Research Social Work Theories with Diverse Populations (Case Study Sample)
1. Read the Cruise Family Case Study.
2. You will apply two theories to the case study.
3. Select Empowerment, AOP or Feminism.
4. Select post-structuralism, solution based, or strengths.
5. Review the literature on your chosen theory. (You must be clear that you understand the theory you are applying).
6. Draft an analysis of the case study from the perspective of the two theories you have selected.
7. Your analysis should include the following:
1. An overview of the theory that you have selected.
a) The main argument presented by that theory.
b) An explanation of why you selected the specific theory that you did, why do you think it is helpful in understanding the family?
c) Identification of two key principles derived from each of the theories you have chosen, that is, you will name four in total.
2. Analysis of the case study.
a) Apply the four key principles from the two theories you have identified above to an aspect of the Cruise family, that is, two from one theory, two from the other theory. Four points of application are therefore demonstrated.
Social Work Theories with Diverse Populations
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Social work theories are scientific research-based theoretical explanations of human behavior and interactions. According to researchers, social work theories acts as the blueprint for the formulation of social work practice models which then help social workers in the handling of social work related complications in the community (Payne, 2014; Simmons, 2014). According to Payne, social work theories having been scientifically proven are useful in helping social workers help members of the community whom at one time or the other may find themselves and their families in a social crisis. With the above understood, this piece seeks to vent an in-depth theoretical analysis into the social case of the Cruise family. The researcher will endeavor to study the Cruise family case using two social work theories in order to make theoretical interpretations of the situation at hand.
As stated in the abstract of this analysis, the researcher will utilize two social work theories in making interpretations about the case in context. The two theories selected are Anti-Oppressive-Practice and Solution-Based.
The anti-oppressive-practice theory of social work normally initialized as AOP is one of the dynamic multi-disciplinary approaches of social work that focuses in detecting oppression and working to uproot it in an effort to solve social work related cases. According to research evidence, AOP is focused on minimizing the toxic effects of social and structural inequalities on individuals and groups (Curry-Stevens, 2017). Further research evidences contend that the use of AOP though not having been widely accepted in the US until recent years is quite effective in solving social work situations whereby most if not all the harm and cause of delusion seems to be structural and social inequalities (Healy, 2014; Baines, 2011). According to Baines’ (2011) comprehensive research on AOP, the theoretical position of AOP is commonplace in as far as understanding most of the social problems experienced by individuals and groups in the society is concerned. Baines posits that most of the social problems brought to social worker’s attention in the contemporary world have a shade of insecurity usually because of social inequality. Her advice therefore is that social workers globally in effective practicing should always consider the interpretation of social problems from the AOP lens. This is espoused position is agreed to by Teater (2010) who in a piece of introduction into social work theories and methods highlight AOPs multi-disciplinary approach as effective in understanding most of the social problems that social work practitioners have to face.
The researcher opted for the AOP theoretical approach based on the fact that this approach as seen from research evidence has been instrumental in the past in providing interpretations and solutions for many social work problems. In reviewing literature on AOP, the researcher keenly noted the passion of AOP approach in investigating how social and structural inequalities in the community may have an effect on an individual’s behavior. Therefore, relating this unique quality of AOP to the case study, the researcher believed that AOP would be an ideal theory of interpretation for the case and thus selected it as one of the theories to use in this analysis.
The researcher on reviewing the literature behind AOP social work theory has derived two key principles namely:-
1 The effect of social and structural inequalities on the behavior of groups and individuals.
2 The importance of investigating social and structural inequalities and attempting to minimize them as a way of providing help to social problems.
