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01 ~ Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

Learning Objectives
A. Define social work and social welfare.
social work: the professional activity of helping individuals, groups or communities enhance or restore their capacity for
social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Social work practices consists of the professional
application of social work values, principles and techniques to one or more of the following ends:
 helping peo. obtain tangible services
 providing counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families and groups
 helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services
 participating in relevant legislative processes.
5 Themes of Social Work practice:
1) helping individuals, groups or communities
2) solid foundation of values and principles that guide what practitioners should/not do
3) firm basis of techniques and skills to provide directions for how to provide treatment and accomplish goals
4) help people get the services they need by linking them to available resources
5) participate in legislative processes to promote positive social change
social welfare: “a nation’s system of programs, benefits, and services that help people meet those social, economic,
educational and health needs that are fundamental to the maintenance of society”
2 Basic Dimensions of Social Welfare:
1) what people get from society (wrt programs, benefits, and services)
2) how well their needs (including social, economic, educational, and health) are being met
B. Explain critical thinking and provide a framework for examining a wide range of concepts and issues.
critical thinking:
1) the careful scrutiny of what is stated as true or what appears to be true and resulting expression of an opinion or
conclusion based on that scrutiny
2) the creative formulation of an opinion or conclusion when presented with a question, problem or issue
Triple-A Approach of Critical Thinking
1. Ask questions
2. Assess the established facts and issues involved.
3. Assert a concluding opinion
Benefits of Critical Thinking
1. Identify propaganda
2. Distinguish intentionally deceptive claims
3. Focus on and choose words carefully.
4. Be wary of emotional ploys and appeals
C. Discuss residual, institutional and developmental perspectives on social welfare, as well as the concept of sustainability.
residual perspective: social welfare focusing on problems and gaps; benefits ONLY when people fail to provide adequately;
implication is that the poverty is their own faults
institutional perspective: people’s needs are a normal part of life and society has a responsibility to support its members
with benefits
developmental perspective: “seeks to identify social interventions that have a positive impact on economic development”;
justification of social programs in terms of economic efficiency criteria:
1) investments in education, nutrition & healthcare can be evaluated to show value (i.e. a smarter, healthier workforce is
more productive)
2) investment in physical facilities involving the economic and social infrastructure (i.e. roads, water supply, clinics, schools,
etc.) on which development efforts depend (transportation system to get workers to work; clean water for living; clinics for
healthcare; schools for education; etc.)
3) programs that help workers engage in productive employment and self-employment is more economically viable than
continued and perpetual public assistance payments (i.e. training or re-training job skills)
sustainability: development of social services that meets the current needs of the present generations without
jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs;
areas of interest: economic development; overpopulation/overcrowding; insufficient food/fresh water; need for people
to work together to save themselves and their world.
D. Explain the conservative-liberal continuum with respect to viewing the social welfare system.
political ideology: relatively coherent system of ideas about human nature, institutional arrangements and social processes
that show how a gov’t should be run and what principles that gov’t should support.
conservatism: individual are responsible for themselves, government should provide minimal interference in people’s lives
and change is generally unnecessary
3 General Characterizations of Conservatives:
1) oppose change/thrive on tradition
2) negative view of human nature (sinful and prone to corruption)
3) see people as perfectly capable of taking care of themselves
liberalism: government should be involved in the social, political and economic structures to protect people’s rights and
privileges, to bring about social justice
3 General Characterizations of Liberalism
1) like change and tend to think there’s always a better way
2) much more positive perspective on human nature (fully capable of making their own choices and decisions about
right and wrong)
3) government as best entity to provide a structure and environment where adequate services and opportunities can be
made available
radicalism: more extreme approach; current social/political system not structurally capable of truly providing social justice;
drastic, fundamental changes are needed in basic social/political structure to get truly fair/equal treatment
2 Reasons Poverty Exists:
1) masses of poor working class supports the wealthy and keeps them rich
2) keeping the poor in poverty enhances the “prestige” and status of the middle and upper classes
conservative-liberal continuum: the range of thought concerning government’s role in providing benefits and services to the
E. Examine your personal attitudes about some social welfare issues.

