Professional Identity In Social Work

Improved Essays
1. What the debate around the professional identity of social workers is as presented in the book?
The debate around the professional identity of social workers is clinical social work practice vs. social services social work. According to the authors (Specht & Courtney, 1994) “This 1919 shift to psychiatry was the significant intellectual choice of the century for social work as a profession”. (p. 21). The authors believe that social work practitioners need to shift their practice towards serving the community in a social service environment. There is a constant theme in the book that social workers have abandoned the mission to serve the community, but instead seek out the prestige of private practice.
Many social workers that provide clinical
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The mission of social work at a young profession was to help clients create an environment that they could survive and progress in. Housing, income, recreation, education and hygiene were part of the mission of sustainability in their environment. The authors (Specht & Courtney, 1994) suggest that “Social work’s original objective was to enable people to create and use a healthful and nurturing social environment.” (p. 7)
Social workers that work in a social service setting provide a vast amount of services to their clients. Case managers help facilitate and coordinate resources for their clients. Social workers also advocate providing protection for the interest of their clients. The authors (Specht & Courtney, 1994) provide an example in relation to case management and brokerage “advocacy and brokerage are considered to be important social work functions in which professionals represent their clients interest in dealing with organizations and institutions”. (p. 63)
3. Evaluate whether the authors’ present “clinical social work practice and social reform” as mutually exclusive. Explain why you agree or disagree with their
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I agree that outcomes will vary with clinical social work and reform. The results will depend on the determination of the client to progress. In reference to preventing social problems such as alcoholism, mental illness and poverty the authors (Specht & Courtney, 1994) state that “neither social work nor psychotherapy has come close to achieving these goals”. (p. 7)
The combination of both forms of practice and application in the community can have an overall impact in services provided that has a consistent outcome. The general belief of the authors is the more immersed that practitioners become involved in psychotherapy; the further away social work will separate from its original mission. According to (Specht & Courtney, 1994) “Psychotherapy will not enable us to do that further down the psychotherapeutic path social workers go, the less effective they will be in achieving their true mission”. (p. 27)
4. How are the authors’ arguments played out today? Provide an example (evidence and citation) that either supports or reputes the authors’ 1994 viewpoint as it relates to the present

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