An Introduction to Using Theory in Social Work Practice equips the reader to use fourteen key social work theories to guide each phase of the planned change process, from engagement through to evaluation. Suitable for a generalist approach, this book illustrates the value of applying theory to practice in a variety of social work roles, across diverse fields and facing assorted challenges.
The first section provides a practical foundation for beginning to use theory in your social work practice.
Section two looks at how you can translate and integrate fourteen theories commonly found in social work across each phase of the planned change process. The theories discussed are: behavioural, interpretive anthropology, psychodynamic, evolutionary biology, cognitive, symbolic interactionism, strengths, social constructionism exchange economics, role, ecological, critical, feminist, and systems theory.
The final section addresses some key issues for real life social work practice, including common barriers to using theory in practice, the potential for multi-professional communication and theory-sharing, and developing an integrative theoretical model for your own personal practice.
Linking to core competencies identified by the Council of Social Work Education, this text supports social work students and practitioners in developing vital skills, including critical thinking, applying theory and the effective use of the planned change process.
James A. Forte is Professor of Social Work at Salisbury University, Maryland, USA.
Foreword Preface Section 1: Multi-Theoretical Social Work: Basics 1. Use Theories for Professional Purposes 2. Identify Your Theoretical Orientation 3. Cultivate an Orientation Affirming Theoretical Pluralism 4. Use Theories to Guide Helping Processes in Six Ways 5. Use a Metatheory to Guide Selection of Theoretical Languages for Helping Section 2: Multi-Theoretical Social Work and The Planned Change Process 6. Translate Theories to Guide the Engagement Process 7. Translate Theories to Guide the Information Gathering Process 8. Translate Theories to Guide Informational Question Formation 9. Translate Theories to Guide the Assessment Formulation Process 10. Translate Theories to Guide the Goal Setting Process 11. Translate Theories to Guide the Specification of Change Theory and Logic Model 12. Translate Theories to Guide the Identification, Selection, and Implementation of Intervention Strategies 13. Translate Theories to Guide the Evaluation Process 14. Translate Theories to Guide the Ending Process Section 3: Multi-Theoretical Social Work Across the Career 15. Identify and Remove Barriers to Multiple Theory Use Across the Career 16. Participate in Multi-theory Reflecting Teams 17. Choose and Implement an Approach to Integrate Theoretical Languages 18. Build an Integrative Multi-Theory Personal Practice Model Section 4: Conclusion 19. Coda: Translation and Translators for Multi-Theoretical Social Work