Social work practice models can be defined as frameworks or concepts that guide the delivery of social work services.
These models provide a structured approach to address the complexities and challenges involved in social work practice, promoting effective interventions and positive client outcomes.
Social workers work with people, often working in isolation and often in very complex and difficult conditions, to enable the person to achieve their goals in life. Social workers work individually, or with agencies, sometimes as part of the criminal justice system, to help people in crisis or who need their help. The model of Social Work is based on the idea that people want to change their lives for the better.
There are 4 most popular models of social work practice which are described below:
Task-Centred Practice (TCP)
Task-Centred Practice (TCP) is an approach commonly used in social work that aims to address and resolve the difficulties faced by individuals and families. It is characterized by its focus on collaborative problem-solving and the achievement of specific goals.
TCP begins with the identification and assessment of the main tasks or issues at hand, which are usually determined through extensive discussions with the client. Once the tasks are established, a plan of action is formulated, with clear objectives and the allocation of responsibilities to both the social worker and the client. The intervention involves regular meetings and reviews, where progress is assessed, and adjustments are made as necessary.
Social workers can select the strategy that resonates the most with them and their clients in order to provide the most effective assistance.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a well-recognized behavioural therapy developed in the 1970s to treat psychological problems. In its latest version, CBT focuses on helping a patient develop or strengthen his or her thoughts, feelings and behaviours to achieve a sense of wellness. CBT has become widely accepted in many nations as a viable treatment for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, grief, phobias, chronic pain, and other problems.
The fundamental idea of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is that our thoughts and feelings determine our reality and that by altering how we perceive the world, we can alter how we experience it (see Figure 1).
In the case of an anxious person, he or she may believe that everything is going to go wrong on a particular day. This preconception then causes the individual to pay undue attention to things that go wrong, reinforcing the idea and enhancing it. With cognitive behavioural therapy, the client is challenged to confront that notion, to try to see things in a different way, and to become more aware of how things actually are rather than their beliefs of how things are.
In addition to standard talk therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) procedures frequently combine meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, and out-of-session homework. CBT teaches clients how to take control of their own therapy and their own life, how to be more present in the present moment, and how to be more aware of the reality around them, through the use of these approaches.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
SFBT works under the assumption that clients are the experts on their own problems and that they are, to a certain extent, the creators of their own reality. Clients already have the solutions to their problems, and all they need is assistance in identifying them, according to the implication of these assumptions. After that, SFBT concentrates on assisting clients in developing their own innovative solutions.
Hedging language, such as “I wonder what would happen if…”, and coping inquiries, such as asking clients how they manage to accomplish their daily duties despite the fact that the problem in question is interfering with their ability to do so. It is also typical to use the “miracle question,” in which the social worker poses a hypothetical enquiry such as, “Suppose a miracle happened tomorrow and you no longer had this problem.”
What first thing comes to mind when you think of it?” By addressing these questions in this manner, the social worker and the client collaborate to develop realistic solutions and goals that will assist them in overcoming or dealing with their problems.
The narrative approach to social work assists clients in telling their stories about their challenges. This has a number of consequences. To begin, it assists clients in viewing the issue as external to themselves rather than as an integral part of themselves.
Secondly, it assists people in recognising the problem’s impact on their lives, both positive and negative, and can aid them in gaining compassion for themselves and their circumstances. Finally, it allows the social worker and client to brainstorm alternate narratives that allow the client to imagine what life would be like without the issue at hand.
The fundamental benefit of the narrative technique is that it assists the client in gaining distance and objectivity from the situation. Additionally, the narrative technique can be utilised to assist clients in determining the causality that resulted in the problem, which can help inform future behaviour.
Social work practice models encompass a range of perspectives and theories, each offering a unique emphasis on different aspects of client engagement, assessment, and intervention. Some commonly utilized models include the strengths-based approach, which emphasizes clients’ abilities and resources; the person-in-environment perspective, which considers how individuals are influenced by their social context; and the empowerment model, which focuses on fostering clients’ self-determination and resilience. By utilizing these models, social workers can more effectively address the needs of individuals, families, and communities, making a positive impact in diverse social work settings