Social Activism In Social Work

1774 Words 8 Pages
#1 A. Social work is a value based practice and employs a two pronged approach. The juggling act, as it were, in social work is a 100 year old debate exploring if the goal of social work is that of seeking social reform or focusing on treating the individual. (Haynes, 1998) All the while seeking to do what is “good and desirable” (Bisman, C., 2004) Social workers are expected to be activists for policy change and are also assumed to be clinical practitioners as well. These individuals are tasked with involvement at the highest level. For instance Frances Hopkins and the role she played alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt advocating for change at the federal level. As well as those unnamed practitioners who meet on a daily basis and minister …show more content…
The responsibility to participate at the macro level to elevate those who are disenfranchised and lacking a voice to speak on their own behalf is aligned with the social work values of service and social justice.
At the same time the importance of the relationship between a social worker and their client should not be over looked or minimized. Viewed as the vehicle of social work practice by many, it is pivotal in the success of the caseworker process. (Bisman, 2004). The interplay of the social worker and client relationship is an essential piece in meeting the needs of those who are being served. Be it physical, emotional, social or otherwise and affirming the social work value of the importance of human relationships.
Regardless of ones assumptions regarding the focus of social work on macro vs. micro, all should be looked at through the lens of the core values of social work. The six core values set forth to guide the practice of social work are essential to help ensure the fidelity of social work practice.
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One argument asserts that these theories can be used to help both practitioners working at the individual level and those in organizations focusing on larger societal changes. The framework it provides being useful at both the micro and macro level (Robbins, S., Chatterjee, P., Canada, E., 2012). Secondly, systems theory support the idea of the person-in-environment perspective, taking into account the multiple systems affecting both the person and the greater society they live in. This is a more holistic approach and one many believe is necessary.
Conversely there are those who do not believe systems theory should be the framework that directs social work. A short fall of general systems theory is it is better suited to describe and explain rather than actually predict. There is a lack of empirical data leaving the theory unobjective. In addition many have searched and researched these theories and found them lacking clear central concepts and have found ambiguity in regards to their defining characteristics (Robbins, S., Chatterjee, P., Canada, E., 2012). Some would argue that this does not provide adequate information about causal

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