Social Worker: A Case Study Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 8 Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Essay Paper: #7026048 Related Topics: Social Norm, Demography, Social Work Ethics, Social Justice
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Family Members

Main Issues the family Members face and the sorts of strengths

The construct of social work is directed towards correcting existential social abnormalities to engender better living environments. Social-work functions both at the individual and societal levels to infuse better living conditions, especially in communities where turbulence marks the order of the day. Social work, in as much works on the principles of human rights and social justice (McEntyre, 2010). A social worker gains insights from theologies, practiced norms and individual experiences to correlate the socio-cultural and ethnic fundamentals towards normalization of individual and societal well-being (Connolly & Harms, 2009).

The primary aim of social work is to ensure sustained human well-being. In this pursuit, social workers aim to address the disconcert in social groups and communities. The main areas of attention they then seek to address are those of recognizing the human potential for development through the following focuses: a) integrating the First people of Australia into the mainstream; b) working amongst the marginalized and ostracized to bring out the best in them towards a better, equitable society; c) working for human rights and social constructs to engender a systemic change, if needed through advocacy for overhauling the system to seek social equality, justice and ethical conduct towards clients, groups and the socially disadvantaged (McEntyre, 2010).

The points of focus for social work include individual and systemic issues and engage in intrapersonal and interpersonal counseling, casework and clinical intervention. Social workers work in tandem with various constructs to find sustained solutions to dilemmas found in societies that face difficult social and personal issues. Social workers therefore interact with communities and groups, partnerships, families and even at personal and individual levels to help them achieve normative levels thus encouraging them achieve individual and social platitudes of well-being and advancement. Social work then obliges the practitioners to engage in and integrate community work, rights' movement, and social action. Social work thus comprises of undertaking practical and academic research, developing social policies, management and administration, providing consultancy, training and education, supervising and evaluating to ensure stability and growth in the societal context (McEntyre, 2010). The presented scenario of the Mason family makes a valid case of social work approach as detailed above.

The focus on the Aboriginal populace in Australia revolves around normalization of the social construct. The policies therefore address issues of 'governing' the marginalized society that is prone to engage in unacceptable social norms and secondly in infusing into them developmental attitudes that aligns them with the modern society. These considerations have now resorted to assimilation tactics rather than the forceful participation sought earlier (Moore, 2012). The Mason family typifies the social and personal turbulence vividly. Craig is apprehensive about his future and his livelihood with the skill set he possesses failing to cope with the changing market demands. Aaron run-ins with the judiciary and police (drug and alcohol abuse) finds him being banished from his home. They are prone to disturbing familial peace and communal harmony.

The norms and societal constructs of different regions across the world provide for different means and obstacles towards personal growth. In the modernized, industrial economies, widely known as the westernized or global north, the standard of living is a function of adapting to the labor market or means to raise capital. The labor market allows a person to maintain a decent livelihood and function as a constructive social element. However, in such a structure, factors like age, disability, gender, and location (residence or


The overall economic status and resultant wage structures also have a bearing on the standard of living. Economic growth is not always translated into overall improvement in standard of living owing to inequitable distribution of economic growth. Ironically, economic gains are seldom reinvested to ensure at least future well being for the citizens (O'Connor, 2008).

The situations individuals find themselves in is largely influenced by the social environment, individual experiences and their own familial constructs. In trying to address the personal issues faced by individuals, social work practices need to take into account the perceptions such people hold about themselves compared to the normal expectations of the larger social structures. In doing so they are in a better position to understand the underlying causes of the disruptions occurring in the concerned individual's lives (Crawford & Walker, 2010). In the instant family construct, Shaun is attracted to the "cool things" that Aaron and his friends indulge in. He likes to try dope that has been offered to him by Aaron's friends and moves out stealthily at night to the park where he is made to feel a part of the grownups by Aaron and can enjoy the thrill of indulging in drugs.

Question two: Practice Method that Might be used by a Social Worker in a Community-based Agency

The Mason family faces dilemmas that refuse to reduce the stress in the interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. The continuum of adverse conditions (social and economic) does not allow the individuals to adapt to normative behavior in spite of their genuine inclinations. The situations evolve in a direction that only push them further away from expected social norms. They have limited social and professional skills, little by way of community support and easy access to disruptive elements in the society that has a bearing on the way they seek relief and means of basic livelihood. It is in this context that community development plays a major role. Community development then, is the set of practices, beliefs and set of policies and norms that would help organize and develop an environment conducive to creating a support system for all social, ethnic, economic, religious and professional groups. The tools could hence be arrived at from religious, political, or professional constructs. The alternative to these simpler erstwhile concepts lies in developing methods and systems, and policies and structures that would be relevant in the present times. Since the older systems and frameworks find little resonance to the modern societies and since they are unrecognizable from the Utopian perceptions held in the past the latter approach is the path adopted to by the Community development workers (Kenny, 2006).

As there is very less backdrop from the past to rely upon for attending to the problems in the modern social milieu and at the same time, the current policies, norms and rules unable to create all inclusive growth environments, community development workers can at the best take up issues only in the individual and local context. They are not in a position to offer far reaching restructuring programs and solutions that would solve all problems for all people. In as much community development work is a work in progress and not an end in itself. The discussions for community development and the dilemmas it itself faces applies to the Mason family where the parameters affecting the personal, familial and societal disruptions do not progress in a linear fashion. The problems arise from various sources, varying past and hence different individual experiences and limited abilities to cope with changing environment. The community worker then finds himself at a quandary to exercise his function as a professional worker (Gardener, 2006).

All the same, community workers engage in various known percepts of work groups to address such situations. The first is interactional, where the worker acts as a mediator between two groups; Group treatment is an activity where the worker tries to change the behavioral trends of specific groups to help them be accommodative of others in an assimilatory and developmental (individual and as a group) role. The developmental infusion by community development worker involves training and teaching that would help the participants mature into personalities with multivariate and modern normative skill (Lonne, n.d.).

The issue of concern in the present case of Mason family is that it requires addressing the Aboriginal community. The local and state administrations have initiated community development programs in such neighborhoods and localities. Such centers address specific issues, those of projects for women, domestic and familial violence, health and disability help areas, research activities focusing on ethnic groups, self-help groups, programs inviting international aid and environmental campaigns and concerns (Kenny, 2006).

Each social worker may view the same situation differently as individual experiences and upbringing influences their perspectives. The perspectives are formed by a dynamic interaction between biological, social and ethical factors. Such factors in turn, interact with individual experiences to form our personalities (Connolly & Harms, 2009).

Social work influences results and outcomes that manifest in the micro as well as macro dimensions. For example, in trying to attend to personal and in the process their social structures at the micro levels, a change is also sought in the overall system to accommodate the marginalized group(s) or individual(s). Thus, those (individuals and groups) who are being treated by the social workers are driven by their belief systems and strengths, so also by…

Sources Used in Documents:


Crawford, K., & Walker, J. (2010).Social Work and Human Development (3rd ed., pp. 1-17). Exeter: Learning Matters.

Connolly, M., & Harms, L. (2009).Social work: Contexts and Practice (2nd ed., pp. 3-18). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Gardner, F. (2006).Working with Human Service Organizations (pp. 3-34). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Kenny, S. (2006). Developing Communities for the Future (3rd ed., pp. 3-37). South Melbourne: Thomson.

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