F. Explain social work’s fields of practice.

Current fields of practice include:

children/families mental health Occupational social work

aging substance abuse Rural social work
disabilities schools Police social work
health corrections Forensic social work

G. Explore the process of choosing a career.

One must first determine what aspect and application of social work to which they feel drawn and are demonstrated to be
most useful. Once the type of social work has been determined, the “market” decrees what level of education is required.
The BSW degree is adequate for virtually all entry-level positions as well as many low- to mid-level management positions.
An earned BSW while pursuing an MSW can open doors to more advanced level positions but an earned MSW is required
for most policy-making positions and for psychotherapy areas of practice. At this point, a doctorate in Social Work seems
to be reserved for those who want to teach Social Work on a university level or to be involved in research.
It should be noted that, as the field is filled and flooded with degreed and qualified candidates, the minimum requirements
of that field are generally raised to help manage the pool of prospective employees. This trend has been documented in a
vast majority of other majors and as a phenomenon it should be recognized. It would seem that the greatest impact would
be on those social workers who want to be qualified to help change the system and to actively assist in the change. While
a BSW may be sufficient for some management positions, if a social worker has a strong desire to lead others toward
change, that student really should think in terms of going on to a Master’s degree and all available licensure.
5 Steps in Choosing a Social Work Careers
1) General orientation toward the future (self-assessment): What are your values? What kind of work have you done or
have thought to do? What dimensions of work appeal to you? What jobs/careers come to mind? Why are you taking this
2) People-oriented vs. Non-people-oriented careers: hands-on work includes: doctor, nursing, occupational therapy,
physical therapy // business careers involve developing relationships but the fundamental goal is to make a monetary
profit before addressing human needs // law or teaching: serious investment in education & time as well as a passionate
interest in the legal process; teaching focuses on equipping the healthy to excel while working with clients and families
focuses on helping clients to find survival techniques (i.e. psychological, behavioral, economic issues)
=Those interested in the psychosocial aspects of human function and improving the human condition, continue...
4) Selection of a major: the foundational classes of a social work major are intended to let the student explore various
realms of knowledge that help a person improve their function and condition, so the student should be evaluating which
of these disciplines appeal to them more than others // Psychology: behavior & cognitive processing for treatment of
mental disorders or testing for intelligence or aptitue // Sociology: human society, group interactions, effect of social
institutions on society // Social Work: using knowledge produced by psychology & sociology, it applies this knowledge to
helping situations // Psychiatry: branch of medicine that diagnoses & treats mental disorders (are able to prescribe
drugs) // Criminal Justice: configuration of programs, policies, agencies dealing with crime, incarceration, legal processes
and rehabilitation [Social Workers can assume many position in the criminal justice system] // Counseling: overlaps with
many other fields, including Social Work, which focuses on problem solving & providing help to individuals, families or
groups; can require additional education & expertise in specific areas (i.e. family or marriage therapy) /// Your decision
about your future field could be affected by how much education you can take – some career paths require graduate
5) Considering or choosing a social work major: The areas of life and work that may be served by a social work degree are
many and diverse, so choosing can be an overwhelming prospect. A list of careers and application areas can help clarify.
A List of Social Work Career Options available:
* Mental health setting (inpatient hospitals) correctional environment; preparation for release;
* Health settings (hospitals>understanding complex probation/parole)
information; getting appropriate resources) * Domestic violence hotlines/programs (address needs of
* Enhancing the welfare of children (protective services, women/people who have been physically/emotionally
adoption, foster care, school social work, treatment for abused)
behavioral/emotional difficulties in outpatient, group * Alcohol/substance abuse (counseling)
home or residential facilities) * Intellectual disabilities (linking to needed services,
* Older adults (health care facilities for physical/medical supervising non-institutional living settings; helping gain
support for living; supportive services aimed at keeping employment; advocating for resources not available)
people in their own homes as long as possible) * Crisis hotlines (suicide, violence toward others, mental
* Agency services to people with physical disabilities health, substance abuse, issues, physical abuse referred
(linking them to appropriate services, advocating for to appropriate services)
services) * Family planning agencies (help people make choices
* Correctional settings for adults or juvenile delinquents about contraception)
(prisons: counseling; assisting adjustment to the * Homeless shelters: temporary shelter, counseling, training
for people on the street.
A List of Responsibilities/Skills in Social Work

