Essay on Critical Evaluation Of A Social Work

Essay on Critical Evaluation Of A Social Work

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Critical Social Work practice is an ideological framework that bridges the gap between a dichotomous approach, in which there is struggle between delivering services to the individual or targeting social structures (Salas et al., 2010, p. 91). A practitioner analyzes both the macro and micro levels to determine the best course of action (Hayden, 2016). York University uses critical social work as their framework to avoid a dichotomous practice by presenting an innovative mission statement which is in align with the theory’s principles shaping the profession.
Critical theory consists of six components which include the following: historical context of the situation, power distribution, self- reflection, non-judgemental inquiry, acknowledgement of values and taking action (Salas et al., 2010, p. 95).
An understanding of the historical context helps to create better understanding of the situation. York’s School of Social Work believes “through research, curriculum and critical pedagogy the school will develop a critical appreciation of the social construction of reality” (York University, 2016, p. 1). Reality is constructed through subjective experiences of individuals and objective experiences of society. The treatment of Indigenous people in Canada was an act of social injustice. From society’s perspective, the ‘specialized’ treatment helped to ease their transition in assimilating into the Canadian culture. Through the Indian Act, it was and still is today, social legislation that regulates the lives of Indigenous peoples, including government’s guardianship over Indian lands, and controlling the process of enfranchisement (Hicks and Stokes, 2016, p. 27.6) The government was not critically conscious, in which they lacked knowl...


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...t in policies, which creates oppression. These charity visitors failed to be able to show elements of critical consciousness, in which they were biased due to the class system, and in return be critical reflective; to be able to put themselves in the disadvantaged shoe’s. Hence, at times the critical theory does have its flaws despite its dominant use in social work.
All in all, social work is a dynamic profession. One must consider their practice from both a micro to macro perspective, in order to avoid having dichotomy. York’s School of Social work aims to do so through the presentation of an innovative mission statement that aligns with the principles of Critical Theory. Each of the six principles are considered with the history and values, both in and out of the profession. It aids in building a framework that ensures commitment to advocate social injustices.

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