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View metadata, citation and similar papers at to you byCOREprovided by Stellenbosch University SUNScholar RepositoryINTRODUCTION TOSOCIAL WORKLambert K EngelbrechtLanzo

ISBN 0 620 23567 5Copyright L K Engelbrecht, 1999All rights strictly reservedTranslated by D T ConwayPublished by Lanzo, P O Box 790, WellingtonPrinted and bound by National Book Printers, GoodwoodCover design by Maximilian, De Waterkant, Cape TownNo part of this book may be reproduced by any means, mechanical orelectronic, including recording and photocopying, without the prior writtenpermission of the author, except reasonable quotations as determined by theCopyright Act.

For Riana

PREFACEThis book provides an insight: the capacity of understandinghidden truths (The Concise Oxford Dictionary). This implies thatthe nature and dynamics of contemporary social work in SouthAfrica is defined in terms of a developmentally orientatedparadigm, so as to adapt to existing tendencies and perspectives.Because the total field of social work is so comprehensive, onlyan overview of this insight will be provided.The lack of recent South African literature that reflects therealities of the South African welfare situation, is what inspiredthe writing of this book. This book is aimed primarily at socialwork students (particularly first year), however practitioners willalso be able to use it as a useful reference book. For this reason acomplete list of the most recent reference works is providedthroughout the book. This is also the reason for the simple,compact format and layout, to ensure that it is an easy, useful andpractical textbook to have close at hand.In order to conceptualise the latest developments in the SouthAfrican welfare field, a variety of neologisms (word creations)have been used. For this purpose the New Dictionary of SocialWork (Terminology Committee for Social Work 1995) has beenan important source of reference throughout. In the same context,to eliminate tautology (unnecessary repetition), the term ”client”refers, throughout the book, to the individual, group andcommunity and is used together with other terms in the samesense to refer to all three primary social work methods (casework,group work and community work). The terms “social worker” and“worker” are used interchangeably.The content included in this book is based on practice,supervision and lecturing experiences (particularly to first year

IIstudents who are introduced to the field of social work) as well asfrom a thorough study of, mainly recent, primary and secondaryliterature. In light of this, the style of this book is not that of acompilation work, as the facts have been compiled from a varietyof different literature, but has been supplemented by independentand original thoughts. The personal opinions and content of thisbook are therefore subject to debate, but it is the very intention ofthis book: to contribute to the development of contemporarySouth African theory.The writing of this book was both a great challenge and apleasure. It is hoped that the reader will find it stimulating and bemotivated to render the best possible service to the client.Lambert K Engelbrecht

IIITABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER 1The competent social worker1CHAPTER 2The social work domain in South Africa12CHAPTER 3Social work history and policy37CHAPTER 4Values in social work49CHAPTER 5Cross-cultural social work61CHAPTER 6Communication in social work69CHAPTER 7The theoretical and practice paradigm of social work86CHAPTER 8Approaches in social work103CHAPTER 9The intervention process in social work118CHAPTER 10Intervention techniques in social work130

IVCHAPTER 11Intervention roles in social work141CHAPTER 12The intervention methods in social work148

VCONTENTS IN DETAIL1.THE COMPETENT SOCIAL WORKER1Knowledge base, value base and skill base of thecompetent social worker4The personality of the competent social worker6love of people / emotional maturity / selfawareness / interpersonal communicationabilities / empathic understanding / eager tolearn / assertiveness / perseverance / responsibility / optimism / enthusiasm / spontaneity /goodwill / open-hearted / sincerity / creativity /adaptable / discretion / energetic / leadership potential2.THE SOCIAL WORK DOMAIN IN SOUTHAFRICA12Why social work?13What is social welfare?15What is social work?15What are the goals of social work?17How are the goals of social work achieved?19Who does social work?24What is the knowledge base of social work?25

