Single Theory In Social Work

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It is a combination of existing knowledge and newly acquired knowledge that allows us to make assumptions in order to realize reasonably foreseeable outcomes. It is only in the realms of science, physics and mathematics that the repeated application of a single theory will return a consistent result indefinitely. However, in the social work disciplines, the repeated application of a single theory may very well result in chaos and mayhem due simply to the addition of the vagaries and subjectifies of human behavior - individual realism and personality. Mix society with the individual then add a third ingredient - power (political, economic, etc.) and you end up with a chameleonic and metamorphosis-like result, what I refer to as the 'lava…show more content…
It is not possible for one person to comprehend the world as perceived by another person. The absolute closest we can come to this is to use our own imagination and compare our own experiences as a guide - empathy. Enter theory. Theory gives us the launching pad for action. It is a single starting point for all social work practitioners regardless of their individual methodological preferences. Howe (1987, p48) states, "The loud claim is that practice is saturated with theory no matter how much the social worker speaks of [their] simple reliance on commonsense or intuition. Each theory and its associated practice holds assumptions about people and their society .......". However, theory still remains our most valuable agent in facilitating acceptable if not positive outcomes. The nature of social work is in a constant state of flux and what was suitable or successful yesterday may not be today although past theories still have a valid place in our reckoning. There is a constant flow of new and more complex issues introducing themselves to society every day and often, theory will be the only tools available to us as a means of…show more content…
This theory therefore required that there be a reduction in the numbers of (government subsidized) trade apprenticeship places - a huge cost saving exercise, an economic positive! However, we have since learned that this theory was implemented without a great deal of thought as to the possible negatives - those of higher youth unemployment (increased welfare bill), a much sharper decline in the number of skilled tradesmen to adequately service the community (have you ever tried to get hold of a plumber or electrician in an emergency?), and a steep increase in the cost to the consumer (community) in utilizing those affected trade services. Some would also argue that the reduction in apprenticeship places would have contributed to increases in various crimes and therefore further unnecessary cost to the community and taxpayers. A more recent theory is that of children in detention centers. Some schools of thought insisted that keeping children in detention was senseless and cruel and that they should be settled into local communities. Others viewed this train of thought as being reminiscent of the 'stolen generation ' and further theorized that it was wrong to separate the children from their parents and therefore the mother and children should be settled into the community with regular visits to the father
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