Developmental Theory In Social Work

841 Words 4 Pages
Developmental theories are relevant to the social work practice with children, young people and families as they provide a framework and model for the transitional stages of development and for the assessment of an individual’s growth and the family’s process throughout these changes. Throughout every individual’s lifetime they go through many stages from birth through to adulthood, each accompanied by a variety of transitions such as emotional, physical, motor development and speech and language development (Allen & Marotz, 2003).
The developmental model is based on a Darwinist perspective and has been heavily influenced by the work of Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget and John Dewey. Developmental theories provide the social work practice with insight
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The first element is problem-solving, focusing on working with the client’s definitions of problems, working towards their self-identified goals and also ranking the problems in the order in which the client believes they need to be focused on. The problem solving is achieved by the client using their account of the problem, also known as a task centred focus. The element of problem-solving is important within intervention with families as it allows them to work together to identify what they belief are the problems (Trotter, 2013). The second element is pro-social modelling and reinforcement, in the social work practice it is important to understand that workers may influence their clients and their behaviours, highlighting the significance of pro-social modelling in interventions with families. Pro- social modelling is based on learning theory, social workers display values such as respect, cooperation with others and importantly, empathy. Pro-social modelling allows these values to be transferred to the clients by reinforcement from the workers. Within this element the use of self as a social worker through behaviours such as listening, showing interest in others and emphasizing other pro-social values can be extremely beneficial for the clients (Trotter, 2013). The third element of the Collaborative Family Work Model is role clarification; this element is essential as the client needs to accept that the social worker is someone who can help them. Within this element the authenticity of the practitioner is vital, coming from their respect (Trotter, 2013). Another vital factor is reliability, allowing the client to trust the

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