VI3.4.Who is the social worker’s client?26What is the nature of social problems andneeds?30What is the fields of service in social work?32What institutions render social work services?33What is the status of social work?34SOCIAL WORK HISTORY AND POLICY37The history of social work37Social policypolicy / welfare policy / social work policy /social policy / the policy making process41The implications of the history of south africansocial work for policy44VALUES IN SOCIAL WORK49Definition of value orientated terms50Religion and values51Culture and values53Levels of values54

VIIProfessional values of social work55belief in the potential of people / affirminghuman dignity / acceptance / non-judgemental /individualising / right to self-determination /self-help / address real needs / involvement with others/ partnership / responsible change /meeting on own level / confidentiality / controlled emotional involvement5.Social ethics58CROSS-CULTURAL SOCIAL WORK61Conceptualisation of cross-cultural social workculture / multicultural / cross-cultural social work62Cultural diversity63Cultural perceptions64Attitude of the social worker in cross-cultural socialwork656.Culturally friendly social work67COMMUNICATION IN SOCIAL WORK69Conceptualising communication69The purpose of communication71Types of communication71

VIIICharacteristics of communication73A few aspects which influence communicationthe self / perception / active listening / attending /culture75Non-verbal communication76functions of non-verbal communication / types of nonverbal communication / barriers to nonverbal communication in social work interventionVerbal communication79characteristics of verbal communication /categories of verbal communication / barriersto verbal communication in social work intervention7.Communication by means of interpreters82Written communication in social workfunctions of report writing / guidelines forwritten communication / types of reports83THE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICEPARADIGM OF SOCIAL WORK86Conceptualising theorytheory and models / theory and practice /viewing the theory / types of theory / value oftheory for social work / theoretical perspectiveof social work87The ecological systems theory perspectivehuman ecology / systems theory91

IXOperationalisation of the ecological systemstheoryperspective / social functioning / stressor /levels of human functioning / person / behaviour /environment8.94APPROACHES IN SOCIAL WORK103Definition of approaches104Selecting an approach105The psychoanalytic approachrationale for the psychoanalytic approach /definitions of a few terms which are ofimportance to social work108The behaviour modification approachrationale for the behaviour modificationapproach110The client centred approachrationale for the client centred approach /definitions of a few terms which are ofimportance to social work112The task centred approachrationale for the task centred approach114The problem solving approachrationale for the problem solving approach115The empowerment approachrationale for the empowerment approach116

X9.THE INTERVENTION PROCESS IN SOCIALWORK118A few suppositions regarding the interventionprocess119Phase I: Exploration, assessment and planning 121establishing rapport / exploring the client’ssituation / formulating a multidimensional assessment /motivating the client / referral and matching clientswith appropriate resources and systems / negotiatinggoals and formulating a contract10.Phase II: Implementation and goal attainmentenhancing self-efficacy / monitoring the intervention / obstacles to goal attainment / reactionresulting from the worker-client relationship /enhancing the client’s self-awareness / the socialworker’s use of self125Phase III: Termination and evaluationfeelings which arise in response to termination /planning for sustainability after termination /evaluating results127INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES IN SOCIALWORK130A few suppositions with regard to theintervention techniques in social workDistinguishing appropriate intervention131

XItechniques in social work11.132INTERVENTION ROLES IN SOCIAL WORK 141Suppositions with regard to intervention roles142Distinguishing appropriate intervention roles insocial work14412.THE INTERVENTION METHODS IN SOCIALWORK148The link between the primary social workmethods148The integrated application of the interventionmethods150The intervention methods and the future ofsocial work in South Africa151

1CHAPTER 1THE COMPETENT SOCIAL WORKERThere is something I don't knowthat I am supposed to know.I don't know what it is I don't know,and yet am supposed to know,and I feel I look stupidif I seem both not to know itand not know what it is I don't know.Therefore I pretend I know it.This is nerve-rackingsince I don't know what I must pretend to know.(Laing)These feelings of uncertainty in Laing's words are probably quitefamiliar to many a social work student and practitioner alike.Zastrow (1989:308) points out that these feelings are not uniquenor are they a secret, as it is common for people in helpingrelationships to feel this way. In this regard Smalley in Fox(1993:1) explains as follows: "Any beginning, any newunderstanding in life causes simultaneous feelings of hope andfear.” The social work student and practitioner who wishes tomake a difference in people‟s lives through the rendering of socialwork services, is therefore confronted with conflicting emotions.Vinik & Levin (1991:59) highlight the fact that social workersthat want to make a difference should rather focus on that whichthey can do as apposed to that which they cannot do.Brammer(1993:29) takes this idea further by emphasising that theperson him/herself is an important instrument through whichintervention occurs.

