Issues in Social Work and Ways to Potentially Solve the Issues

Paper Type: 
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1739 Words
Date:  2021-03-11

Social workers are important persons in the society. They actively partake in the efforts aimed at improving the general welfare of the society. Their main role entails addressing the relevant problems affecting different persons in the community. Social workers are largely recognized for their efforts aimed at promoting human diversity, fighting oppression, eliminating discrimination and promoting wellness among the society members. Nevertheless, there are numerous issues that affect social workers. Among them is the military, substance abuse, information and gender. This essay is a literature review of seven published sources detailing various issues affecting social work and the various ways that can be used to potentially solve the social issues.

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Publication I Review

Haggerty, K. P., & Shapiro, V. B. (2013). Science-Based Prevention Through Communities That Care: A Model of Social Work Practice for Public Health. Social Work in Public Health. Retrieved from:

This article was authored by Kevin P. Haggerty together with Valerie B. Shapiro. According to the authors, the social work problem identified is that of substance abuse. According to the authors, the problem of substance abuse in the United States is given top priority. This is supported by statistical findings that approximate that about ten percent of all persons in the U.S. above the age of twelve meet the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse and drug dependence. The annual estimations of substance abuse expense on the nation's budget exceeds a total of $530 billion dollars (Haggerty & Shapiro, 2013). This value includes the costs of health care services, crime costs, and law enforcement expenses among other costs.

In light of this revelation, it is true to state that the social problem of alcohol and drug abuse is a widespread and expensive problem to the nation. Moreover, it is a remarkably challenging problem to treat. This is because most people with the drug abuse problem fail to recognize what they need to seek treatment. On the other hand, some people fail to seek help with the drug abuse problem due to the fear of the associated stigmatization. Also, other drug addicts fail to seek the right form of substance abuse rehabilitation services, especially during the times of public budget severity. This makes it the principal responsibility of the social workers in the community to control the social problem of substance abuse in the society.

This article describes the tool, Communities that Care, which is a community-based practice that can be used to control the problem of substance abuse (Haggerty & Shapiro, 2013). It is also abbreviated as the CTC practice model, and it is a coalition-based approach that strives to avert the problem behaviors, such as substance abuse among the young generation. This tool helps the society members to embrace a good public health orientation to the issue of substance abuse. It also outlines the framework of how community change towards the risk factors for substance abuse can help in averting the substance abuse social problem.

Publication II Review

Parker, G., Ali, S., Ringell, K., & McKay, M. (2014). Bi-directional Exchange: The Cornerstone of Globally Focused Social Work. Global Social Welfare: Research, Policy & Practice. Retrieved from:

According to the authors of this publication, the social work profession holds an import part in the human society compared to other professions. This is because social work prioritizes on the eradication of all human suffering. This is the primary goal of the profession. The article also states that social work is deeply rooted in the western theories, culturally and historically precise perspectives and knowledge (Parker et al., 2014). This is supported by the historically demonstrated association between the arrival of the westerners and their succeeding control of numerous local natural resources.

From this argument, the article argues that the creation of global social work practices poses critical pitfalls to the local natural resources. This is through the issue of diverting the locally available natural resources from the local context, and inadvertently spreading the western practices, worldviews and paradigms. Nevertheless, social work profession intervenes by offering essential solutions to the emergent problems of social inequity, economic degradation and depletion of local natural resources in different parts of the globe.

According to the publication, the anti-oppressive theory can be used in the social work profession to create a remedy for the social inequity. Social workers must be sentient of their western privileges and racism, which they might encounter. They should base their social work professionalism on the aspects of social/collective actions, bi-directional exchange as well as collaborative paradigms (Parker et al., 2014). The three are considered to be the foundations of a globally focused social work profession. According to the publication, having sufficient knowledge of social work is important as people locally and internationally are affected by the global economic systems, which innately elevate their levels of social inequity.

Publication III Review

Hicks, S. (2015). Social work and gender: An argument for practical accounts. Qualitative Social Work. Retrieved from:

This article was authored by Stephen Hicks in 2015 where he outlined the problem of gender in social work. Gender issues in social work professionalism are addressed through various approaches such as anti-discriminatory measures, woman-centered approaches and intersection accounts on gender issues. However, the problem arises from the use of these strategies in controlling the issue of gender in social work profession because of their overreliance on reification and isolation of gender.