* Counseling * Promoting * Undertaking community

* Running of groups * Coordinating service provision for organization
* Working with families people receiving multiple services * Running meetings
* Linking people with needed through case management * Writing grants
resources * Supervising staff or administering * Developing policy
* Supervising volunteers agencies * Lobbying

H. Address how social work builds on other disciplines.

Social work builds on many other disciplines. The list of disciplines is not static and as new fields of study open up, some or
many may impact the human condition or function and will be added to the list. A partial list of disciplines utilized by
social work would include: psychology, sociology, political science, economics, biology, psychiatry, counseling, cultural
As noted previously, the human function and condition is impacted by a wide range of factors for which we have various
areas of specialty. However, those areas of specialty are generally clinical in their approach to the issues and often more
consumed with the research and facts of the discipline and less interested on how the theories or conclusions are applied
to people. But knowledge without application is meaningless theory. Social Workers are passionate about helping others.
But passion without the factual basis for applying one technique or another, social work would be a collection of people
following their own thoughts. It is clear that clinical and passionate need to work together to accomplish the goal together.
In order for Social Workers to be able to know which fields of information and which techniques or services are most
appropriate, they need to have a working knowledge of the different fields that impact human function and the human
condition. For this reason, social work relies on the knowledge of many other disciplines.
I. Discuss the uniqueness of social work.
Although there is principle and fact to be formulated in the Social Work field, the discipline of social work is more synthetic
than analytic. Fields like psychology or biology analyze the factors within their particular scope of study. The field of social
work requires the practitioner to be able to pick from the various analytic fields to apply whatever is needed for the
specific situation at hand. In this way, social work creates a synthesis of a variety of fields for the purpose of improving the
lives of other people.
5 Major Dimensions of the Uniqueness of Social Work
1) Social workers may focus on any problems or clusters of problems that are complex and difficult
2) Often targets the environment encompassing clients, and not the clients themselves, for change
3) target environment: social workers often find it necessary to advocate for their clients
4) emphasis on and adherence to a core of professional values
5) related to the core of professional values & importance of people to make their own decisions: practice in partnership
with their clients
J. Identify some basic concepts in systems theories and the ecological perspective that are important for understanding social
Basic Concepts in Systems Theories:
System theories focus on the dynamics among and interaction of people in their environment
system: set of elements that are orderly and interrelated to make a functional whole
micro system: individual
mezzo system: group (families shift between micro and mezzo)
macro system: organizations and communities
Ecological perspective important to social work:
social environment: conditions, circumstances, interactions that encompass human beings
type of home & work; amount of money available; laws and social rules
includes individual, groups, organizations, & systems that touch a person (i.e. family, friends, work groups, governments)
K. Describe social work education’s goals, curriculum, and competencies.
to produce social workers who understand and adhere the core values of Social Work and achieve the 10 required
Must reflect certain values throughout their curricula: “service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the
importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry are among the core values
of social work”
10 Required Competencies:
1) Identification as a Professional Social Worker
2) Application of Social Work Ethical Principles to Guide Practice
3) Application of Critical Thinking to Inform Professional Judgments
4) Engagement of Diversity in Practice
5) Advancement of Human Rights and Social and Economic Justice
6) Engagement in Research-Informed Practice
7) Application of Knowledge of Human Behavior and the Social Environment
8) Engagement in Policy Practice to Advance Social and Economic Well-Being
9) Responsiveness to Contexts That Shape Practice
10) Engagement, Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and
Types of Practice:
Generalist Practice: incorporates all 10 competencies and forms the heart of work education and social work practice
application of an eclectice knowledge base & wide range of skills; 1) client empowerment; 2) working effectively within an
organizational structure and doing so under supervision; 3) assumption of a wide range of professional roles; 4) application
of critical thinking skills to the planned-change (intervention) process
Advanced Practice: MSW curricula; specialized concentration that builds upon the generalist practice foundation;
specializations include: mental health; school social work; work with children/families; corrections; health; social services
administration; community organization
Field Education: “signature pedagogy” of social work education by CSWE; represents the central form of instruction and
learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner; provides a real-life experience in a
social work setting where student social workers are placed and can practice their skills under supervision; settings
include: social service agencies, hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, organizational placements (i.e. a state SASW
branch office, policy-related placements like legislative offices or placements in community organizations)
Advocacy Cultural anthropology
A term that means actively intervening in order to help The branch of anthropology that deals with human culture,
clients get what they need especially its history, social structures, language, and
Agency policies technology
Standards adopted by individual organizations and Developmental perspective
