Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Social Work Theory and Models of Practice

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Social Policy and Social Work

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will consider perspectives for practice and social work theory with a particular focus on social work practice theories. The main perspectives which will be considered are an ecosystemic perspective, shared power, social justice and evidence-based practice.

A number of practice theories that represent different theoretical traditions in social work will be introduced. These will include Pyschodynamic Practice; Cognitive-Behavioural Practice; Systems-Ecological Practice; Crisis and Task-Centred Practice; Strengths, Narrative and Solution Practice; Humanistic Practice, Existentialism and Spirituality; Empowerment and Advocacy; Critical Practice; Feminist Practice and Anti-Oppressive and multicultural sensitivity approaches.

Students will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the basic concepts which underlie these practice orientations and critically assess the appropriateness of different models for different practice settings and with different client groups.

This study-unit will also examine the development of current social work practice and the growth of its specialisations. The nature of generalist and specialist practice will be explored.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To provide study-unit participants with perspectives for practice which will help them develop ways of looking at service user realities whether they are working with individuals, groups, families or communities.
- To consider practice theories and models of practice with special emphasis on their applications in practice.
- To use case studies to help participants to better understand the application of different practice theories.
- To consider what constitutes generalist and specialist practice, the relationship between the two and what mixture of generalist and specialist practice best serves users.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate that they have an in-depth understanding of the perspectives for practice introduced during the study-unit and that they are able to apply these to service user realities;
- Show that they have understood the different practice theories and models for practice and that they can distinguish the different theoretical traditions they are based on;
- Demonstrate, through the use of case examples, that they are able to select and apply appropriate models of practice to service user situations;
- Demonstrate that they understand what constitutes generalist and specialist practice and that they are able to critically analyse the relationship between generalist and specialist practice;
- Explain analytically what mixture of generalist and specialist practice best serves users.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Apply the perspectives for practice introduced during the study-unit to different service user realities;
- Show, through case examples, that they are able to apply the different practice theories and models for practice;
- Use examples from practice to critically evaluate current practices with respect to generalist and specialist provision.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:
- Horwarth, J., & Shardlow, S. M (2003) Specialism: A force for change. In J. Horwath & S. M. Shardlow (Eds.), Making links across specialisms: Understanding modern social work practice (pp.1 – 21). Dorset: Russell House Publishing.
- Howe, D. (2009). A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Mattaini, M.A. & Lowery, C.T.(Eds.).(2007). Foundations of Social Work Practice (4th ed.).Washington, DC:NASW Press.
- Payne, M. (2014). Modern Social Work Theory. (4th ed.). Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Supplementary Readings:
- Adams, R. (2008). Empowerment, Participation and Social Work. (4th ed.). Basingstoke and London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Adams, R., Dominelli, L & Payne, M. (Eds.). (2009). Social Work: Themes, Issues and Critical Debates. (3rd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Adams, R. Dominelli, L. & Payne, M. (Eds.). (2009). Critical Practice in Social Work. (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Adams, R. Dominelli, L. & Payne, M. (Eds.). (2005). Social Work Futures, Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Doel, M. (1997). Social work practice revisited: Generalist and specialist practice. Birmingham: University of Central England.
- Dominelli, L. (2002). Feminist Social Work Theory and Practice. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave.
- Gitterman, A. & Germain, C. (2008). The Life Model of Social Work Practice: Advances in Theory and Practice. (3rd ed.). New York : Columbia University Press.
- Gray, M. & Webb, S.A. (2013). Social Work Theories and Methods. (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Healy, K. (2014). Social Work Theories in Context: Creating Frameworks for Practice. (2nd ed.). Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Oko, J. (2011). Understanding and Using Theory in Social Work. (2nd ed.). Exeter, UK: Learning Matters Ltd.
- Payne, M. (2009). The Way Forward for the Social Work Profession and its Tasks. In A. Agius, M.Cole, M. Naudi & J. Xuereb (Eds.), Social Work and Social Cohesion in Europe: Based on the proceedings of the Social Work National Conference in Malta 2007. (pp.180-191) Malta: The Maltese Association of Social Workers and the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, University of Malta.
- Reid, W.J. & Epstein, L. (1972). Task-Centered Casework. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Roberts, A.R. (Ed.). (2005). Crisis Intervention Handbook:Assessment , Treatment and Research. (3rd ed.). New York, USA:Oxford University Press.
- Stepney, P. & Ford, D. (Eds.). (2012). Social Work Models, Methods and Theories: A framework for practice (2nd ed.). Lyme Regis, Dorset: Russell House Publishing.
- Teater, B. (2014). An Introduction to Applying Social Work Theories and Methods.(2nd ed.). Maidenhead, England:Open University Press, McGraw Hill Education.
- Thompson, N. (2010). Theorizing Social Work Practice. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Thompson, N. (2011). Crisis Intervention. Lyme Regis, Dorset: Russell House Publishing Ltd.
- Turner, F.J. (Ed.). (1996). Social Work Treatment:Interlocking Theoretical Approaches. New York: The Free Press.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: Entry qualifications for the Master of Social Work

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Case Study (Take Home) SEM2 Yes 80%
Presentation SEM2 No 20%

LECTURER/S Zanya Marcelle Bugre
Maureen Cole (Co-ord.)
Marceline Naudi
Holger Saliba

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.