2If people themselves are used as instruments to render assistanceto others, it implies that, that person must possess certainexpertise in order to help others. It is probably the social workstudent and practitioner‟s uncertainty regarding their competencythat gives rise to the aforementioned conflicting emotions. Adler& Rodman (1994:19-21) define communication in the sense ofcompetency. Since communication is central to social work and isthe medium through which help is provided, communication,from a social work perspective, can for these purposes beregarded as part of the expertise required of the social worker.The said authors‟ view being competent as follows:*there is no ideal form of competency - one set of expertiseis not necessarily superior to another;*competency is determined by the situation - expertisewhich have proven to be successful in one situation, mayfail in another situation;*attitude is a dimension of competency - in most cases asocial worker is regarded as competent if the use ofhis/her expertise contributes to a satisfied attitude on thepart of all participants;*to be competent is something that can be learned - it is notnecessarily inborn and can be acquired and developedover time, in various ways.The statement that to be competent as a social worker issomething which can be acquired and developed, should beliberating for every social work student and practitioner andshould finally allay their conflicting feelings of hope, anxiety anduncertainty. In this regard Compton & Galaway (1994:573) ask

3the following question: “So you want to be a social worker?”These authors answer this question themselves, on behalf of allsocial work students and practitioners, by stating that one of theexciting things about social work is that it is a never-endinglearning experience, and it is this that motivates people to practicethe profession.Immediately the question arises: what are these expertise thatmust be acquired and developed to ensure competency?Cournoyer (1991:2-3) refers to skills and motivates this byhighlighting the fact that the term “skills” is used in the titles of avariety of recent social work textbooks. However, various authorssuch as Johnson (1986:53-68) and Zastrow (1989:21-26) pointout that skills exist in relation to a knowledge base and a valueorientation. It however takes more than just appropriateknowledge, values and skills for the social worker to becompetent to practice. Van Rooyen & Combrink (1985:90-116)point out that the helping professional is not an automaton thatfunctions mechanically, but rather that he/she is a person whoworks in close contact with his/her humanity. Basic personalityqualities are therefore necessary for social workers to performtheir tasks. (Despite the fact that the said authors work may not berecent, their opinions remain particularly relevant in this context.)For the purposes of this book, the expertise necessary for thesocial worker to be competent to render effective intervention,can be seen as two-fold, namely:*knowledge base, value base and skill base of the competentsocial worker*the personality of the competent social worker.In light of the fact that this book is only introductory in nature,

4this chapter will serve to enable the reader to identify theexpertise necessary for effective and relevant social workintervention.There is a link between the importance/purpose of this chapterand effective/relevant social work intervention. For many yearsthe social work profession has indeed been irrelevant for thelargest section of the South African population (Olivier 1995).Effective and relevant social work intervention is surely thatintervention which can assist the client system to meet theirneeds. If 48% of the population live under the minimumsubsistence level, are social workers competent to renderassistance to that part of the population, thereby justifying theireffectiveness and the relevance of the profession? The rest of thischapter will be presented with this background in mind. This willbe done in accordance with personal opinions as well as theopinions of Adler & Rodman (1994:359), Botha & Cronje(1996:308-323), Brammer (1993:25-46), Brammer et al.(1993:89-104), Compton & Galaway (1994:7-9, 290-296),Cournoyer (1991:2-42), Hoffman & Sallee (1994:7-20), Lombardet al. (1991:172), Sheafor et al. (1994:29-46), Van Rooyen &Combrink (1985:92-115) and Zastrow (1989:21-25).KNOWLEDGE BASE, VALUE BASE AND SKILL BASEOF THE COMPETENT SOCIAL WORKERIn the literature numerous interpretations of knowledge, valuesand skills are encountered. For these purposes, the social worker‟sknowledge consists of the whole of that which the social workerknows and what is distinguishable, systematised and tested. Thesocial worker‟s values consist of the worker‟s beliefs and theskills consist of the social worker‟s ability to apply knowledgeand values.