programs that provide services An approach that seeks to identify social interventions that
Assessment have a positive impact on economic development
The identification of the nature and extent of client needs Eco-systems theory
and concerns, as well as critical information about client A system- and environment-oriented approach to problem
resources and supports and other environment factors so solving
that a helping plan can be devised and implemented Economic justice
Biology A term that concerns the distribution of resources in a fair
The study of living organisms and their physical functions and equitable manner
Client system Economics
Any individual, family, group, organization, or community The study of the production, distribution, and consumption
who will ultimately benefit from social work intervention of goods and services
Conservativism Empowerment
The philosophy that individuals are responsible for The process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or
themselves, government should provide minimal political power so that individuals can take action to
interference in people’s lives, and change is generally improve their life situations
unnecessary Evidence-based practice
Coping The conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best
The struggle to adjust to surrounding environmental evidence in making decisions about the care of clients
conditions and overcome problems Forensic social work
Counseling Social work dealing with the law, educating lawyers, and
A field overlapping with various other fields including social serving as expert witnesses
work that focuses on problem-solving and providing help Generalist practice
to individuals, families, or groups The application of an eclectic knowledge base, professional
Criminal justice values, and a wide range of skills to target any size system
The configuration of programs, policies, and agencies for change within the context of four primary processes
dealing with crime, incarceration, legal processes, and Human rights
the rehabilitation of criminal offenders The premise that all people, regardless of race, culture, or
Critical thinking national origin, are entitled to basic rights and treatment
The careful scrutiny of what is stated as true or what Institutional perspective
appears to be true and the resulting expression of an An approach that views people’s needs as a normal part of
opinion or conclusion based on that scrutiny, and the life. People’s right to receive benefits and services on an
creative formulation of an opinion or conclusion when ongoing basis
presented with a question, problem, or issue
Liberalism Residual perspective
The philosophy that supports government involvement in An approach that conceives of social welfare as focusing on
the social, political, and economic structure so that all problems and gaps. The focus is on people’s failure and
people’s rights and privileges are protected in the name faults
of social justice Rural social work
Macro system Social work addressing the unique problems of people living
A large system that includes organizations and communities in rural areas
Mezzo system Social environment
A group The conditions, circumstances, and human interactions that
Micro system encompass human beings
An individual Social justice
Occupational social work A term that involves the idea that in a perfect world, all
Social work focusing on work in employee assistance citizens would have identical rights, protection,
programs or directed toward organizational change opportunities, obligations, and social benefits
Police social work Social welfare
Social work emphasizing work within police, courthouse, A nation’s system of programs, benefits, and services that
and jail settings to provide services to crime victims help people meet those social, economic, educational,
and health needs that are fundamental to the
Political ideology
maintenance of society
The relatively coherent system of ideas (beliefs, traditions,
principles, and myths) about human nature, institutional Social welfare policy
arrangements, and social processes that indicate how a The laws and regulations that govern which social welfare
government should be run and what principles that programs exist, what categories of clients are served, and
government should support who qualifies for a given program
Political science Social work
The study of political and governmental structures and The professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or
functioning communities enhance or restore their capacity for social
functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to
this goal (NASW)
Certain populations or groups of people based on some
identified characteristics who are at greater risk of social Social work practice
and economic deprivation than the general mainstream The doing of social work
of society Sociology
Psychiatry The study of human society, how various groups interact
The branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and with each other, and how social institutions structure the
treatment of mental disorders social environment in which we live
Psychology System
A field that emphasizes the study of behavior and cognitive A set of elements that is orderly and interrelated to make a
processing function whole
Psychotherapy Systems theories
A skilled treatment process whereby a therapist works with Theories that focus on the dynamics among and
an individual, couple, family, or group to address a interactions of people in their environment
mental disorder or alleviate other problems the client(s) Target system
may be having in the social environment The system that social workers need to change or influence
Radicalism in order to accomplish their goals
The philosophy that the social and political system as it Triple A approach to Critical Thinking
stands is not structurally capable of truly pursuing social An approach to critical thinking that states you should:
justice (1) Ask questions;
Research-informed practice (2) Assess the established facts and issues involved;
The use of approaches and interventions in their practice (3) Assert a concluding opinion
that research has determined are effective
CH 1 ~ Practice Quizzes
1. Residually-oriented programs include
a. fire departments
b. police departments
c. public education
d. temporary assistance to needy families

