Monday, October 12, 2015

What's the Point of the Assessment Phase in Macro SW?

When I was in grad school at Berkeley, I was given a one paragraph case study and I wanted to jump to interventions that alleviated the client's problems and pain. Now I understand the value of engagement, assessment, diagnostic formulation and treatment planning before jumping in to intervene.
It's no different in macro-level social work practice (that is, bringing about change in communities and organizations).
Helpful points to consider when dealing with problems at the community or organizational level:
  • When anxious to make change, it is tempting to begin at the point of proposing solutions. This risks coming up with simplistic solutions.
  • Professionally guided change efforts make certain that a range of alternative/multiple perspectives and possible causes are adequately explored before proposing a solution
  • Quick solutions without adequate study is the opposite of professional practice
  • Quick and easy solutions are based on the assumption that the problem has one primary cause
  • Changing social conditions always means addressing more than one contributing factor
From Social Work Macro Practice, 5th edition
Netting, Kettner, McMurtry & Thomas
2012
Pearson Education, Inc.

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