Miscellaneous / Critical Thinking
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Autor: anton 13 December 2010
Words: 648 | Pages: 3
One of the primary focuses of social work is social change. Social workers must be committed to reforming existing laws, procedures, and attitudes until they are more responsive to human needs. Many pioneer social workers were active reformers who worked to improve the conditions in slums, hospitals, and poorhouses. Today social workers actively influence social legislation in an effort to create new social programs or to change factors that contribute to damaging social conditions such as racism, sexism, and poverty (Morales & Sheafor, 2004, 33). In an effort to facilitate such changes in social policy a social worker must conduct research, analyze the needs of the communities, and inform the public in order to achieve societal change. Thus, social workers believe that society has a responsibility to provide resources and services to help people avoid such problems as hunger, insufficient education, discrimination, illness without care, and inadequate housing (Morales et al., 2004, 141).
Environmental factors play a significant role in abuse and neglect cases. When the parent or parents are overwhelmed with parenting and other life stresses and they do not have access to supportive services and social networks, such as daycare or family members to provide respite, the likelihood of physical abuse is greater than that of a family who has access to needed resources. Poverty also plays a role in significantly increasing the risk of abuse or neglect. Financial difficulties associated with job loss or little to no access to educational resources increases a parent's stress, which highly correlates with the likelihood of physical abuse taking place.
As a social worker with Child Protective Services I work directly with clients on a day to day basis. Part of my job is to assist clients in getting services they need in order to maintain an abuse and/or neglect free home. We also have cases that are classified as FINSA cases, which stands for "Family in Need of Services." In this instance there is no reported abuse and/or neglect but the family is in dire need of services in order to prevent the child(ren) from being placed in out of home care. Once a case is established information is gathered to determine the specific needs of the family and an assessment of the situation is made. Upon completing these tasks a treatment plan is formulated based on the needs of the family. At this point services are put into place that would be most beneficial to maintaining the family. One of the major problems social workers face is the lack of available services. This is evident when services are not available or when a family is placed on a waiting list for services. Partly to blame is the expansion of populations, which results in the availability of resources shrinking. The shrinking of resources means that funding becomes more difficult to obtain. When funding is cut organizations must respond by reorganizing staff and drastically cutting back programs (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007, 27).
This lack of resources directly affects the clients and their likelihood of maintaining a stable home environment. For this reason social workers must advocate for their clients and the community in which they live and work in order to ensure needed resources are available and continue to stay that way. Social workers who adhere to the social action approach when seeking reform assumes there is a disadvantaged segment of the population that needs to be organized in order to pressure the power structure for increased resources. In order to affect change in society a social worker must take on a wide variety of roles when working towards community development and change. Therefore the roles of the social worker include advocate, agitator, activist, partisan, broker, and negotiator (Zastrow et al., 2007, 36).
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