Issues in Social Work

Paper Type: 
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1744 Words
Date:  2021-03-09

Social workers play a crucial work on improving the welfare of the society by helping to address some of the pertinent issues that affect individuals in the community. More specifically, social workers are at the forefront in promoting human diversity, eliminating discrimination, and fighting against oppression as well as empowering people to reach or maintain optimal health and wellbeing (Hyslop, 2011). As such, the role of social workers is pretty much defined based on their contribution to the society. There are some issues that face social work; these include military, gender, substance abuse, psychiatric advance and information. On trying to address these issues, one needs to know the definition to be a profession in it globally. However, Parker, Ali, Ringbell and Mckay (2014) pointed out that there is no universally accepted definition of the profession. On considering the issues that affect social work categorically, one can see the need for social work to move ahead to be a profession that is globally centered as noted by Wooten (2015) that being able to respond to the needs of veterans who have just come back home brings up both challenges and opportunities.

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Firstly, how military affects social work, we can consider the service and health issues that veterans face. This calls upon for the need for social workers who can provide culturally and military informed services. Secondly, gender issues face social work, mostly the field is centered around women. The field is also plagued by gender isolation which was supported by Hicks (2015) who stated that social work should take up an initiative that focuses on gender. Thirdly, substance abuse is an issue to the social work; this is because of the number of the people they interact with daily hence affecting it directly. Social workers will be able to play a role in helping people affected by substance abuse as a result of the changes in health care policies (Hyslop, 2011). Also, psychiatric advance directives are important because of the people being coerced into it. Lastly, information on the social workers is faced with the use issue of keeping up with technology as it is important in their profession (Wells, et al., 2013). Therefore, there is need to evaluate the current issues facing social work for the profession to progress.

Amidst executing all these roles, the social workers encounter lots of challenges including change management. The society is constantly changing each day. New challenges and opportunities keep emerging now and then. Therefore, in order to remain relevant and successful, people must always learn new skills and access new information that can enable them to deal with emerging issues (Hyslop, 2011). The role of the social worker is to facilitate the transition from one phase to another by creating strong social empowerment programs that will increase the capacity of individuals to deal with change (Wells, et al., 2013). This paper seeks to analyze the role of the social worker in negotiating those changes with special attention given to the impact of human diversity, discrimination, and oppression on the individuals ability to reach or maintain optimal health and wellbeing.

Most of the social work programs are based on volunteers and sponsors who join together to resolve pertinent social problems in the society. However, most of the social work organizations have been experiencing different challenges lately, which have led to the main sponsors evaluating their sponsorship (Wells, et al., 2013). This has cast the future of these organizations in great doubt. Among the main challenges these organizations face include the increase in numbers of mentally ill people in the community, thereby increasing demand for the organizations services despite limited resources (Butler & Drakeford, 2012). Also, there have been no significant changes in terms of service users who have been admitted to psychiatric hospitals. Furthermore, the organizations experience difficulties in increasing the numbers of people who successfully get employment after recovering from their health challenges.

The role of the social worker in facilitating social change in the community can be best understood by focusing on six key areas namely organizational settings, organizational change, power and culture, managing oneself, professional identity and emotional intelligence and resilience. Organizational settings refer to the different factors within an organizations environment, which influence the events and activities within the organization. For instance, an organizations setting may comprise of the people within the organization, the organization's culture, available resources, and key stakeholders among other critical factors (Butler & Drakeford, 2012). Efficient management of these factors can help an organization thrive and continue to enjoy successful spells. For social work organizations, the organizational setting is particularly important because it affects the delivery of services to the community (Hyslop, 2011). It can affect the relationship between the community and the organization as well as determining whether the organization will be successful.

With regard to organizational settings, social workers have to focus on certain important things in order to help their organizations achieve their objectives. For instance, the center lacks an appropriate culture that can drive the organizations activities. Furthermore, some organizations get significant amounts of financial support, which seems to have been underutilized in optimizing the organizations services (Butler & Drakeford, 2012). Consequently, this affects how the organization has been performing at the expected levels, prompting a reassessment of the sponsors position in terms of their support.

