Generalist practice social work refers to an integrated and multileveled approach to pursuing human, social, and economic well-being by working with groups, families, individuals, and communities. It also entails implementing preventative measures and interventions to social injustices at family, community, and group levels. Generalist practice social work uses a problem-solving approach to engage with clients, assess problematic areas and strengths, develop and implement an intervention plan, and evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness. A social worker recognizes that problems can occur at any level, and preventative measures and interventions can be implemented. Social work practitioners assess problems in social functioning, develop solutions and skills to solve the problem and create support for change. Social workers also help people access resources and services for change while generating new opportunities and programs for social empowerment. Generalist social work practice is premised on promoting human dignity and social justice.
As stipulated in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics, social workers’ primary mission is to promote all people’s human well-being, particularly the marginalized, vulnerable, and less disadvantaged populations. A social worker focuses on ensuring all human rights are respected and promote people’s power to make decisions and own choices as long as it does not threaten or interfere with other people’s rights. Generalist social work practices also entail formulating social policies and transforming unproductive policies into responsive programs that address social problems. Social work practitioners also foster accountability and set standards in the social work profession.
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Reflect On Your Identity As A Professional Social Worker.
Social work is a profession focused on promoting cohesion, empowerment, development, and social change. I believe social work practice entails solving the social and economic injustices faced by the less disadvantaged and marginalized groups. My first-hand experience with economic and social injustices motivated me to pursue a career in social work to develop solutions and influence social change. I have always wanted to create proactive solutions to social issues of the vulnerable and marginalized families who are prone to social injustices and have limited access to social services. A career in social work will equip me with the knowledge and skills to work with marginalized populations and advocate for social and economic justice at all levels. I will be able to collaborate with community stakeholders, families, and healthcare providers to develop and implement relevant support systems for marginalized patients.
My commitment to the social work profession emphasizes intervening directly with underserved families and individuals. I focus on educating, counseling, and linking marginalized groups to relevant community resources and activities. I also identify gaps in the social delivery network, such as inadequate resources and collaborate with other professionals to address the gaps. For instance, I have collaborated with other interdisciplinary colleagues in developing a community education plan to educate families about effective parenting. I am also committed to keeping a record of social welfare initiatives promoting human well-being. Through consultancy, I am committed to collaborating with clients to develop change plans to solve societal, organizational, family, and individual problems. As a consultant, I aim to empower my clients by upholding their competence and strengths and collaborating with them in formulating viable solutions. I am also committed to advocating for marginalized patients’ needs and protecting their rights. I intervene with social service delivery systems on patients’ behalf to ensure they access social services promptly. Presenting equality research and stimulating interdisciplinary cooperation to promote social justice will strengthen my skills and knowledge in social work practice. Adherence to the promotion of human dignity and social justice is critical to my professional growth.
Social Work Experience in Your Practicum
My experience as a social worker has developed my competencies in engaging, assessing, intervening, monitoring and evaluating interventions with diverse clients. I have worked as a social worker at Midtown Assistance Center (MAC), a nonprofit organization with the primary goal of providing emergency assistance to low-income working Atlantans to prevent homelessness and hunger during a crisis. According to social systems theory, social systems such as friends, economic class, and religious structure influence how people think and act (Valentinov and Thompson, 2018). This theory informed my understanding that economic inequalities within society cause the homelessness and hunger issues faced by Atlantans. Hence, interventions should eliminate economic inequalities and enhance equal access to economic opportunities and resources. I worked directly with less disadvantaged clients, listening to their narratives and painful experiences with economic and social injustices. I researched available employment opportunities and posted them on the company website to help unemployed Atlantans.
The experience taught me to engage individuals, families, and small groups in a helping relationship, identify solutions and work for sustainable change. For example, during my internship, I went out of my way to help a needy, unemployed-and low-income stroke patient to get funding. I assisted her in filling out paperwork over the phone and securing the needed funding. I also assisted people in applying for employment opportunities posted on the company website.
My practice at MAC also taught me to understand community needs, identify gaps, and facilitate social change. Practice-informed research is robust in formulating evidence-based solutions. I collected and analyzed data through research and planning, proposed courses of action, and recommended social changes to organizational leaders. For instance, I was able to conduct need assessments, assess service inventories, and conduct field research to understand the social problems faced by Atlantans. I discovered that most Atlantans are homeless due to their inability to pay house rent, joblessness, and low wages. We solved this problem by linking affected families and individuals to community services that service the homeless and offer subsidized rents. We also offered food assistance and care kits to the homeless. The experience also taught me how to evaluate priority groups in social work. Priority groups are those in dire need of social services. We evaluated priority groups through a consultative relationship with other social work professionals. For example, I was able to assist clients residing in specified zones.
My social work practice has taught me to work competently with diverse populations. I have learnt that diverse people need help and support, and as a social worker, I should be able to interact with people from different economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. I have learnt to work with clients of all races according to the NSW code of ethics. I have understood that clients come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and have varying needs. I served all low-income families irrespective of their race. For instance, I worked with disabled clients and assisted them in filing paperwork. I also worked with computer illiterate clients and helped them fill in their details online using their phones. Most clients have computers and smartphones but do not know how to use them. I leveraged this strength to help them access social services.
My experience at MAC also equipped me with the knowledge and skills to initiate policy change and enhance access to social services. I obtained and read agency policies and procedures and researched the legislative history of existing and proposed policies. I critically analyzed the policies and determined that although equality policies exist at local, state and federal levels, economic inequalities still exist. Unequal labor practices have increased the number of unemployed Atlantans, increasing the number of homeless persons. I collaborated with policymakers in the organization in formulating employment policies that, if enacted, will reduce the unemployment rate in the region.
Valentinov, V., & Thompson, S. (2018). The supply and demand of social systems: towards a systems theory of the firm. Kybernetes. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/K-04-2018-0178/full/html