5The opinion is held that in order to render competent social workintervention in South Africa today, knowledge, values and skillswith regard to the following aspects are necessary:*the social work domain, which includes the nature, goalsand terrain of social work service delivery;*the history and policy of social work and the implicationsthereof;*the levels at which values are expressed, with the focus onprofessional values and ethics;*cross-cultural social work with the emphasis onculturally-friendly social work intervention;*communication in social work which is aimed atappropriate types of communication;*a theoretical and practice paradigm which is based on theecological systems theory perspective;*different approaches which address needs and problems ina practical manner;*intervention by means of a problem solving process;*intervention techniques through which stipulated goals areachieved;*intervention roles which imply what activities are to beundertaken by the social worker;*intervention methods which serve as recognised

6professional procedures and which focus upon achievingthe goals of social work.THE PERSONALITY OF THE COMPETENTSOCIAL WORKERThe term “personality” is defined in the Concise OxfordDictionary as the distinctive character or qualities of a person. Forthese purposes twenty personality qualities have beendistinguished. However most positive human qualities would beappropriate in this regard. These twenty qualities have specificallybeen selected due to their relevance to the present welfaresituation as well as the extent to which they appeared in most ofthe recent and relevant literature. This is an attempt to present anoverall picture of a competent social worker and therefore noclaim is made that this is a complete and distinctive set ofqualities. In this regard, it is once again important to take note ofthe definition (earlier in this chapter) of competency. It isparticularly important to remember that, like the knowledge base,value base and skill base, personality qualities that are regarded asnecessary to be a competent social worker, can be learned anddeveloped. This therefore poses a challenge to every social workstudent and practitioner.Love of peopleA love of people is usually the greatest motivation for social workstudents and practitioners to become involved in intervention. Apre-requisite is therefore that a social worker must like and beinterested in people.

7Emotional maturityEmotional maturity suggests a complete developmental state, butis something that each social worker can strive towards. Itimplies, amongst others, that a worker must have a sober image ofreality, be able to work independently, cope with frustrations,control impulsive behaviour, recognise related factors and takedefinite action. An emotionally mature person is also able torealise and acknowledge his/her human feelings. Such a workercan work through hurt feelings and can identify, examine,acknowledge and correct their own faults.Self-awarenessSelf-awareness implies that the social worker is striving towardsself-knowledge by being in touch with his/her own needs, motivesand values. The worker attempts to be in control of his/herfeelings and behaviour, is not easily threatened by others and iscomfortable with him/herself. The worker is aware of personalunresolved conflicts and makes every attempt not to allow this toharm others.Interpersonal communication abilitiesCommunication must constantly be maintained at all levels. Thisimplies therefore that communication must be both tactful andacceptable. The ability to listen should be equally good as theability to talk and the social worker must be aware of the effectthat his/her verbal and non-verbal communication has on others(this includes appearance).Empathic understandingNot all people can enter into another person‟s world ofexperiences with the same ease. Empathic understanding involvesbeing able to think with someone by separating yourself fromyour own frame of reference. This must however be an objectiveaction, so that you do not take on others‟ problems.

