Human rights and kid rights must be suitably accorded without favoritism. Another illustration is that of female parent blaming in a kid protection instances. Feminist theory has challenged this gendered attack to job work outing where the female is largely at the Centre of the job yet ignores the work forces from the societal causal matrix. As a consequence of critical societal work a displacement has developed where the whole domestic environment and people must be portion of the issue at manus. If all are non challenged this pattern reinforces the involvements of some groups over others and oppresses adult females.

Assessment Procedure

Middleton ( 1997 ) describes appraisal as portion of the planning docket affecting assemblage and construing information in order to understand a individual and their fortunes. It involves doing opinions based on information. ( Middleton, 1997:5 ) . The procedure here involves regard for the person ‘s values, their nucleus individuality and opinions are made without being judgemental. Selective and stereotyped considerations must be avoided, labelling and categorizing people and overlooking their individualism and can let elements of favoritism to pervade the procedure which must otherwise non be affected by single values and positions. As argued by Clifford ( 1998 ) it is of import that societal workers check their single prejudices and guarantee that these do non impact the mode in which they undertake appraisals.

In direct nexus with critical societal work, appraisals must be informed by critical theory to heighten a balanced, merely and anti-oppressive appraisal procedure. Personal positions held by the societal worker must non busy any infinite in the appraisal procedure for the interest of justness, just entree to services anti-discriminatory pattern.

Parker and Bradley ( 2005 ) argue that a balanced attack of an assessment involves wisdom, accomplishments, grasp of diverseness and consistently applied cognition in direct pattern. Service users must experience that they benefit from the appraisal procedure for it to be effectual ( Addock, 2001 ) and the societal worker and household members must jointly lend to the procedure. This engagement enriches the procedure and eliminates subjective attacks to the appraisal.

Social work pattern and critical attacks intersect ; the worker must be witting of their personal beliefs and values and strike a responsible, ethical and professional balance in the mode the appraisal and intercession is conducted and be honest and expressed with service users. ( Parker & A ; Bradley, 2005: 7 ) . Extensive cognition of the service user ‘s environmental and living systems and the wider systems that impinge on them must be cardinal determiners in appraisals ( Parker & A ; Bradley 2005:13 ) .Service user engagement is authorising and demonstrates citizenship and self driven duty as human worth.

Power dealingss inherent in the societal work procedure must be carefully managed and guarantee a balanced contributory attack whereby an exchange theoretical account would can follow to admit that the service users are experts of their state of affairss. Service users and societal workers exchange thoughts, information and ways forward to do a difference and happen alternate ways of nearing as corporate spouses ( Parker & A ; Bradley, 2005:14 ) . In footings of accomplishments this involves actively listening to service users being available for them, a professional and non-judgemental or non directing attack, consecutive and honorable talk and societal justness chase. ( Parker & A ; Bradley, 2005 ) .

Child centred appraisals must be informed by kid development theories, ecological attacks, guaranting equality of chance, engagement of households and an interagency attack ensures corporate originative intercessions. When working with unaccompanied refuge seeking kids for illustration, Culturegrams aid in analyzing the impact of civilization in the lives of those persons and households being assessed ( Parker & A ; Bradley, 2005:50-53 ) . This can be really utile when working with BME groups every bit good as refugees and refuge searchers in a broader context. Valuess of the households and persons are explored and these aid determine the nature of the intercession where the single shapes the class of the intercession as opposed to it being driven by the powerful professionals.

Multiculturalism and Societal Work

Multiculturalism is a twenty-first Century challenge as citizenship acknowledgment and integrating a modern society feature. Critical multiculturalism suggests that societal workers need to intellectually prosecute with the issues of difference and citizenship, in a mode that detaches pattern from monoculturalist norms ‘ ( Powell, 2001:146 ) . Social workers are practically challenged to interrogate the value premises of their attack and assess rules and values they use in pattern. ‘If societal workers are to avoid narrative repression, they need to be capable of disputing dianoetic hierarchies of intending in their pattern ‘ . ( Powell, 2001:146 ) . This becomes the automatic constituent in the intercession. This involves disputing the really systems that they use and anteroom for the alteration in structural elements that could be suppressing the really people they would be working with.

