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Free Sample Term Paper on System Theory in Social Work


People worldwide interact with social workers in offices, homes, or facilities like residential care homes, group work centers, or day centers. What is the most excellent method for persons who utilize social worker services to understand what is going on? How will the social worker decide what to do, and how will they be notified? Many statements on social work are general or utopian, with no indication of what should happen when social work is undertaken. Nonetheless, social workers must understand and carry out their responsibilities. They rely on practice theories to do so, which dictate what social workers should do when practicing. In this term paper, we will discuss the most popular systems theory social work utilizes today.


Feminist Practice

Feminist ideas enrich social work by emphasizing the need to recognize and react to women’s oppression throughout cultures. This is critical since women are the primary users of social services in most countries. Also, women make up the bulk of social workers and careers. Consequently, feminist viewpoints allow everybody – not just women – to comprehend how their societal functions and place in society are played out. Specifically, they permit the mainstream of female communal employees and their customers to cohesion with one another’s worldviews (Payne, 2014). Equal rights exercise offers strategies and abilities for joint discourse and group work to raise awareness of challenges that affect females in their social associations across cultures.

To a great extent, feminist philosophy deals with how men’s assumptions impact women and their social connections in many aspects of life. According to opponents, feminism in social work excludes males and confines women’s matters to a ghetto. This critique similarly indicates that, by deteriorating to advance generalist philosophies of rehearsal based on equality ideals, feminism has become invisible by limiting feminist work to issues of interest to women. Postmodern, black, socialist, radical, and liberal feminisms – all take different approaches to how oppression affects women (Payne, 2014). Feminist ideology in social work heightened anxieties for females’ situations, established a female-centered system, stressed women’s distinct identity and voice, and fêted women’s diversity. Feminist practice, in particular, is concerned with women’s capabilities and responsibilities in juvenile maintenance, their participation in the expansion or reproduction of economic and social structures, and the need for more equitable personal relationships.

Women’s Rights Communal Work Theory and Training is a one-of-a-kind contribution since it offers a detailed exposition of an operational viewpoint on equality notion with practical consequences. While including comprehensive theoretical analyses and describing women’s concerns in communal labor, previous declarations do not contain more current advancements in postmodern women’s rights thought (Payne, 2014).

According to Payne, feminist research and analysis technique based on data acquired via interviews with feminist women fosters a sense of collective effort in two ways. First, over the discussion, an outward course in which females deliberate on matters in equal relationships. And second, over interaction, an internal procedure in which individuals reason out divergent and dissimilar thoughts in their minds to custom the origins of their actions, reviews, and decisions.

Debates over feminist philosophy reflect present gender disparities and attitudes toward women and feminism. According to feminism, women are oppressed by societal institutions and interactions that favor males and male social aims while undervaluing and excluding women and women’s perspectives on civilization (Payne, 2014). As a result, females, predominantly those with lower economic or social status, are subjugated. Because coercion stems from injustices caused by gender inequalities, it is essential to understand how repression brands it more problematic for womanhood to attain their goals and enjoy their lives. As a result, intervening in the fight and altering tyranny becomes more difficult.

The critique of blatantly implementing feminist philosophy overlooks equally significant concerns that this might disproportionately impact males. It’s also conceivable that it overlooks the impact of gender disparities on men’s worries. Furthermore, focusing on women’s concerns may deter males from participating. While it is an egalitarianism critique of several nations that women are expected to proceed on compassionate duties and social connection administration in households and society, no systematic attempt has been made in social work to involve males in the family and communal attention. However, there is an indication that when men are asked to play a caring role, particularly in close relationships, they do so. For example, an investigation of men’s overhaul for spouses with unadorned disabilities and a debate of males’ compassionate part in civic maintenance facilities in general (Payne, 2014). Detractors argue that feminist ideas miss crucial chances to alter gender relations and duties to benefit both sexes by focusing on women. Feminist theory social work, on the other hand, demonstrates systemic gender inequity, as well as the repercussions of women’s exploitation and abuse, as well as the disregard of their needs. As a result, some males are sympathetic to women’s issues and participate in “pro-feminist” thinking.

