RE: SOCW6361- Discussion 2 – Response to 2 students

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Historical Divides and Ethical Obligations Within Social Work

Respond to a colleague with a suggestion of how to address these schisms, both historical situations and current but yet unidentified ones. Does social action need to be separate from social work practice? (Please be detailed in response, use 2 APA references, and ask a question to the student to further the discussion.)

Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

Response to Joey L. Wallace

An analysis of historical divides (such as the schism between Jane Addams and Mary Richmond) and historical influences on current social work practice with respect to policy advocacy and action.

The historical split or schism between Walter Dean and William J. Reid. Walter Dean view on the social work practice is that it should continue to be about activism. Dean believes social work is in danger of abandoning its primary mission to the extent that it succumbs to the trend in American society toward further individualism and privatism and forgetting its major objective of supporting those in need of empowerment and support. According to Dean, “the original purpose of social work, which is to ameliorate poverty and injustice in our increasingly complex, industrialized and urbanized American society” (Thompson, 2012). Dean believed that “instead of retaining the primary role as change-agents in the macro level activism arena, social work will instead take on a merely palliative role within the social environment which it no longer influences (Thompson, 2012). Walter Dean does accept the notion that new social workers should understand scientifically tested and validated practice theories prepare the worker as an adaptive problem solver who can apply method in different ways depending on the situation and the problem to be solved (Thompson, 2012).

William J. Reid, believes that since the practices of social work concern human behavior in the community, should come from the public and private sectors. Reid believed that entities as legislation, the courts, community groups, professional organizations, and to some extent clients, was the most important factors that a social worker should consider. Reid’s “ X Y Z approach impacts the clinical vs. social reform debate by limiting practice to interventions that are researchable as such would lead it to focus more on a micro level.

Do such schisms exist in contemporary social work?

The only split/schism that I have seen in contemporary social work is the issue of religious. “There seems to be two types of social workers, one who bases its practice on humanist principles which are rooted in the positivist scientific tradition and the other whose value is based on religious beliefs” (Loewenberg, 1988).

If you think these divides exist, how do they prevent social workers from fulfilling their ethical obligation(s)?

Social workers are supposed to support all clients, especially the marginalized but if their faith does not believe in “same-sex” relationships, could they advocate for the rights of these individuals? “Social workers who are people of faith do much to support those in need, and for this we should be deeply grateful, but if their actions and pronouncements violate the profession’s core values, they are not practicing social work as the profession has chosen to define it and that is unethical” (Reamer, 213).

Are they important differentiations?

I believe that implementing religion in social work or not implementing religious in social work is very important based on the client that we serve. However, religion cannot be the foundation that we rely upon when determining to help support those in need.

References

Loewenberg, F., (1988). Religion and social work practice in contemporary American society. New York, NY. Columbia University Press.

Reamer, F., (2013). Wrestling with faith in social work education. Social Work Today. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from http://www.socialworktoday.com/news/eoe_052013.sht…

Thompson, J., (2012). Rethinking the clinical vs. social reform debate: A dialectical approach to defining social work in the 21st Century. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/180…

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Response to Keshia

Historical divide

Martin Luther King Jr. was an activitist in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and he was devoted to the social reform (Jansson, 2018. P. 21). There was quite a bit going on back then that he was in great support of, such as the Civil Rights Movement, The Free Speech Movement, LGBT pride, Struggles for Social Justice, and The Watts Rebellion, to name a few. He also held a very strong belief in a non-violent protesting. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted equal rights for all! There were a lot of people and organizations against his beliefs and, but he persevered through it all (Jansson, 2018. P. 21) and continued to fight for what he believed in and what he saw for this country. Churches, organizations, society, policy makers, and law enforcement were all resistant to his visions for us. His advocacy strongly affects social work practice, policy advocacy, and action today.

Do such schisms exist in contemporary social work?

Yes. As our text states, there is confusion and difficulty when it comes to policy advocates and social workers who are working the field and involved in social work practice as it relates to individuals (Jansson, 2018. P. 18) Social workers who work the field don’t feel as though it’s their position or obligation to advocate for policy change. Like myself, the agency I work for, we do advocate for policy change, but we have a chain of command to follow essentially, we speak to our supervisors, and they report to their higher up’s what they feel is important or necessary. This is how we’re taught to do it. Meanwhile, because we work the front lines daily, we see clearly how many polices affect our families, and we should be advocating for more change.

I think these schisms affect social workers from fulfilling their ethical obligations because we’re not working all aspects of social work at that point if we’re not advocating for policy and for change.

References

Hill, K. M., Ferguson, S. M., & Erickson, C. (2010). Sustaining and strengthening a macro identity: The association of macro practice social work. Journal of Community Practice, 18(4), 513–527. doi:10.1080/10705422.2010.519684 Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.

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