Feminist societal work engages in righting gender inequalities, this could be the female parent faulting attitude that it challenges. Critical societal work engages a demand for consciousness by practicians, a transmutation of cultural attitudes around race dealingss, homosexual rights and the relationship between gender, civilization and power and of the demand for anti-discriminatory pattern ( Powell, 2001:149 ) . In order to run into the professional demands of the profession, societal workers must seek counsel and shut the spread between personal values and professional pattern. This must do changeless mention to human rights, equality, favoritism and racism ( Bhatti- Sinclair, 2011 ) . Fook ( 2000 ) argues that adept critical societal workers are able to make critical cognition which challenges and resists all signifiers of domination.

Anti-racist Pattern

Dominelli ( 2008 ) points out that anti-racist pattern beyond that presented in Thompson ‘s ( 2007 ) PCS theoretical account by underscoring on its interactive nature. For Dominelli ( 2008 ) racism is a multidimensional signifier of subjugation over and above favoritism Institutional and Cultural racism are structurally associated and viewed as less immorality than the personal racism which society scowls upon, yet the is no better racism. If practicians manus over duty of BME issues to BME staff this may be debatable as it may ensue in a deficiency of duty by white societal workers to anti-racist pattern and reinforce difference. Institutional patterns must be professionally compliant ( Bhatti- Sinclair, 2011:128 ) at their ain degree.

Treatment of black families/children hits them every twenty-four hours and there are challenges that the societal workers have to cover with in the face of these ingrained stereotyped positions of the good white household and the bad black household. Dominelli ( 2008 ) argues that ‘challenging how white people perceive black households is merely possible within positive swearing relationships. Mobile colonists fall into the same class where as the minority cultural groups where stereotyped premises exist that can act upon the societal work procedure.

To work with persons on the autistic spectrum requires cognition and apprehension of autism. Knowledge of the status ‘s features, the basic apprehension of the three of damages is necessary for usage in the societal work procedure. The persons must non be viewed as unwilling to prosecute due their limited societal interaction accomplishments but must be understood and appropriate communicating systems used. For illustration, alternatively of speaking through an appraisal ; image boards, games of their involvement, familiar environments and utilizing their preferable manner of communicating would assist to affect them, prosecute them and take a possible stereotyped position that they can non do determinations. If this procedure does non affect them, the likeliness is that anti-oppressive pattern would hold been failed. Good pattern recognises individualism and this permeates through the societal work procedure.

Assessment Procedure in Pattern

The writer ‘s work experience with a 40 twelvemonth old autistic adult male in Coventry stands as a alone illustration of the complexness of service user engagement and creativeness aimed at raising the degree of positive results in reexamining a attention program. The lone established entree point for his parts was when he was off from place, on the coach. During any travel by coach, he livened up and opened up, expressed his positions about the service he was having and it was the best clip to measure the support attention program, colloquially in a coach. Working around the person ‘s universe helped the societal attention supplier to make out to the really of import demands that an office based appraisal could non accomplish. The coach environment had no powerful/powerless unequal binary moral force in it. It was his comfort zone. Failure to recognize single likes, compulsions and centripetal issues in autistic persons can impede the societal work procedure. Effective appraisals can merely be accomplishable when the service user is located at the Centre of the procedure by usage of attacks that promote societal alteration and justness.