Payne (2014) educates about contemporary social work practice and lists solution-based approach of social work practice as one of the contemporary theories that can help in the provision of social work help. According to Payne, this theory works by concentrating on the strengths of the client in as far as tackling the problem at hand is concerned. The social worker therefore gets interactive with the client to deeply understand the problem and understand some of the strengths based on his professional opinion that the client can use as leverage in tackling the problem at hand. Researcher Toros et al., (2015) agree with the above definition of the solution-based approach of social work practice and ad that the approach is useful in building internal strengths in the patient so as to enable better handle their social problems in future. This position finds support from more research which explains that the traditional ‘problem-focused’ approach to social work practice may not bear fruits in the contemporary world (Lee, 2013; Corcoran, 2015). As opposed to focusing on the problem, Lee (2013) believes that if social workers can maintain their focus on the solutions available to the problem, it would be easier to completely get rid of certain social problems. In seconding the above, Corcoran (2015) adds that, despite the fact that the solution-based approach is usually brief type of therapy, it is more effective in as far as enhancing and capitalizing client’s resourcefulness of dealing with social problems is concerned. This practically means that the solution-base therapy may be more effective is putting more clients off social work practitioners’ dependence.
The researcher chose this methodological approach of social work practice based on the facts of the case provided. According to the researcher, the case is emblematic of many family related social problems especially pertinent to families that live in low cost suburbs. Therefore, the introduction of solution-based therapy approach to the case is important in building the analysis to take a more solution-oriented approach as opposed to other problem-oriented approaches of social work practice. The fact that this approach would help the researcher concentrate on taking the family off social work dependence by championing their internal strengths for effectively dealing with the issue at hand therefore justifies the selection of the theory for the case analysis.
The below are some of the key principles that the researcher has derived in reviewing the solution-based social work approach:-
1 The negative effects of the ‘problem-oriented’ approach in solving social work problems.
2 The effectiveness of ‘solution-based’ approaches in enhancing and capitalizing individuals’ internal resources for dealing with social problems.
Analysis of the Cruise Family Case
The researcher is instructed to handle the analysis of the Cruise Family case based on the four principles derived from the two social work theories selected.
Principle 1. Social and Structural Inequalities
A close look into the facts presented in the case of the Cruise Family, it is easy to notice instances of inequalities both social and structural. For instance, the fact that the case facts make it clear that the family lives in a low cost housing in a major city showcases the first instance of inequality. This is further related to the second instance of inequality identified from the case which is the children’s utterances to their father that they should be left alone since they will amount to nothing. Researcher Hines (2012) in an in-depth review of anti-oppressive framework for social practice educates that signs of structural and social inequalities can be assumed, seen or heard based on the explanations by the client. Hines adds that most people facing social problems and living in low cost suburbs may not always say that they are facing that socio-economic inequality despite the fact that the core of their problem may as well be that. This information is symmetrical with the Cruise Family case whereby despite the fact that the family members do not see that as the cause of the problem, utterances that lead to the escalation of social problem well confirm that as being one of the greatest problem and fears.
Principle 2. Minimizing Inequalities
Bob Cruise having sought social work help based on the unbearable social situation affecting his family needs help that would be effective in curbing the situation at home. In the researcher’s understanding of the case at hand, the children of the Cruise Family, particularly Anthony and Andrew are growing out of hand in a pace that is frustrating to both the parents. In line with research evidence therefore, the best way to help this family is to propose the minimization of oppression in order to see a return to normalcy in the family. According to research evidence, the complex nature of oppression in the society can lead to social challenges that when not taken seriously and the oppression effect behind these challenges noted for minimization, then the social problem may persist and quickly move from bad to worse (Burke and Harrison, 2013; Hogewoing, 2012). Some of the inequalities that the family needs to work hard to minimize are the feelings of been losers based social upbringing in the mind of the children. Based on the fact that Anthony and Andrew are still teens, Jill and Bob can work hard to show love and support to them in a way that will alleviate their social and structural fears that they will amount to nothing. This includes spending more time with them to ensure that they do not pick up bad behavior and advice from other people like their uncle John.
Principle 3. Negative Effects of Problem-Oriented Approach
According to research evidence, the traditional approach of social work practice was problem-focused (Corcoran and Pillai, 2009). Th...
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