Feminist philosophy is significant since most social work is done by women who cooperate with other women. Furthermore, in several countries, females are disproportionately pretentious by scarceness and additional socioeconomic shortcomings. Contrary to popular belief, women might be the primary beneficiaries of communal assistance merely under specific prosperity regimes. Because males are denoted for collaborative effort while seeking economic remunerations in various Nordic well-being schemes where collective action is linked to the joint safety coordination, societal labor with men is easier to come by (Payne, 2014). It’s also conceivable that the emphasis on women stems from practitioners’ preference or easiness in dealing with female family members over males. Given contemporary cultural norms, social services placement throughout the day, including domestic visits, household attention concerns such as juvenile upkeep, and attention for fragile aging individuals, place the focus on females.

Feminism has lengthy antiquity dating back further than a century. The primary surge of feminist engagement, which lasted until the 1930s, sought legal and political privileges (Payne, 2014). The subsequent movement of feminism, which arose in the 1960s, concerned how persisting disparities in employment, political power, and the public domain were related to attitudes about females in the isolated scope, particularly relational associations. Some individuals correspondingly discourse a “third wave,” a repercussion to feminist ideas that will need continuous efforts to sustain advances toward gender equality. This reaction may be classified as a post-feminist period. In these views, fairness is an impossible, illusory objective and has supplanted coordinated actions that target freeing females from male control and masculine stereotypes. According to this viewpoint, emancipation has damaged numerous womanly benefits and aspirations, such as the capacity to use female attractiveness for social benefits or the option to choose full-time motherhood overworking.

Psychodynamic Practice

Psychodynamic principles are distinct in communal labor since they stress the significance of the public’s moods and inner fights in generating and solving hitches. They are considered a reliable source of practical ideas (Payne, 2014). Throughout history, they have had a significant impact on social work systems theory and practice, helping to emphasize people’s emotional responses to their shared setting as the foundation of individual and communal concerns. As a result, the psychodynamic approach exemplifies how social work’s problem-solving objective of aiding individuals in adapting to their surroundings supports the current social order.

In contrast, a growing body of evidence shows that most psychotherapy and counseling types, in which practitioners follow a practice model, effectively treat a broad spectrum of people. An increasing amount of data supports theory-based attachment practices and some practice methods developed from relational and attachment theories (Payne, 2014). Furthermore, it has been noted that the core principles of psychological and social work practice affect one another, leading to approximately equivalent eclectic types of training. This is illustrated by linking short-term ego psychology in psychodynamic treatment with some components of cognitive-behavioral therapy and other service delivery approaches employed by modern organizations. This demonstrates the importance of psychodynamic theory in social work. It provides a broad set of interpretive notions to help practitioners better grasp what is going on in their clients’ brains in their everyday work.

The second major issue with psychodynamic philosophy is prioritizing emotional problems and treatments above community and societal clarifications and solutions. That is, external influences are weighted less heavily than emotional ones within the individual. This limits the variety of treatments available to social workers and compels them to start with a more limited set of assumptions (Payne, 2014). Psychodynamic theories are indifferent about social reform, leaving a large chunk of social work untouched.

As a result of this psychological emphasis, other theoretical difficulties emerge, such as the tendency to blame individuals for what has happened to them. Social construction theory refers to this phenomenon as “victim-blaming.” Individuals are blamed in psychological theory for individual events and their causes, although many issues people encounter are created by societal circumstances. For example, psychological methods may persuade you to assume that jobless individuals are lazy and haven’t attempted to find employment; that a criminal is fundamentally amoral; or that a negligent parent is disorganized or wicked. These people should be able to change themselves with some help by putting more effort into schooling or changing their views.

On the other hand, the psychological paradigm may lead to a more medical style of thinking in which the individual’s illness is caused by poor or inadequate mental functioning (Payne, 2014). As a result, alcoholism and drug misuse are regarded as disorders that must be treated rather than a person’s reaction to social circumstances. Because financial recessions generate joblessness, and sociocultural factors such as scarcity and a lack of learning donate to compulsion, lawbreaking, and domestic glitches, these are oversimplified representations of the issues. Not every individual affected by these difficulties is entirely at fault for their situation, and their psychological functioning is unlikely to be the primary source of the problem, on which we should focus our remedies.

In addition to social ones, individual psychological variables may be essential because not everyone reacts to social pressures differently. Furthermore, psychodynamic theory social work branches, like attachment, relational, and object relations theories, are social because they see people’s life issues as emerging from psychological and social interactions. The problem is that practitioners and specific approaches usually overemphasize the individual aspect because this is the primary role of social workers in many programs, mainly when working with persons who have mental illnesses and are mentally disturbed. These theories provide us with ideas to work with as we address these crucial challenges.

