Shared Flashcard Set


Social Work Theory in Practice
Flash cards for my placement
Social Work
Undergraduate 2

Additional Social Work Flashcards





Systems Theory

Definition: The idea that behaviour is influenced by a variety of factors that work together in a system

 Gives a more complex view of a persons situation within their social environment. 


System theory in practice

Looking at the systems involved with an individual and accounting for missing or 'bad' links can lead to positive outcomes

Looking at the help and support they are currently receiving and where there may be gaps in support

Using family and friends systems where their is a lack of support form external agency's


Psychodynamic Theory

Helps to understand:

- How relationships are built

- Template to understand ourselves and others

- Acknowledges the Complexities of relationships


Based on work by Freud




Task-Centred Practice

Help individuals and professionals to collaborate on specific, measurable, and achievable goals. 


Designed to be brief.


Actionable solutions to specific problems


In Practice

TAC, TAF, CP and LAC reviews all use this approach.


When identifying The issues a family may face, work together to come up with actions to improve quality of life.


Important to work on the strengths and available resources


Narrative theory

Can be the same as 'story'

The way someone tells a narrative can be bias but its important to remember that it is still their Narrative

Can help to get a clearer picture

Need to actively listen


In practice

- Using Assessment to collect a narrative picture of what is happening

- Using it crisis intervention

- Using staff forums to voice concerns

- Decision making panels allocating resources

- Using progress markers 

- Using Narratives, experiences and strengths to create plans



Moral Reasoning

Making decisions based on morals


Have to consider own morals and how those play into the companies morals or morals set out by guidance and governing bodies


In social work need to recognise own moral bias and how those can be based on emotionally responses


In social work practice

Evaluating the situation using policies and procedures


Recognising the emotions I am feeling based on a situation I am in. 


People will hold different beliefs about different situations


Piaget's 4 stages of development


  • Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years
  • Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7
  • Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11
  • Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up
  • Stages of development 

In social work practice

The theory shows that children think in different way depending on age

Can be a good benchmark but it isn't always accurate and doesn't account for delays in development

Shows that children are curious

Important for social workers to recognise children learn and think differently and you need to adapt to that


Collective action theory

People strive to achieve and maintain positive social identities associated with group members



In social Work Practice

The utilisation of the charitable sector.


Public resources set up for the benefit of everyone 


Cycle of change

This model is normally used in addiction studies and cases. The goal is to always be making progress on every model



In social work practice

Give an idea of what is potentially going to happen next.


Is a good tool when working with an addiction because it includes action plans and recognition and reflection on what has happened


Social Constructionism

The development of understanding based on shared perceptions of reality

e.g. the social construct of crime and gender


In social work practice

The social construction of what is 'not allowed'. Recognising this is based on the current views of society. E.g. a Gypsy family may have differing ideals on how they look after their children. 


Challenging the dangerous constructs around us and conforming to those that we need to. 


Social Vs Medical Model

This debate mainly comes up in mental health and disability. 


Medical model would say disability is an abnormality while the social model would say it is a difference.


Medical model says a disability is your problem and I within you. Social would say you have an impairment and the world around you is disabling you. 



In social work

Is the disability or mental health a medical problem or a society problem. 


Need to consider a person wishes. For example a hard of hearing child may be living in a Deaf family and may be offered an implant by the doctor. The family and child would have to consider if they are just doing it to appeal to societies ideals or if it will be better for the child, especially as the child will be more of an outside in the Deaf community afterwards


Asset-based approach

Looking at a persons assets around them.


Looking at an individuals asset's and strengths within themselves


Looking at the community based asset's around them 


In Social Work Practice

Utilising a persons own strengths in their plans. 


Utilising assets in the community and doing research in the local community for resources and making connections. 



Intersectionality is about recognising the you can face more then one oppression and those oppressions can overlap and create unique oppressions. It all overlaps.


In social work practice

Everything must be considered to avoid oppression. Their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression. 


Check privilege and actively listen and learn. 

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