Week 5

ProjectWeek in ReviewLooking AheadWeek 5: Macro SkillsThere is often a false belief that social work is either micro or macro focused. There is a long-standing argument between factions that claim either micro work (working with individual clients) or macro work (working with communities and organizations) is “true” social work. How might the two approaches complement each other? As a future social worker, why might it be beneficial to employ micro and macro skills in order to help a community or organization? Many believe the health of a community and the success of an organization depends on the health and success of its members. What strengths and challenges might you discover while practicing social work at the macro level? How might you engage with that community or organization to assess their needs and identify their strengths? What types of programmatic or societal changes could you make to improve the quality of life for that community or organization?This week you explore the strengths and challenges that exist within communities. You also analyze forms of assessment appropriate for community social work and engagement skills necessary for conducting those assessments.Learning ObjectivesStudents will:Apply the strengths perspective in relation to community challengesApply forms of assessment for social work practice in communitiesApply engagement skills for conducting community needs assessmentsDevelop skills for working with client systems based on levels of social work practiceDesign a social work groupAnalyze social work groupsPhoto Credit: [Caiaimage/Robert Daly]/[OJO+]/Getty ImagesLearning ResourcesNote: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.Required ReadingsKirst-Ashman, K. K., &  Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Understanding generalist practice (8th  ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.Chapter 4, “Skills for Working with Organizations and Communities” (pp. 138-174)Chapter 5, “Engagement and Assessment in Generalist Practice” (pp. 175-222)Itzhaky, H., & York, A. S. (2002). Showing results in community organization. Social Work, 47(2), 125-131. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.Document: Role Play Script Template (Word document)Note: You will use this document to develop your role play script.Knee, R. T., & Folsom, J. (2012). Bridging the crevasse between direct practice social work and management by increasing the transferability of core skills. Administration in Social Work, 36(4), 390–408. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.Rome, S. H., & Hoechstetter, S. (2010). Social work and civic engagement: The political participation of professional social workers. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(3), 107–129. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.Optional ResourcesDocument: Final Project Overview (PDF)Discussion: Community Social WorkWhen was the last time you drove through an unfamiliar neighborhood or community? How quickly did you identify that area as a “good” or “bad” part of town? What led you to that assessment? It is easy to label a community or town based on its appearance or reputation alone. Have you ever wondered, as you drove through certain communities, why some areas appear to be safe, clean, and filled with many varied businesses, while others appear run-down and lined with only check cashing centers, fast-food restaurants, and liquor stores? As a macro social worker, you often will see that communities thrive and falter due to the lack of resources available. Additionally, these areas may not grow or prosper because their resources have been untapped. Identifying strengths—be it in your individual clients, groups, families, and communities—is a key social work value. Use of this strengths perspective helps you to identify the potential strengths of a community and how to advocate for its members to obtain the resources and services they need to be successful.For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Reflect on a community with which you are familiar and that is in close proximity to you. Then, consider the population and geographical characteristics of that community, as well as its strengths and challenges. Take pictures of the community that represent the characteristics you identified. Finally, think about how these challenges you identified might be viewed as a strength for that community.By Day 3Post a description of the community you selected. Then, explain the strengths and challenges associated with that community based on its characteristics. Finally, explain how you, as a social worker, might help the community view its perceived challenges as a strength.Be sure to post the pictures you took that represent the characteristics you identified in the community.Support your posts and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

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