Crisis and Task-Centered Practice

Crisis intervention and task-centered practice are critical in social work. They provide a brief, coordinated intervention models that target identified difficulties that will respond to active efforts to resolve them. This emphasis on common concepts such as clearly stated positive goals and action sequences makes them easy to understand and implement (Payne, 2014). These practice approaches respect and engages clients’ commitment by emphasizing the significant problems clients have identified for themselves, essential for the professional working alliance and human rights shared value principles. Both methods are practical and easy to justify in busy social organizations, and there is evidence for their value, particularly in task-centered practice.

Crisis Intervention

American textbooks combine psychology, psychiatry, and social work, reflecting the theory’s historical roots in the mental health professions. They also illustrate that the predicament model is used in crisis exercise situations such as rape crisis teams and disaster mental health in the United States. The most authoritative and comprehensive statement from a social work source is Roberts’ (2005a) Crisis Intervention Handbook. This vast collection goes into great depth on a wide range of topics and is less concerned with the underlying philosophy. Like Roberts, James’ Crisis Intervention Strategies is a well-regarded single-authored psychiatric work containing substantial material on specialized issues (Payne, 2014) where a psychologist provides tried-and-true practical guidance based on systemic theory in social work.

The primary distinction between these techniques is their focus on short-term and coordinated intervention initiatives. Criticisms are leveled because the comprehensive efficacy of both practice models in agencies may obscure the fact that they are unproductive in other respects. Because of the organized character of therapies and their short-term focus, these models are not the first choice for dealing with chronic debilitating crises and long-term psychological issues or providing long-term care services (Payne, 2014). They can be utilized to get outcomes when a specific problem or situation arises, such as coping with long-term diseases or aging frailty. Supportive work, service provision, longer-term attempts to effect change, or longer-term monitoring to prevent deterioration or risk will almost always be necessary for such instances.

Furthermore, neither technique works with those who refuse to acknowledge the right of the worker or the agency to assist them. Many social workers are drawn to these models because they appear simple, yet they may oversimplify people’s complexities. Because of their organized character and emphasis on “crisis” and “task,” the models may represent social issues in behavioral terms and according to the practitioner’s expectations (Payne, 2014). As a result, practitioners may miss more significant social problems and structural flaws that have worsened the crisis. Their structure and clarity, on the other hand, may aid practitioners in handling a complicated issue. When people cannot focus on critical concerns, such as clients with learning impairments, or when they have little dedication to the intervention, such as criminals or drug addicts, the short duration may be beneficial.

The second shared value principle suggests that social work tends to be sharper, more concentrated than psychodynamic treatment’s long-term, non-directive, insight-giving techniques. This trend, however, has been called into doubt. The theory’s emphasis on emotional responses might be viewed as a benefit since it gives direction for coping with them. According to Payne, brief, targeted treatments necessitate changes to conventional interviews and psychodynamic theory-based practice approaches (Payne, 2014). For example, if you want to establish a relationship quickly, you must first make a friendly and intelligent impression. It’s also essential to stay focused on the present and possible solutions rather than get mired down in the particulars of issues and their histories. For the time being, practitioners focus on resolving specific problems rather than seeking a broad “cure.”

On the other hand, both theories seek to achieve the goal of problem-solving in social work by establishing a customizing affiliation with users who are being pickled according to a curative prototypical. Difficulties are addressed as sicknesses, and the communal employee’s job is to resolve them unbiased as the medic’s work is to treat bodily conditions. Predicament mediation, which has a stronger psychodynamic foundation, focuses more on sensitive reactions and illogical or insensible conduct than task-centered treatment, indicating that customers are more reasonable. However, the cognitive-behavioral practice has influenced both paradigms, resulting in a change in short practice using either paradigm toward a higher cognitive approach. For example, Payne gives a comprehensive review of crisis intervention, focusing on cognitive behavioral theory social work and methods.

A more balanced approach to crisis intervention theory would highlight the creation of support networks to avoid or resolve crises (Payne, 2014). According to crisis theory, clients may not be ready to focus on long-term concerns until a problem has been fixed. Payne expresses the worry over a failure to acknowledge cultural and familial settings and socioeconomic inequalities. These justifications might likewise be used to justify the task-centered practice. In both situations, the liberal or neoliberal political philosophy and social order worldview represent problem-solving as a social work aim.

