Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The ecological perspective in social work

32,783 views

Published on

The ecological perspective is an approach to social work practice that addresses the complex transactions between people and their environment. A broad frame work that synthesizes ideas from a number of human behavior and social work practice theories, the ecological perspective offers a rich, eclectic social work knowledge and practice base.

Published in: Education
  • Want to earn $4000/m? Of course you do. Learn how when you join today! ★★★ http://ishbv.com/ezpayjobs/pdf
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Secrets to making $$$ with paid surveys... ■■■ http://ishbv.com/surveys6/pdf
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • DOWNLOAD FULL BOOKS, INTO AVAILABLE FORMAT ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... .............. Browse by Genre Available eBooks ......................................................................................................................... Art, Biography, Business, Chick Lit, Children's, Christian, Classics, Comics, Contemporary, Cookbooks, Crime, Ebooks, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, History, Horror, Humor And Comedy, Manga, Memoir, Music, Mystery, Non Fiction, Paranormal, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Suspense, Spirituality, Sports, Thriller, Travel, Young Adult,
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • I went from getting $3 surveys to $500 surveys every day!! learn more... ★★★ https://tinyurl.com/realmoneystreams2019
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • I've been sort of confused about the difference between PIE and ecological systems, and this was extremely helpful! Thank you very much :D
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here

