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Lecture 3

47-204 Lecture Notes - Professional Association, Participatory Democracy, Self-Determination

by OneClass2391629 , Fall 2017
6 Pages
42 Views
Fall 2017

Department
Social Work
Course Code
47-204
Professor
Kelly Ann Spezowka
Lecture
3

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Lecture 3 204 September 14, 2017
The Social Work Vision: A Progressive View
Social Work’s Origins
- Charity Organization Societies (COS)
- Scientific philanthropy” and “charity
- Based on private volunteerism offriendly visitors
- Belief that the “right” kind of people in society (i.e. white, middle class) knew what was in the
best interest of all
- Role of “friendly visitors” was to impose this vision on the poor through teaching them life skills
and “moral” behaviour
- Belief that poverty was due to personal deficiencies ; focused on individual level interventions
(casework) which are the origins of “clinical social work”
Settlement House movement
- Focused on societal reform and community interventions
- Believed that poverty (and problems related to poverty) not caused by individual failures but by
systematic forces
- Established houses in poor communities to work with (rather than “on” or “for”) people in
poverty
- Addressed community level problems (i.e. slum housing, crime, sanitation) that affected
individuals
- Basis of what we today call “community organizing” and “community capacity building
Social Work…from Then to Now
- Mullaly (2007) argues that despite these historical shifts in focus, “micro” or “clinical” social
work has garnered more of social work’s attention because:
o Schools of Social Work (at the university level) were primarily established by agencies
that were originally involved in the COS movement
o The first schools of social work (at the university level) were established when the
medical model and related theories (like those of Sigmund Freud) were dominant
Social Work today…two views:
- Conventional Social Work:
o Believes that social work can operate within the current “system” (current “system” may
be flawed, but it should be preserved)
o Job of social workers is to help individuals to maximize their personal potential and
quality of life within the current “system”
o Believes that current social institutions can meet people’s needs - our job is to ensure
equal access to these institutions
o Problems individuals face are best addressed with interventions targeted at individuals
and their environments
o Focuses on improving an individual’s interactions with his/her environment as central to
maximizing human well-being
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Lecture 3 204 September 14, 2017
o This is best done through personal change (i.e. counselling, life skills training, education)
and making changes in an individual’s environment (i.e. family counselling, enhancing
social support, linkage to resources and services, advocating for improved resources and
services)
o Ecological” and “Person in Environment” models believed to be the best basis for social
work because of their focus on the transactions between individuals and their
environments
- Progressive/Critical Social Work:
o Believes that the current “system” is not capable of meeting human needs and that the
values underlying the current “system” are not consistent with the core values of social
work
o Social work cannot operate within the current system, it must fight for a new system (a
new vision of society)
o Job of social workers is not to help people survive and adapt as best they can to the
current “system” but to advocate for societal change
o Because the system is broken, interventions aimed solely at individual and environmental
change are inadequate if not accompanied by interventions which promote societal
change
o Criticizes “ecological” and “person in environment” models as the best basis for social
work because:
They are descriptive only and don’t provide specific guidelines for practice
They do not address power differentials
Goal is consensus and harmony
implies that conflict is (inherently) an undesirable thing
but conflict is sometimes necessary to acknowledge and address
oppression and abuse of power
Defining Social Work Today
- If one looks at the “regulation” of social work as a profession, there seems to be an implicit
focus on conventional rather than progressive social work
- Social work in Ontario is “regulated” by:
o Law (Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998, Chapter 31; amended in 2009)
o Regulatory body (Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers ,
OCSWSSW, sometimes you’ll hear it just called “the college”)
- Social work practice in Ontario is also heavily impacted by:
o Professional body (Canadian Association of Social Workers, CASW; Ontario
Association of Social Workers, OASW)
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Description
Lecture 3 204 September 14, 2017 The Social Work Vision: A Progressive View Social Works Origins - Charity Organization Societies (COS) - Scientific philanthropy and charity - Based on private volunteerism of friendly visitors - Belief that the right kind of people in society (i.e. white, middle class) knew what was in the best interest of all - Role of friendly visitors was to impose this vision on the poor through teaching them life skills and moral behaviour - Belief that poverty was due to personal deficiencies ; focused on individual level interventions (casework) which are the origins of clinical social work Settlement House movement - Focused on societal reform and community interventions - Believed that poverty (and problems related to poverty) not caused by individual failures but by systematic forces - Established houses in poor communities to work with (rather than on or for) people in poverty - Addressed community level problems (i.e. slum housing, crime, sanitation) that affected individuals - Basis of what we today call community organizing and community capacity building Social Workfrom Then to Now - Mullaly (2007) argues that despite these historical shifts in focus, micro or clinical social work has garnered more of social works attention because: o Schools of Social Work (at the university level) were primarily established by agencies that were originally involved in the COS movement o The first schools of social work (at the university level) were established when the medical model and related theories (like those of Sigmund Freud) were dominant Social Work todaytwo views: - Conventional Social Work: o Believes that social work can operate within the current system (current system may be flawed, but it should be preserved) o Job of social workers is to help individuals to maximize their personal potential and quality of life within the current system o Believes that current social institutions can meet peoples needs - our job is to ensure equal access to these institutions o Problems individuals face are best addressed with interventions targeted at individuals and their environments o Focuses on improving an individuals interactions with his/her environment as central to maximizing human well-beingLecture 3 204 September 14, 2017 o This is best done through personal change (i.e. counselling, life skills training, education) and making changes in an individuals environment (i.e. family counselling, enhancing social support, linkage to resources and services, advocating for improved resources and services) o Ecological and Person in Environment models believed to be the best basis for social work because of their focus on the transactions between individuals and their environments - Progressive/Critical Social Work: o Believes that the current system is not capable of meeting human needs and that the values underlying the current system are not consistent with the core values of social work o Social work cannot operate within the current system, it must fight for a new system (a new vision of society) o Job of social workers is not to help people survive and adapt as best they can to the current system but to advocate for societal change o Because the system is broken, interventions aimed solely at individual and environmental change are inadequate if not
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