Challenging Favoritism in Pattern

Childs are frequently described as vulnerable, guiltless, in demand of protection and missing experience. If non carefully approached the kid may be sidelined from the appraisal procedure and overshadowed by grownup thoughts. If it is about abuse in the place, it is the kid ‘s experience and non the grownup ‘s experience that must take precedency with the kid as the expert. The Scating Report emphasised the demand to see the universe ‘through the eyes of the kid ‘ . The function of the societal worker in pattern is to dispute favoritism, exclusion of socially excluded groups like kids. Childs have been looked at as topics and the critical attack locates them as able to determine and voice. Failure to recognize kids and the societal worker ‘s comparatively powerful place practicians reinforce subjugation. The critical practician ‘engages service users to ease the relation of their narratives ‘ in the appraisal procedure.

Law is used to counter oppressive pattern and sets out operational parametric quantities for professionals to cover with racism and be cognizant that favoritism is improper ( Race dealingss Act 1976 & A ; Equality Act 2006, Bhatti- Sinclair, 2011 ) .To overcome the pattern challenge, societal workers have looked up to anti-racist advocators for counsel on methods and theoretical accounts which respond ethically, efficaciously and expeditiously to day-to-day challenges and quandary ( Bhatti- Sinclair, 2011 ) .

Training and bing regulative organic structures like the HCPC enable pattern to be justness based by necessitating professionalism by the work force through conformity and counsel. The Professional capablenesss Framework requires the worker to ‘Recognise and pull off the impact on people of the power invested in your function ‘ ( PCF 33 ) and criterions of proficiency calls on the demand to ‘recognise the power kineticss in relationships with service users and carers and be able to pull off those kineticss suitably ‘ ( SoPS 2.8 ) . Formalised appraisals assistance in shooting consistence Crisp et Al ( 2005 ) argues that the absence of a formalistic appraisal model consequences in subjective appraisals. Professionally trained and skilled workers heighten a just appraisal. Appraisals must non merely look at behavior, but besides the cause of the behavior in a holistic manner in order to do right opinions and this is achieved through service user engagement in the procedure. Milner & A ; Byrne, ( 2002 ) posit that the appraisal there is demand for mapping before be aftering the appraisal journey. This involves cognizing the kid, prosecuting them and pulling their strengths in order to determine appropriate support ( Dominelli & A ; Payne, 2002 ) .


Effective anti-racist, anti-oppressive pattern must be drawn from pattern intelligence, applied research and service users involvement. Empowering pattern has an engagement and integrating constituent as opposed to exclusion pattern attacks by deficiency of appropriate linguistic communication and civilization consciousness ( Bhatti- Sinclair, 2011 ) .Structurally, good planned and coordinated appraisals and intercessions involve the service user and must react sensitively to their demands.

Awareness of our ain biass and past experiences and thoughts must be non-threatening to clients ( Lindsay, 2010 ) .Interactive polarization between the societal worker and client can sabotage societal work effectiveness whereupon households and persons are pathologised either as unapproachable or immune. Positive communicating enhances the relationship edifice ( Kaprowska 2010:5 ) which is the key to an accurate appraisal.

Persons with disablements frequently argue that societal workers ‘ appraisals of them emphasise more on damage and less on being seen as human, alternatively appraisals must research their single abilities. In add-on when working with persons who use minority linguistic communications it can go a barrier for an accurate appraisal hence the demand to be after appraisals for these persons with full consciousness of this cardinal communicating component in order to guarantee the service user ‘s engagement. This could be necessitated by transcribers or minority linguistic communication talking societal workers. Similarly, when working with the aged, appraisals must observe abilities and non reenforce ageist stereotypes, shared power and agreed way rule.


The construct of critical pattern locates the societal worker as an active participant in a procedure of construing and understanding relationships and communicating that must cut across difference. Over and above premises, biass, personal beliefs, structural models ; the critical practician must be automatic and engaged in an empowering manner whilst being cognizant of personal and socio-cultural beginnings and belief systems and disputing all signifiers of subjugation. Appropriate accomplishments and knowledge must be incorporated for the societal work procedure to be effectual.

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Theoretical Frameworks and Social Work Essay. (2017, Oct 17). Retrieved from

Theoretical Frameworks and Social Work Essay
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