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Chapter 4

November 4- Chapter 4- Theroies & Approaches to Social Work.docx

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York University
Social Work
SOWK 1011

CHAPTER FOUR TheoriesSocial work practice theories can be classified into two groupsWhat Is a Social Work TheorySpecific Theories of Social WorkSpecific Theories of Social WorkFunctional TheoryIntroduced in the 1930s by Jessie Taft and Virginia Robinson Based on work by Otto RankProblems come from negative experienceProblems can be overcome using personal power to effect changeEmphasized the clients role in directing changeStrengthsBased Social WorkIntroduced by University of Kansas social work professor Dennis Saleebey Each person has unique strengths and abilities and a capacity of growth and changeSocial worker supports client to recognize his or her assetsTogether the worker and client collaborate to understand and resolve the situationSocial Systems TheoryPlaces individual within a series of interdependent systems like an ecosystemSocial work professors Carel Germain and Alex Gitterman used ideas from biology and ecology to develop lifemodelPeople exist in particular environmentsProblems arise when there is a lack of fit between people and their surroundingsThe Structural ApproachCanadian developmentOriginates from the work of Maurice MoreauFocuses on the impact of wider social structures on personal problemsInvolves a critical analysis of socioeconomic structures which oppress and exploit people
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