Hicks offers a good solution on how to handle the problem of gender inequality in the social work profession. According to him, social workers should examine post-structural, queer and trans-theories within the social work profession (Hicks, 2015). The author uses three primary theories of ethnomethodological, discursive theories and structural/materialist theories in addressing the problem of the conceptualization of gender. In his argument, social work fails to focus the concept of gender as a practical attainment, which occurs within varying situational contexts.

Publication IV Review

Wells, E. A., Kristman-Valente, A. N., Peavy, K. M., & Jackson, T. R. (2013). Social Workers and Delivery of Evidence-Based Psychosocial Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Social Work in Public Health. Retrieved from:

This publication was authored by Wells, Valente, Peavy and Jackson is 2013, where they addressed the problem of substance use disorders (SUDs) in the social work profession. According to the publication, numerous social workers in the society encounter with persons suffering from this condition in the society (Wells et al., 2013). In most cases, they are not equipped with the skills of handling such cases. The article also emphasizes on the need to focus on effective strategies for managing this problem in the society. This follows the changes in health care policies and shift towards integration of health and behavioral healthcare services.

The authors state that he social workers will be the solution to controlling the problems facing SUDs in the society. This is because they are the direct service providers, policymakers, care managers and administrators of necessary and effective strategies that will help SUDs. By participating in these roles, they will deliver, advocate and employ evidence-based SUD treatment practices in helping persons suffering from the SUD problem, in the society. The other primary solution to the problem discussed in the publication is the use of effective psychosocial SUD treatment methodologies. Such methodologies can be used by social workers when addressing the problem.

Publication V Review

Wooten, N. R. (2015). Military Social Work: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Work Education. Journal of Social Work Education.

This publication was authored by Nikki R. Wooten in 2015, where she addressed the problem of lack of social work education among numerous social workers in the society. According to the author, social workers with specialized education are required in solving complex behavioral health issues. Such issues can be observed among war veterans after their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the author, social workers should acquire social work education, so as to offer highly specialized services with militarily-relevant as well as culturally-responsive evidenced-informed services.

According to the author, the problem of lack of social work education was evidenced after it was observed that there is an insufficient number of military behavioral health workforce personnel (Wooten, 2015). This meant that numerous veterans in the society remained suffering from psychological issues associated with foreign war experiences. The recently returned war veterans present new social work opportunities and challenges that require military specialized social work education. As a solution to this problem, the author discussed an integrated model of the intellectual capital structure, which could act as a proposed guide to effective strategic planning. This is in the attainment of future military social work education.

Publication VI Review

Van Dorn, R. A., Scheyett, A., Swanson, J. W., & Swartz, M. S. (2010). Psychiatric Advance Directives and Social Workers: An Integrative Review. Social Work.

This publication was authored by Dorn, Scheyett and Swartz in 2010, where it discussed the need for psychiatric advance directives (PADs) in offering future psychiatric care to people. According to the author, PADs are seen as alternatives to coercive interventions that are offered to mentally sick people in the society. Insofar as using coercive interventions on mentally sick persons can be effective in improving their mental health, such interventions go against the NASW Code of Ethics (Dorn et al., 2010). The code permits social workers to find alternative ways of reducing coercion and instead increase autonomy as well as self-determination of patient's wishes, in their health care practices.

According to the publication, there is a problem of accepting PADs as effective remedies for determining health care provision for mentally ill persons. The author argues that the use of PADs has numerous potential positive outcomes on a patient's mental health. Such include the ease of treatment engagement, working alliance as well as treatment satisfaction. As a solution to the problem of failure to accept PADs for clinical use by social workers, the authors offer empirical evidence of a case where PADs implementation was effective. Although most PADs authorization laws have largely failed in the past decades, the theoretical findings in this article validate that PADs are effective in the mental health practice by social workers.

Publication VII Review

Perron, B. E., Taylor, H. O., Glass, J. E., & Margerum-Leys, J. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Social Work. Advances in Social Work.

This publication was authored by Perron, Taylor and Margerum-Leys in 2010, where they discussed the issue of inadequacy of ICT infrastructure knowledge in the social work profession. According to the authors, the growth of ICT in the United States has greatly influenced the political, socia...

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Issues in Social Work and Ways to Potentially Solve the Issues. (2021, Mar 11). Retrieved from

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