Today, organizations continue to face numerous challenges while operating in volatile environments characterized by constant change. There are numerous factors that contribute to changes in organizational environments, including technological advancements, competition, changes in consumer preferences, globalization, and emerging concerns (Harris, 2008). Organizational change can be affected by either internal or external factors, which require the organization to restructure itself in order to remain relevant (Wells, et al., 2013). From the analysis of the events in the some of the social work organizations, it appears that they have been unable to deal with change effectively. It is important noting that change is inevitable in organizations (Harris, 2008). Similarly, only those organizations that respond effectively to change will remain successful. Part of the reasons why social workers are experiencing challenges is its lack of responsiveness in addressing issues of change in the organization (Hyslop, 2011). As such, the impact of organizational change on the behavior of individuals within the organization has been understated.

Change can affect individuals in an organization in various ways. Firstly, change comes with it unpredictability and uncertainty, which drive individuals from their comfort zones into other uncomfortable situations (Butler & Drakeford, 2012). Secondly, organizational change requires people to have better skills and knowledge in order to be able to handle emerging challenges.

Organizational change management is very critical in ensuring sustainable organizational growth. However, efficient organizational management can only be achieved through competent planning, formulation of relevant policies, and careful implementation (Harris, 2008). The fact that some organizations have achieved massive success in the past, but find it difficult to replicate the same levels of success today can all be linked to lack of appropriate structures for managing change. Despite having numerous resources in terms of the human capital, some social workers are incapable of harnessing the immense experience among its staff to prepare for organizational change (Butler & Drakeford, 2012).

Nevertheless, there are several important issues that need to be addressed when dealing with organizational change in social work. The first major factor to consider is whether the organization has adequate resources to deal with the change (Adams, 2010). With the necessary financial support, the trust of the community, and a highly experienced workforce, social workers can form a foundation for addressing change in the organization. Secondly, the organization needs to assess the impact of the change to both the organization as a whole and the individual members (Harris, 2008). As such, issues of resistance to change, involvement of all stakeholders in the change process, and preparing for change are very crucial. The other critical factor for consideration when dealing with organizational change is the implementation process. This is where issues such as employee training, acquisition of new technologies and recruitment of new employees ought to come into consideration.

Power and culture are critical aspects of organizational management in the contemporary business environment. Power refers to the ability of an individual to exercise control over others within an organization. Power can either be legitimate or illegitimate depending on the source of the power (Harris, 2008). Different sources of power in organizations include expert power, referent power, legitimate power, coercive power, and reward power. Expert power is derived from ones expertise, knowledge or experience in one discipline or area of organizational management. Referent power, on the other hand, emanates from ones interpersonal relationships with others within the organization, making him or her a useful resource for the people in the organization (Sheedy, 2012). Legitimate power is one that is derived from ones position in the organization, which they have acquired through merit. Coercive power comes from ones ability to influence pothers through threats and sanctions. Finally, reward power arises from ones ability to influence others through various incentives.

Based on these different forms or sources of power in organizations, it is important to harmonize the various sources of power (Butler and Drakeford, 2005). This is particularly critical in the decision-making process, delegation of duties, and management of day to day activities of the organization. For instance, an individual with legitimate power should be able to use his or her power to delegate duties and manage the affairs of the organization effectively. Similarly, an individual with expert power should be left to exercise his or her expertise for the good of the organization. The same goes for all the other types of power.

Conversely, the aspect of culture is also very critical in organizational management. Culture comprises of the beliefs, values, and norms that influence the work environment within an organization. As such, culture influences the way people interact with each other. The culture of an organization determines the appropriate forms of behavior, workplace conventions, and communication (Van Dorn, Scheyett, Swanson, & Swartz, 2010). Culture is an important aspect of consideration because it affects not only the internal performance of the organization, but also the external interactions with other stakeholders. Factors that influence an organizations culture include its history, ownership, organizational structure, and various other notable events.

Power and culture help to shape the organizations processes in terms of trying to achieve a certain desired goal (Adams, 2010). Therefore, it is important for the management of an organization to set up appropriate measures to manage power as well as shaping the organizations culture to reflect its values and beliefs.

Employees are expected to have a certain...

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