8Eager to learnNo social worker can ever be truly competent if he/she is noteager to learn. This involves an ambition to know more so as todeliver a better service. This is achieved through selfdevelopment. Although basic intelligence is necessary, it isinfluenced by the workers openness towards learning. Statementssuch as “I work from experience”, “I have an intuitive touch” and“I do not like studying” usually indicate a learning block that canseriously hamper competency.AssertivenessIt is becoming all the more important for the social worker to actassertively with systems. This involves the manner in which theworker handles, expresses and asserts him/herself in the face ofothers. This involves the capacity of the worker to convey, forexample knowledge, values and skills in such a manner that therights of all participants are respected (including the rights of theworker). This does not imply passivity or aggressiveness.PerseveranceThere is the tendency, both nationally and internationally, toexpect social workers to provide more assistance with lessresources. For this reason the social worker must be tenaciousbecause progress, development and change is sometimeslaborious and slow. Challenges must be accepted withouthesitation and should have a motivating effect upon the worker.

9ResponsibilityAs professional people social workers work, to a large extent,autonomously. A great responsibility is owed to the clients andthe community. In order to comply with these saidresponsibilities, the worker must be self-disciplined and primarilyresponsible to him/herself. The responsibility of the social workeris comprised specifically of professional responsibilities, such asmaintaining confidentiality and general ethics. If the worker doesnot take basic responsibilities seriously, his/her professionalposition will be seriously compromised and can be regarded asequal to that of the client system.OptimismIn order to influence and motivate others, the worker must believein change and development and must be self-motivated. This canonly be realised by maintaining a positive view of life. A person,who revels in the negative aspects of life, will have difficultyserving as an instrument of growth for others. This thereforeinvolves an optimistic belief and the ability to convert obstaclesinto positive opportunities.EnthusiasmIn order for intervention attempts to be regarded as credible, thesocial worker must be enthusiastic. This involves an intenseinterest, desire and ”bubbly” zeal. This is usually accompanied bya sense of humour that is both contagious and motivating.SpontaneityThe social worker should also display humane feelings. Theapplication of techniques does not mean being rigid and artificial.Unforced and unplanned expression of feelings in the course ofnatural exchanges, is therefore sometimes necessary to motivatechange, growth and development.

10GoodwillInvolvement in other people‟s problems and needs should not beout of a sense of duty. The relationship with clients should besincere and radiate warmth. If this is expressed both verbally andnon-verbally, then it ought to be easy to connect with people.Open-heartedThe social worker ought not to be reticent with the client system,as this can hamper trust in the worker. It involves the workerknowing how to reveal him/herself and how to be a ”familiar”person, without contributing to the discomfort of the clientsystem.SincerityIn order to be regarded by the client system as credible, the socialworker should be honest in his/her actions and motives. Thisrequires sincerity in the way in which the worker expresseshim/herself, so that there is uniformity between behaviour, wordsand attitudes.CreativityIn social work it is frequently necessary to create something fromnothing or to change and develop things, therefore the socialworker must be creative. This requires being original in the courseof the intervention process and, in particular, the ability to presentthe abstract in a concrete manner.AdaptableSocial work has to do with attempting to bring about change - forthat reason the worker ought to be able to adapt him/herselfaccording to the changes and circumstances. This implies an easytransition from one person and situation to another.

11DiscretionThe nature of social work requires of the worker to continuouslymake judgements in accordance with accurate and objectiveinsights. This involves choices and decisions regarding ethicalissues, strategies, processes etceteras.EnergeticThe dynamics of social work requires of the worker to bevigorous, reflecting his/her energy. This means the worker‟senergy is required to initiate change and development andcorrespondingly will determine, to a large extent, the energy thatthe client system will need to invest in change and development.Leadership potentialSocial work requires of the worker to provide continuousleadership. The worker must be able to utilise his/her leadershippotential in all situations and on all levels to influence people asto the benefits of intervention. This includes, amongst others,fulfilling a variety of intervention roles.Although this chapter has focused on what is required of thesocial worker to be competent, it is only theoretical in nature andprobably a lot more could be said about it. The actual test forcompetency is the extent to which success is achieved in practice.Disraeli in Fox (1993:1) says in this regard: “Experience is thechild of thought and thought is the child of action. We cannotlearn men from books.”

