Learning Outcome 1

Running head: LEARNING OUTCOME 1 1
Learning Outcome 1
Learning Outcome 1
Theories refer to specific sets of interrelated constructs and concepts that offer a framework
for the discernment of how and why things work of fail to work. Models are recommendation
based upon theories that offer direction and guidance for practitioners while approaches are less
prescribed (Gehlert & Browne, 2011, p. 126). Put differently, theories provide the instruments
for contemplate problems or needs while approaches and models provide guidelines for
interventions and actions. Community Waitakere is a charitable organization whose vision is to
ensure a sustainable Waitekere with flourishing, prosperous, and connected communities. In a
human services agency such as Community Waitakere, which is a registered charity, the staff
and volunteers, as well as the concerned members of the community all come together within
this setting. Their interaction and relations plays an important role in determining whether the
organization operates as a system or simply as an incongruent collection of parts. While the
pursuit is social justice will likely endure to be both a challenge and a mirage, a practice model
for the initiation of change within the community and the organization demonstrates how various
theories may occasion specific actions.
The person-in-environment perspective, also known as the psychosocial, person-in-situation,
or biopsychosocial perspective, has been the fundamental organizing focus of approaches in
social work profession (Cowles, 2012, p. 12). This approach emphasizes the interdependence of
individuals within social networks, the community, and the larger environment. From the
inception of social work, the profession has drawn from several disciplines such as sociology,
biology, psychology, anthropology, political science, and economics in informing its theoretical
base. With time, it has endeavored, with more or less levels of success, to create to create data
from these different disciplines to develop theory and practice models reflecting its traditional
twin focus, which include improving social conditions and enhancing the biopsychosocial
functioning of groups and individuals.
One theory that appears to have significant relevance to the operations of Community
Waitakere is the systems theory, which contends that any entity, whether a community, an
organization, or a group is made up of multiple entities. An organization such as Community
Waitakere can be best discerned as a system with interwoven components and certain principles
that help in understanding the system. The system needs resources to function effectively, and
these come in the form of knowledge, equipment, funding, legitimacy, and people. These
resources interact with the entire system thereby leading to the desired outcome (Hepworth &
Larsen, 2009, p. 18). The community served by the Community Waitakere is not a single system
but a network of systems in which formal and informal individuals and groups interact. Given
the d multifariousness among various groups and subgroups, the community has a wide range of
functional and structural possibilities that do not adhere to a centralized objective.
In an organizational setting, systems approach discloses the difficulty involved in recognizing
several groups such as clerical staff, professional staff, the board, management, funding sources,
clients, and the wider community that all have various stakes in the activities if the organization
and the people it serves. Such a theoretical perspective serves to remind the practitioners that
organizations are multipart systems set in larger community systems, and interact on a daily
basis. Values, which refer to the principles and norms that the members of a social system regard
as essential, are key to social work practice. Values are somewhat similar to theories in the sense
that they offer frameworks within which situations can be understood and analyzed. Because
codes of ethics act as guidelines for social work professional practice, it is important to be
familiar with the content and inadequacies of written codes.
Matauranga Maori models or theories may be defined as the comprehension, understanding,
or knowledge of all visible an invisible things in the universe and is frequently in a synonymous
manner with wisdom. In the modern world, the definition often extends to present day local,
historic, and traditional knowledge, aspirations, goals, systems of knowledge storage and
transfer, as well as other issues that are considered from an indigenous perspective. Community
Waitakere has been involved in several collaborative programs that involve considerable aspects
of mātauranga Maori, including programs that relate to Maori values for land use, sustainable
development, and ecosystem health. The Maori are increasingly looking for ways that can assist
them in building capacity and developing frameworks through which they can manage their own
Psychological theories also extensively influence the assessment and intervention with
individual clients by Community Waitakere. Psychodynamic theory is concerned with the
manner in which internal processes such as drives, emotions, and needs motivate human actions.
Emotions play a key role in behavior of individuals (Goldstein, 2010, p. 4). Conscious, as well as
unconscious mental activity acts as a motivating factor in influencing human behavior. It is
important to note that early childhood experiences are key in defining an individual’s emotions
and are central important to the problems of living. Individuals often employ ego defense
mechanisms in avoiding being overwhelmed by external or internal demands. Understanding the
professional task, as well as mission of social work that incorporates macro interventions and
values the practitioners tasked with performing roles is central to understanding why macro
practice is essential. Fundamentally, social workers are entrusted with a mission of being able to
intercede with an individual service recipient, followed by an expert move into a larger system
that will have an impact on the lives of many individuals. Correspondingly, the person-is-
political approach emphasizes the idea that individuals cannot be observed as separate from the
society. The actions of individuals have an effect on the people around them and can have
extensive implications for others within the community or organization.
In discussing the application of the systems model to the organization’s practice, a long-term
homelessness case example has been discussed. Community Waitakere assigned a social worker
to coordinate the efforts of key community stakeholders in addressing the problem of long-term
homelessness. The stakeholders were part of a team sponsored by the local government to
address problems associated the problems of chronic homelessness for individuals with
disabilities. In the process, Community Waitakere, through the assigned social worker, elected to
address the problem through a pilot community. The social worker was tasked with developing a
housing first model project in the community. This model refers to an invention in homeless
services that is different from the conventional treatment first model (Rosenberger, 2014, p.
275). It assumes that homeless people need the permanence of stable housing to succeed.
Conversely, treatment first models presuppose that homeless people need services to make them
ready for housing.
Participants in the program, as well as the various stakeholders, had undeniable support that
housing first models were a promising practice in reducing long-term homelessness, as well as
the costs associated with homelessness in several cities across New Zealand. They decided to
concentrate their pilot endeavors on long-term homelessness among individuals with austere and
persistent mental illness. Following the creation of a steering committee and the identification of
Community Waitakere to implement the pilot program, the committee identified a social worker
to spearhead the efforts. This professional was appointed to coordinate a project that was initially
developed by an alliance of community stakeholders. His practice background gave him the
requisite knowledge in understanding issues regarding homelessness and mental health.
However, his role in the coordination of the community effort required a profusion of reflection.
This illustrates the systems theory in which both the community and the organization, in this case
the Community Waitakere, is made of several entities or interwoven components that needs
resources in the form of knowledge, funding, and people to function effectively.
Contemporary social work practice has its roots on the many social movements during the
nineteenth century, as well as two relatively discrete perspectives with respect to the origins of
human problems. These include perspectives that saw the people as the focus for change, as well
as that viewed problems that existed in the human environment as a contributing factor to human
distress. Systems theory is important in guiding the planned change model. Social workers with
skills in macro practice are responsible for developing strong and robust support systems, find
means of accomplishing self-care, channel energies, prioritize their efforts, and utilize their
discernment of macro systems in cooperating with others to effect the necessary changes in the
Cowles, L. A. (2012). Social Work in the Health Field: A Care Perspective. Hoboken, NJ:
Taylor and Francis.
Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (2011). Handbook of Health Social Work. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Goldstein, E. G. (2010). Object Relations Theory and Self Psychology in Social Work Practice.
New York, NY: Free Press.
Hepworth, D. H., & Larsen, J. A. (2009). Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills. Pacific
Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Rosenberger, J. B. (2014). Relational Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations: A
Relational Approach. New York, NY: Springer.

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