Introduction to Social Work (Extended Version)



welcome this video will address the spectrum of Social Work practice from micro Social Work which is working with individuals to mezzo Social Work working with families or working with small groups to macro social work the actual focus of this course working with agencies organizations communities and large groups of people to begin a competent social worker needs to understand the entire spectrum of Social Work activity to be effective in any one segment of Social Work practice that is social workers need to understand the interconnectedness of micro Social Work mezzo Social Work and macro Social Work in actual practice most social workers find themselves working across the spectrum of the field without being confined just to one aspect of Social Work activity just let's take a look at an example assume that you are a school social worker you've been assigned to provide counselling services to a 3rd grader in the school now this would be an excellent example of micro Social Work practice it's counselling in this case the child was referred to you by the teacher the presenting problems include a sullen and uncooperative attitude fighting with peers on the playground failing grades you review the child's records and you determine that he was a good student last year and the problems presenting now appear to be new after meeting with the child you conclude that he seems to be reacting to something going on in the home so you arranged a meeting with the parents to determine what's going on at home an excellent example of mezzo social work practice with families the parents appear to be loving caring people who are concerned about their child however they acknowledge that they're under dealer stress father recently lost his job unemployment benefits plus income from mother's part-time job is insufficient to meet the family of 5s needs they're falling behind in the rent they're struggling economically the price of gas is making it difficult for father to get around to look for work they fear becoming homeless you attempt to make referrals for the father to sources of employment again now we've shifted back to micro Social Work services case management what you find is that the entire community in which your clients live has been hit hard by the recent economic recession job training and placement agencies are not taking new applications because there are no jobs you check with city resources and you find that the bad news is that funding for local transportation services has been cut reducing the number of buses and trains available to community residents low-income housing is a top priority for the city but at this time thousands of persons are living on the street with no real solution to this issue on the horizon job resources are meager and those that are available include educational and experience requirements that are well above those of the family you're working with while working on this case you learn on the news that the state is having a budget problem and we'll be cutting basic funding that supports local transportation medical care and job development for low-income families this reduction in funding will result in fewer dollars to the city which will in turn impact the resources available in the local communities the target of most of the cuts is low-income and poor people within the state you respond to a call from the NASW state chapter to petition your state to avoid the harsh cuts for the poor that are being debated in the state legislature now we're looking at macro social work this is advocacy for clientele you know from the daily news that the national economy is struggling to recover from a severe recession resulting in reorganization and redistribution of federal resources that will read support to the states in providing services to low-income and working poor families homelessness and hunger identified national concerns which are the threats to the child in your school is not being addressed with sufficient strength to meet the national need proposed legislation that would begin to address the problem is unlikely to pass because of the cost involved you write to your two US senators urging passage of legislation that will assist the members of your community struggling to find work and to locate reasonable housing again an example of macro social work advocacy from local and national news and information from your local professional organization you know that one of the issues resulting in unemployment of the father of your client is outsourcing of jobs in the United States to other countries the global economy as it has emerged over the past 20 years is stripping the country of the range of jobs particularly those at the low end of the job market that we're at one time available within local communities and there appear to be few employment replacement opportunities being developed social workers involved in policy development an example of Social Work macro practice are needed to address basic issues of employment that affect the country all the way down to the community family and child level as demonstrated by the child with whom you're working in your school regardless of their focus of practice along the Social Work spectrum effective social workers understand that the interconnectedness of micro to macro social work forms the heart of social work practice you

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