12CHAPTER 3SOCIAL WORK HISTORYAND POLICYGil (1990) argues that it is difficult for practitioners to remainpolitically neutral. It is quite clear why Gil poses this argument.Political systems have a definite influence on policy and policyultimately influences intervention to the client. The whole historyof social work is an example of this. Reeser & Epstein (1990:129130) refer to a statement by Bishop Tutu (1985) in which he sayspolitical systems demonstrate a “remarkable capacity to beadjusted as the circumstances to which they seek to be relevantchange”. This statement will be motivated in this chapter bydiscussing the course of social work history in general and inSouth Africa in particular. After which relevant terms relating topolicy will be defined, so that the implications of South Africansocial work history for policy can eventually be examined. Thisought to enable the reader to grasp the relevancy of history andpolicy for intervention.THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL WORKThe history of social work is presented here in broad terms, basedon the work of Johnson (1986), McKendrick (1990), VanRensburg, Pretorius & Fourie (1992) and Zastrow (1989).The emergence of the Charity Organisation Society (COS) inEngland by 1860 is regarded, in most of the literature, to be the

13origins of social work. The COS was initiated with the mainpurpose of co-ordinating charitable work. Help was individualisedby way of friendship visitors who would visit people in need,usually the poor. The work of the COS was therefore theforerunner to casework. This work was however hampered by theconservative political ideology of that era.Once the friendship visitors started to receive payment for theirwork, the training of social workers commenced in 1903 at theDepartment of Sociology of the University of London. Hereaftersocial work training also started in America. During the sameperiod Settlement houses were developed in both England andAmerica. This can be viewed as the forerunner to communitywork, as the poor were, amongst others, encouraged to becomeinvolved in demanding their rights, affordable housing wasprovided and the friendship visits were also used to collect rentmoney.During this time Mary Richmond was one of the most influentialwomen in social work. Through her book “Social diagnosis”,which was a milestone for social work, intervention wasorganised into a process orientated procedure. In contrast to MaryRichmond, there was Jane Addams. She was a leader in the fieldof social justice programmes and made a large contributiontowards the advancement of social justice and democracy. Incontrast to Mary Richmond, she was opposed to making socialwork a profession. This ideological tension is still applicabletoday: a more clinical social work approach and professionalismon the one hand and social reform which warns againstprofessional interests taking preference over those of the client,on the other hand.The next beacon in the history of social work is Freud‟s theories,which had an influence on social work particularly from 1930onwards. This resulted in the focus shifting from economic to

14psychological problems. In the USA this movement was alsopromoted by the political and social climate, which advocated fora strong growth in individualism. It is interesting to observe that,to a large extent, the trends in America influenced social work inSouth Africa, probably due to the use of American textbooks inSouth Africa. The period 1945-1960 is, for example,characterised by the development of the group work method,community work and research. While the period 1961 till early1980 is characterised by the decrease in psychoanalysis andincreased recognition of the social systems theory.In South Africa it was the Dutch Reformed Church in particularwho took care of the welfare needs of people. Between 1864 and1899 the DR-church founded various institutions in the CapeColony. After the Boer war the Afrikaner Women‟s Organisationscame into existence to offer assistance to the poor whites. In 1928the DR-church requested that the Carnegie Corporation undertakean investigation into the causes of poverty among whites. Of themost notable recommendations made by the CarnegieCommission, was that a state department of public welfare anduniversity training for social workers be introduced.By 1937 the Department for Public Welfare was established andby 1964 social work training was offered at all universities.However separate university training was offered for the variouspopulation groups. The National Welfare Act of 1965 made theregistration of social workers possible. A number of years passedhowever, before the Social and Associated Workers Act, 110 of1978 was introduced, through which a statutory council couldregulate the behaviour and training of social workers.The coming to power of the National Party in 1948 had, as inmany other areas of life, a great influence on social work. Thiswas largely due to the apartheid doctrine that was enforced

15through a policy of separate development. In 1966, for example,the Department of Public Welfare and Pensions issued regulationsto registered welfare organisations in which they were instructed

theory and models / theory and practice / viewing the theory / types of theory / value of theory for social work / theoretical perspective of social work The ecological systems theory perspective 91 human ecology / systems theory

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