The article of Erlinda A. Cordero, Direct Practice in Social Work: An Overview, discuss the social work being a dynamic profession and how its practice should be ready in facing the paradigm shift. The author gave historical background on social work practice before 1970 and how these practices evolve due to varied problems and situations that arise from time to time. Also, she talks on how a state of the art practice should be administered in practicing social work where she emphasizes that for an advance direct practice, such as clinical practice, one is expected to be a holder of Master of Science in Social Work degree. The author gave a quick discussion on the philosophy of direct practice and how the instrumental values evolved and eventually became the principles or guidelines to the practice of social work. The length of the author’s discussion involves the role of social workers in direct practice and the helping process. Towards the end of her article, she discourse the implication of the roles and the helping process of social work both in education and practice. At the end part, she tackles the issues and the emerging trends in social work.
Reading the article makes me realize the rapid evolution of social work practice due to the changing events and situations and how the author wanted the social work practitioners to adapt in this change by narrowing the gap between academe and practice. Although I am not a Bachelor of Social Work degree holder I came to appreciate the importance of both social work as a profession and the social workers as the implementing person. My current work challenges me to understand the underlying principles, processes and policies in the field of social work. I think it is my responsibility to deliver quality services to my clients, and to do that, I should equipped myself with the knowledge pertaining to the practice of social work profession.
I have a full understanding of the author’s points on her article, and somewhat I agree that this paradigm shift is really a big thing to the profession for it calls for acting various roles at the same time, in facing clients with multi-problems. The demand for having a generalist perspective is deemed necessary to address this change. I would like deal on the last part of the article that talks on the issues and emerging trends. First point is on her statement “direct practice in social work demands much from both the practitioners in the field and the social work educators preparing the
future professional social workers,” which I understand is very important since a cycle of exchanging ideas and experiences foster additional knowledge to the educators to give to their students who will eventually be a social worker in the field. Direct practice however involves the provision of services to clients (individuals, couples, families and groups) through casework and group work where I think and is not very sure if academe social workers had really a chance of doing this. By this, I think it is important that a registered social worker be allowed to do clinical social work practice. Second point is on her statement “the diversity of problems and situations require not only the knowledge, skills and attitude to acquire competencies for practice for practice but equally the genuine motivation and commitment to the profession,” which is very true, for motivation and commitment speaks on the passion and the reason on the question, “why are you doing this?” For my case, I think the commitment and motivation is there but the knowledge, skills and attitude in social work is something I need to work on. Only now that I realize that the reasons why I took public administration and nursing are basically a combination of the reason why I am engaging myself in the social work profession.
That is to be in a helping profession. Lastly, I want to react on her statement “like most professions in the human service arena, social work is undergoing a shift from the “disease paradigm” to the strength perspective.” Due to the demand on levelling with the current change and development, social workers should not be tied on the reason they chose the profession because of its need but basically because of the reason that they have this “spark”, a spark that fuels them to be a committed and competent social worker. For me, I acknowledge the need for social workers today, the workers that will help the sectors of children, women, PWDs, poor, older persons, etc. to be socially capable of restoring, maintaining, improving and developing their lives but I also acknowledge that to be the best social worker, one should
evaluate and understand the reason why they are in the profession and how ready they are to be of service to these clients. I am so honoured to be exposed in this profession and I really admire social workers who can help change clients’ lives. I know for myself that eventually I will be one of the best social worker, committed and competent to deliver social services. This is my goal, and somehow having the decision of taking this course is a step closer to achieving this goal.
APRIL KATE K. AMADA