Successful Application of Theory to a Placement Case

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An important aspect of social work is expert knowledge (Walker, 2012) and application of theory to practice, supported through research evidence (Dunk-West, 2013). In addition, the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF, The College of Social Work, 2012) outlines the expectations of social workers in the UK. As a student social worker, the PCF governs my development and practicing the application of theory is a critical stage in learning. To facilitate this application, I am placed with Southwark Council. Southwark has recently started an organisational restructure, incorporating Reclaiming Social Work (Forrester et al. 2013) and coining it “Social Work Matters” (Southwark Council, 2014), see Appendix A. As part of this structure, student social workers are given the opportunity to work with and reflect on active cases and apply theory to the placement work. This essay will demonstrate the successful application of theory to a placement case, which has been included in Appendix A, fully anonymised. The Walker family’s brief background and presenting needs have been outlined and will be referred to throughout. The social work process will inform the structure of this essay – assessment, deciding on outcomes and planning, intervention and finally evaluation (Howe, 2002).The relevance of the chosen theory will be considered in relation to the above steps in the process and strengths and weaknesses will be evaluated. In order to address all these points in a meaningful way within this process this essay will consider a combination of theory and method. To clarify, ”Theory helps to predict or describe a particular phenomenon” (Teater, 2010: 2) hence being particularly useful in the assessment or evaluation states. The Walker ... ... middle of paper ... ... the use of stimulant medications’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(1-2), pp. 180-193. Teater, B. (2010), Introduction to Applying Social Work Theories and Methods. Maidenhead: Open University Press. The College of Social Work (2012), Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), Available at (Accessed 20 March 2014). Ugazio, V., Fellin, L., Pennacchio, R., Negri, A. and Colciago, F. (2012), ‘Is systemic thinking really extraneous to common sense?’, Journal of Family Therapy, 34(1), pp. 53-71. Walker, S. (2012), Effective social work with children, young people and families putting systems theory into practice. London: SAGE. Woods, K., Bond, C., Humphrey, N., Symes, W. and Green, L. (2011), Systematic review of solution focused brief therapy with children and families: brief. London: Department for Education.
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