The ecological perspective in social work

  1. 1. The ecological perspective in social work MR.ABILASH CHANDRAN Faculty of Department of Social Work Christ college, IJK 1
  2. 2. THE ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE IN SOCIAL WORK • Germain introduced an ecological metaphor as a perspective for practice in social casework more than 20 years ago. Despite social work's historical commitment to the person in-environment, most direct practice had not gone beyond the individual's internal processes and the family's interpersonal processes. Attention to physical and social environments and culture, and to their reciprocal relationships with people, was rare. • This inattention was due mainly to the lack of available concepts about environments and culture and how they affect and are affected by human development and functioning. Most if not all work with the environment had been limited to securing information about clients from family members, landlords, former employers, friends, and neighbors and to providing financial aid and services such as foster care. • As important as social provision is, physical and social environments also must be understood and worked with as people interact with them. Earth Day 1965 highlighted the environment as more than a static setting in which people's lives are played out, and concepts from ecology gradually came to the fore, supplementing the related work of Bartlett and Gordon 2
  3. 3. • Ecology, the biological science that studies organism–environment relations, offered Concepts of these relations that were less abstract than those offered by systems theories and closer to common human experience. Used metaphorically, the concepts could enable a practitioner and a client to keep a simultaneous focus on person and environment and on their reciprocal relationship. Hence, certain concepts have been singled out as appropriate for social work and congruent with its purpose. • They hold the promise of extending social workers' understanding of the interacting personal, environmental, and cultural factors involved in complicated troubled situations and of increasing the quality of help offered to clients to modify their situations. Practice principles derived from the concepts are aimed at promoting individual and family health, growth, and satisfying social functioning. • The conceptual framework of the ecological perspective was later elaborated and refined. As time passed, it became clear that the capacity of ecological concepts to implement social work's commitment to the person and the environment was helpful not only in practice with individuals, families, groups, and organizations but also with communities and in political advocacy. The first part of this entry reviews the original concepts and their further refinement and describes in detail newly added concepts of coercive power, exploitative power, and “life courses.” The second part briefly describes the Life Model practice approach that is derived from the ecological concepts. 3
  4. 4. • Social work involves, at its core, work with interconnected transactional networks. The ecosystems perspective has been almost universally accepted in social work because it provides a framework for thinking about and understanding those networks in their complexity. This strategy for viewing the world can at first seem rather abstract, so it may be useful to explore why it was developed and has been so widely adopted. Since the beginning of the profession, practice has been focused on the person and the environment. • This "psychosocial" focus is as important as a distinguishing feature of social work that it has become its identified purpose: to address the psychosocial matrix of which individuals, families, groups, and communities are constituents. Although the person-in-environment concept has governed practice since the work of Mary Richmond nearly a century ago and has been defined and redefined over the years, its hyphenated structure has contributed to a continuing imbalance in emphasis on the person or the environment. • As a result, practitioners have often attended primarily to one or the other, missing key dimensions of the case. For example, a child who refused to attend school might have been treated for depression, with limited or no attention paid to the role of his school or his family in his behavior. Conversely, attention only to serious dysfunction in a school or a family might have led to ignoring the plight of the child’s response. Often, practitioners have selected a focus that was compatible with their preferences, assigning peripheral status to either the person or environment. 4
  5. 5. • The ecological perspective is an approach to social work practice that addresses the complex transactions between people and their environment. A broad frame work that synthesizes ideas from a number of human behavior and social work practice theories, the ecological perspective offers a rich, eclectic social work knowledge and practice base. Bronfenbrenner, one of the best known developmental psychologists in the ecological tradition, has defined the ecological approach to human behavior as the “scientific study of the progressive, mutual accommodation, throughout the life course between an active, growing human being and his or her environment”. • The ecological perspective makes clear the need to view people and environments as a unitary system within a particular cultural and historic context. Both person and environment can be fully understood only in terms of their relationship, in which each continually influences the other within a particular context. • Hence, all concepts derived from the ecological metaphor refer not to environment alone or person alone; rather, each concept expresses a particular person: environment relationship, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral. Another aspect of the ecological perspective is “ecological thinking,” a mode of thought that differs markedly from linear thinking. The latter can explain some simple phenomena. Ecological thinking can explain complex human phenomena, such as those that enter the social work domain. 5
  6. 6. • The ecological/systems perspective makes a number of valuable contributions as an organizing frame work for social work practice. • The ecological /system perspective allows one to deal with far more data than other models, and to bring order to these large amounts of data from a variety of disciplines. • The concepts relating to systems are equally applicable to the wide range of clients served by social workers, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and society. • The ecological/systems framework allows for identifying the wide range of factors that have an impact on social welfare problems, their interrelationships, and the ways that a change in one factor affects other factors. • The ecological/systems framework shifts attention from characteristics of individuals or the environment to the transactions between systems and their communication patterns. 6
  7. 7. • The ecological/systems framework views individuals as actively involved with their environments, capable of adaption and change. • The ecological/systems framework views systems as goal oriented, supporting client’s self determination and the client’s participation in the change process. • If systems require constant transactions with each other to survive, the social worker’s purpose is to provide and maintain opportunities for transactions for all populations and to work to reduce isolation of individuals and systems. • Social workers need to work ensure that change the tension are not resisted in systems and to remove the notion that change and conflict and pathological. • Social workers must be aware of the systems within which they work and how change within those systems affects the whole. This means that social workers must choose points of intervention with care 7
  8. 8. • The ecosystems perspective has been almost universally accepted in social work because it provides a framework for thinking about and understanding those networks in their complexity. This "psychosocial" focus is as important as a distinguishing feature of social work that it has become its identified purpose: to address the psychosocial matrix of which individuals, families, groups, and communities are constituents. Although the person-in-environment concept has governed practice since the work of Mary Richmond nearly a century ago and has been defined and redefined over the years, its hyphenated structure has contributed to a continuing imbalance in emphasis on the person or the environment. • As a result, practitioners have often attended primarily to one or the other, missing key dimensions of the case. For example, a child who refused to attend school might have been treated for depression, with limited or no attention paid to the role of his school or his family in his behavior. Conversely, attention only to serious dysfunction in a school or a family might have led to ignoring the plight of the child’s response. Often, practitioners have selected a focus that was compatible with their preferences, assigning peripheral status to either the person or environment. 8
  9. 9. • Another consequence of the perceived separation of the person-in environment construct has been the tendency of practitioners to avoid environmental interventions in favor of changing people in isolation from their life situations–because the environment is often seen as so intractable and so difficult to affect. • This emphasis has been encouraged by the development of extensive knowledge regarding human behavior and development, as contrasted with a less-well developed, cohesive knowledge of the environment. Clinical social workers’ choice to focus on the person to the exclusion of the environment may also have had something to do with the view that their professional status was dependent on their engaging in practice similar to psychiatrists and psychotherapists 9
  10. 10. • The psychosocial purposes of social work were being eroded, and the person-in-environment construct did not appear to be helping. The problem was real, and profoundly affected work with clients. Beyond these consequences for direct practice, the severe social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s brought awakened populations calling for social services. • Previously noticed mainly in public services, poor people, members of ethnic and racial minority groups, women, people with severe social problems, and those with new lifestyles demanded help from social workers in the voluntary sector. Problems such as child abuse, family violence, AIDS, and homelessness caused all professions to redefine their approaches to account for the evident psychosocial features of these problems. • By 1970 it became clear that it was essential to review and rethink the person in environment construct so that social workers would find it more possible to intervene in a more transactional fashion in cases that were clearly psychosocial events. 10

×