However, it is feasible to adapt theories, particularly task-centered practice, to emphasize the family or community, and some study has been conducted on this. It doesn’t seem weird for them to confine their perspective to a specific issue in someone’s life because their goal is to be concise and focused. Clients can, of course, prepare for such difficulties by creating family and community supports as part of the crisis resolution process or by delegating responsibility for providing such help. Most social work is focused on individual problem-solving, and these approaches are well-suited to that purpose.

Cognitive-Behavioral Practice

The most significant involvement of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) philosophies to the communal effort are that they accentuate the need to improve commons’ coherent behavior and comprehend the cause of their hitches better (Payne, 2014). CBT theory-based practice focuses on controlling and changing commons’ behavior to address communal issues that touch on them. CBT was built on two major theoretical strands: behaviorism, which was supported by learning and social learning theory, and cognitive theory in social work, which is now considered a single treatment style.

It isn’t easy to locate modern literature from a social work source that theorizes CBT social work practice for three reasons. First, CBT practice is now such an essential component of EBP that general introductory books from this perspective, such as those by Payne, sometimes include key CBT characteristics without expressly conceiving CBT practice. The second point is that CBT is a form of counseling and clinical psychology theory used in mental health and other clinical social work settings. Because social workers may rely on general CBT literature if they work in these fields, a text-oriented specifically for social work is less required than it once was. Furthermore, to be effective, many methods are customized to specific client groups. The well-regarded social work text is an edited anthology covering various mental health concerns rather than a comprehensive theorization. This leads to the third argument: many books are appropriate to specific health and social care sectors. They may be used by all professionals working in those disciplines, including social workers.

Because CBT lies at the center of the EBP debate, it is riddled with disagreement. One of the most prominent claims for CBT’s efficacy is that it has the best and oldest investigated database. Still, one of its primary critiques is that it has limitations, particularly in terms of having a broad viewpoint on social work practice (Payne, 2014). The main area of contention is whether its emphasis on identifying and resolving specific flaws in the client’s behavior only works with a limited number of challenges, primarily mental health concerns. While there are many indications for its usefulness in this zone, it arises at the expense of concentrating on and possibly intensifying difficulties rather than constructively observing at powers and aims, as the strong point and solution-focused approach advice. Because of its focus on problems, CBT is incompatible with the shared value notion of achieving reasonable goals. On the other hand, CBT puts a strong emphasis on outcomes, including the forward-looking part of the shared value principles.

Furthermore, such practices are unrelated to the vast range of services provided by most social service organizations to their consumers. Examining a collection of well-conducted review articles that show the efficacy of CBT for mental diseases, such as anxiety, phobias, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, may help you see the evidence. Citing several scientific evaluations of CBT, which focuses on psychological difficulties. CBT narratives that highlight social work responsibilities may be found in broader but less well-studied descriptions (Payne, 2014).


Because many communities and organizations are under stress due to the effects of population movement caused by an increasingly global economy and refugee migrations, anti-oppressive and intercultural sensitivity is advantageous. Furthermore, attitudes toward women, the disabled, and people of different sexual orientations have evolved, making present power systems less courteous and accommodating. These theoretical perspectives assist in analyzing and responding to societal issues. Practitioners have also benefitted from black and other oppressed groups’ viewpoints and intercultural understanding when employing knowledge on various minority ethnic groups, women, disabled people, and the elderly in social relationships. Anti-oppressive beliefs assist other social work approaches as well. They contribute to critical theory by examining the many causes of group oppression and the formation of inequalities and divides in society. Therefore, they provide a more compelling explanation of the issues that critical practice must face.

The theory I prefer most is the psychodynamic practice. It emphasizes oppression as it raised critical societal problems that leaned heavily on and made considerable use of critical theory. They expose the inadequacies in many psychological and individualistic social work theories when dealing with prejudice and the challenges that minority groups and women confront in today’s society. They give a framework for understanding these concerns. As a result, the sociological underpinning of social work is strengthened. The perspectives of oppressed and black people do not allow for an utterly structured reply. They demand that the needs and demands of oppressed groups be taken seriously in all of their variety, and they reject to accept a single structural explanation for oppression. Regardless, services and workers must respond to the widespread sense of tyranny. Methods of multicultural sensitivity and those of black and oppressed people oppose labeling all group members as oppressed in favor of a more diversified, nuanced understanding of their needs. Sensitive multiple responses will be required, but structural analyses of power will be critical in identifying the appropriate reply.


Payne, M. (2014). Modern Social Work Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, 4th Ed. 1-373.

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