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UNIT -5. THEORETICAL MODEL IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE. Models of Social Work. Clinical Social Work Ecological Social Work Empowerment Social Work Relief model Welfare model Clinical model Systems model Radical model Developmental model. Clinical Social Work.

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unit 5




models of social work
Models of Social Work
  • Clinical Social Work
  • Ecological Social Work
  • Empowerment Social Work
  • Relief model
  • Welfare model
  • Clinical model
  • Systems model
  • Radical model
  • Developmental model
clinical social work
Clinical Social Work

Clinical social work is the professional application of social work theory and methods,to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention,of psychosocial dysfunction, disability, or impairment, including emotional, mental,and behavioral disorders

(Barker, 2003).

Clinical Social Work practice in health care is to enhance, promote, maintain, and restore the best possible social functioning of clients, families and small groups when their ability to do so is affected by actual or potential stress caused by illness, disability, man made or natural calamity or injury


  • Preventive
  • Developmental
  • Remedial in nature
  • Depending on the agency purpose and need
ecological social work
Ecological Social Work
  • An ecological model recognises that everything is interrelated, interdependent, and connected, not only the component parts, but also the context or environment. When we look at human communities through an ecological model (Odum, 1983; Slobodkin, 2003), we recognise that changes in one part will affect all other parts, that is, a disaster in one area will influence the whole. It is only when the whole is strong and healthy with ample resources that help can be offered to a distressed component part. As medicine following the clinical model ran into problems, such that the numbers in need far exceeded the resources and health personnel available, the birth of public health occurred.
  • Most extensions of life span and the phenomenal increase in population have been due to public health, not private health that is typically oriented to the elderly, the rich and well to do.
  • As psychology following the clinical model ran into similar problems, the fields of community and ecological psychology emerged. These disciplines have attempted to set up research and then to intervene on a larger scale, ignoring individual needs to begin to deal with community wide needs.
empowerment social work
Empowerment Social Work

Empowerment can be defined as,” enabling service users to take action to improve their lives. From the point of view of service users, practitioners are often in positions of considerable power, particularly where decisions are being made about the delivery of services and around intervention in people's lives. To practice empowerment, social workers will need to focus on working with service users to engage them in the problem-solving process”.

Empowerment is linked with anti-oppressive practice, in that the social worker can work with service users to enable them to overcome barriers to solving problems – whether located in the attitudes and practices of professionals and social institutions (for example, health and education authorities) or in the beliefs of the service user. The social worker's knowledge of service provision and the law can be critical in empowering service users.

relief model
Relief model
  • According to this model services come into operation when the normal resources such as the individual, the family and the community breakdown. The relief approach consists of giving material help and providing various social services. This is the most traditional approach, it constitutes a valid role as a strategy o action, which provides timely help in crisis that are casual by natural calamities
welfare model
Welfare model
  • This model rests its moral claim on literal moral of individual rights. Services are viewed as the light of the individual and problems are seen as consequence of an individual inability to use available services or to the lack of accessibility of the service itself. In this approach the state accepts, primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. It therefore provides needed services which are in implemented by professional social workers. The role of state is to maintain the states rather than to promote active change. Social workers access the needs of individual and intervene to assist them to an effective level of functioning. This approach seeks to ensure distributive justice through support institutions and programmes. The welfare model has always sort to survey the needs of forgotten individuals and groups in a society at any given point of time. It emphasis certain values – charity, love, human dignity, equality and social right.
clinical model
Clinical model
  • Clinical models are representations of physiological and pathological phenomena that are used for predicting patient evolution.
  • A simple example is a diagnostic class. For example, we say 'this patient has cholera'. By this statement we refer to a mental representation of a particular bowel infection, with a particular organism (vibrio cholerae) and we use it to predict the possible evolution of the patient (massive diarrhea followed by spontaneous healing, or by death if dehydration is not kept under control).
systems model
Systems model
  • Individuals who are knowledge workers in a knowledge economy may find themselves, at different times and sometimes simultaneously, self-employed, working in an ad hoc network, or earning a salary with an organization. To be successful, they need to have a sense of how different aspects of knowledge management fit together as they guide their own career paths and find ways to add value to ad hoc and formal organizations.
  • In Western countries, an increasing proportion of the workforce is employed for their knowledge. That knowledge is for the most part up to individuals to acquire and maintain, and it is largely portable. It may be of content or process, tacit or explicit, general or particular, linear or relational, timeless or up to the minute. It is utilized by individuals working alone and in small groups or large organizations. Especially in the private sector, many knowledge workers are self-employed or members of ad hoc virtual or network organizations rather than permanent salaried employees.
radical model
Radical model
  • While the development model recognizes the need for more equitable society, the radical model advocates the achievement of justice and equality through local transformation of the existing social order. An important aspect is its conscioustization, raising the consciousness of oppressed people so that they become aware of the process of oppression and decrease there powerlessness.
  • Radical social work emphasizes collective action through political participation action and community activity. Social workers / social activists deal with the social problems vis gender issues, rights of the oppressed, humans etc.
developmental model
Developmental model
  • The Developmental model, views persons as capable of civic virtue. Supporters say that through involvement in government and community affairs, persons can gain an understanding of the public good and what it requires. The "good citizens" of this society are aware of and participate in government and civic affairs through voting, the expression of their opinions to representatives, and sometimes even public service. Involvement in democracy is both a way of educating people and increasing their ability to better themselves. Through the exercise of judgement on political issues, citizens can better exercise judgement in other areas of their lives. The Developmental model utilizes indirect representation simply because of the impracticality of direct involvement such as that of the participatory democracy.