Social work has seen four approaches that has change the profession. Each one has had some large impact to the field of social work with every new approach building off the last. Each approached with similarities and differences. The approaches are traditional practice approach, multimethod practice approach, generalist practice approach, and specialist practice approaches.
The first approach was traditional methods. There are five practice methods: social cases, community organization, social group work, administration, and research (Sheafor, Morales, & Scott, 2012, p. 42). At this time in social work, all five were almost its own disciplines and professions. The first practice was social cases, and over the next two decades the other practices were created. Simpler to case-studies we see today; however, social cases were heavy influenced with Freudian psychotherapy, as most helping professions did in the 1920s and 1930s. With the influence of Freud’s theories, social cases primary focus was on the client or the family that caused problem, and lesser on the social context of the person’s life being part of the problem (Sheafor et al., 2012, p. 42-43).
The next approach in social work is the multimethod practice approach. The multimethod practice was almost a reaction to the problems with social work profession. This approach wanted to unify all five practices into one practice for social workers (Sheafor et al., 2012, p. 43). This was a great idea because social workers are going to deal with multiple levels, not just research or therapy, etc. The multimethod practice approach tried to unify the profession by educating students who were entering the field. As it showed some promise, it was not very suc...
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...tional methods were. There is also similarities between multimethod practice approach and generalist approach. Both of these approaches want social work to be one huge profession were every social worker does all aspects of the profession, and have all the basic same skills as any other social work would. All but traditional practice approaches teach all the methods at least the undergraduate level so that all social workers are have a bases of each when they enter the field; however, as the more education a social worker receives, the more specialized the training and education becomes. Finally, social work today takes from both generalist and specialist approaches as bases for the whole field, something traditional and multimethod could not. Generalist approach unifies every social work and specialize approach lets social workers work in unique and in-depth areas.
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