2. At the paraprofessional level, social service _____ typically hold an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree in a non-
social work discipline and serve under the social worker's supervision in designated tasks such as conducting basic
interviews, making referrals, and completing paperwork
a. technicians
b. psychotherapists
c. adjuncts NO
d. aides NO

3. The foundation of professional social work practice is a body of knowledge, skills, and values
a. True
b. False

4. "Competent" is the official designation by The Council on Social Work Education that an educational social work program
meets specified standards
a. True NO
b. False

5. _____ is the philosophy that individuals are responsible for themselves, government should provide minimal interference
in people's lives and change is generally unnecessary
a. liberalism
b. conservatism
c. radicalism

6. _____ idealizes that all citizens would have identical rights, protections, opportunities, obligations, and social benefits
a. economic justice
b. economic deprivation
c. oppression
d. social justice

7. _____ is described in the text as the process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or political power so that individuals can
take action to improve their life situations
a. assessment
b. social justice
c. economic justice
d. empowerment

8. _____ is the philosophy that the social and political system as it stands is not structurally capable of truly pursuing social
a. liberalism NO
b. radicalism
c. conservatism

9. Research-informed practice involves the everyday work of practitioners and focuses on collecting data and providing results
directly to the processes of social work practice
a. True NO
b. False
10. The internationally supported document that defines and stresses the importance of sustainability on a global basis is
entitled Restoring the Planet
a. True
b. False

11. The client system is the system that social workers need to change or influence in order to accomplish their goals
a. True
b. False [target system: system that needs to be changed; client system: method by which resources are supplied]

12. _____ is the discipline that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and prescribing psychotropic
a. psychiatry
b. psychology NO
c. parapsychology
d. neurology

13. At the paraprofessional level, social service _____ typically hold an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree in a non-
social work discipline and serve under the social worker's supervision in designated tasks such as conducting basic
interviews, making referrals, and completing paperwork
a. psychotherapists
b. technicians
c. adjuncts
d. aides

14. Critical thinking

a. espouses negative evaluation of all statements
b. focuses on taking a fact at face value
c. involves taking what others say for granted
d. concentrates on the process of reasoning

15. NASW defines _____ as the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their
capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal
a. social work
b. social welfare NO
c. sociology
d. social justice

16. The figure in the text depicting the foundation of knowledge for social work included all of the following disciplines except
a. economics NO
b. psychiatry
c. political science NO
d. speech communications