Social Work Theory and Field Experiences

Social work theories play a critical role in influencing our fieldwork experiences this abounds from the fact that they influence the way a social worker responds or reacts to a certain situation or person. Various social theories abound as will be explicated below regarding the field experience that will be discussed. This paper commences with a brief description of an interaction that I had with my clients who were mostly people suffering from disabilities. The paper also avails a reflection regarding my experience with my clients. Additionally, the paper identifies relevant social work theories that helped me in understanding my client and tries to link the social work competencies to specific practice behaviors. The paper sums up by examining dissonance, articulating learning and plan development regarding the approaches that necessary for the social work.


Gathering Objective Data from Concrete Experience

At this stage, the difficult par for me was getting to know my clients and comprehending the different disabilities that the different clients suffered from. Additionally, it was tasking to establish their pattern and learning about their personality. However, facing my clients more was the only solution I had to get to know them better. This could also promote them to become more comfortable with me. My instructor was instrumental as he indicated that the clients disability prevented them from opening up to a stranger. Notably, one of the clients in my internship placement is non-verbal, which meant that I had a difficulty in communicating to him. Furthermore, the client expresses dislike or opposition to something through yelling. The client also yells when he is in the presence of strangers. My supervisor was instrumental again in addressing my fear as he indicated that I should take my time to understand the client and become comfortable with him. My supervisor also indicated the need for me researching on the symptoms of the people that I serve because having the background knowledge of my client characteristics is essential in dealing with them. My supervisor also added the fact that he also did the same while serving clients with disabilities.


On arriving home, I utilized the knowledge that my supervisor had instilled me with. This regards researching on the symptoms that my client suffered from in order to understand as much as I could concerning the client. One of the things I discovered and tried was offering my client myriad things in order to make him feel comfortable with me. For instance, I could offer my client things such as snacks or going for a walk. I also learnt the essence of not saying no to the client when he asked for a favor. This is because if I objected to his request he yells a lot. Notably, despite the clients non-verbal nature, he is able to utter a few words such as no or snack. Additionally, the client is able to write some words down despite the spelling errors and taking long to complete the word. The research I did informed me of the need for offering my client alternatives when he says objects to a proposal. For instance, when the client request me to go for a walk with him, I learned that instead of objecting to the request, I can inform him that the staff are few at the moment, but we will take the walk as soon as other staff members report back. This helps the client to be satisfied and avoid yelling. I was feeling lost when I first met the client population. I was thinking that I would not be in a position to handle the client list given the difference and difficulty of their comprehension and communication with me. These fears were dealt away after my supervisor gave me advice regarding how to work successfully with the client group.

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Identify relevant Theory and Knowledge


Communication theory abounds as one way that I can utilize to make sense of interaction. Notably, this is a best choice considering the fact that it concerns itself with how humans transmit and receive information. This is an essential general base for social workers. Additionally, it will facilitate me in comprehending my non-verbal client. Research asserts that this theory is essential in keeping the therapeutic process effective and open. Another theory that is essence concerns client centered treatment. This theory is of essence considering the fact that my work is centered on helping my client in regrouping his own personality resources and to accept and discover himself positively and pursue life goals.

Social Work Knowledge

Social work knowledge of how to conduct research that is gathered systematically with a planned design will facilitate me to make a sense of interaction. Notably, as my supervisor advised above, it is essential that I know how to research about my client group in order to learn more about them in order to be able to make a sense of interaction.

Ethical Values, Principles and Standards

A critical ethical value that will make me feel a sense of interaction is my sexual responsibility. According to the ethics for social workers, as a social worker, I am supposed to respect the client groups sexuality and not try to lure or take advantage of them. This, in my opinion, is what makes me feel a sense of interaction. Respect, as mentioned in the description above falls under principles of a social worker. Lastly, regarding standards, I should learn to comprehend what the client says, which will facilitate interaction.

Diversity Considerations

It is also essential to appreciate the diversity of the client group and identify with all of them. For instance, in my client group, the clients are affected with different disabilities that I should familiarize myself with in order to be able to make an interaction.

Connecting to Social Work Competencies

The first practice behavior that was utilized concerns identifying myself as a social worker and conducting myself accordingly. This can be deducted from the fact that I was advocating for the clients access to social work services. Additionally, I practiced personal reflection and self-correction in order to be able to interact with my client successfully. The second practice behavior I utilized regards application of social work ethical principles in guiding my professional practice. Because of my clients non-verbal nature and yelling, this was achieved through tolerating ambiguity and applying strategies for ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions. The third practice behavior applied concerns application of critical thinking in informing and communicating professional judgments to my client. This abounded in the form of demonstrating effective written and oral communication in working with the client group considering that they suffered from different disabilities. Additionally, this was achieved through analysis of models of assessment regarding prevention, intervention and evaluation. Another practice behavior that was utilized from the experience I chose regards advancing of human rights and social economic justice. This abounds from the fact that I understood the forms of oppression and discrimination that disabled people go through and the fact that I was engaged in practices that advocated social and economic justice for the disabled. Lastly, I also utilized practice behavior corresponding to engaging, assessing, intervening and evaluating with individuals and organizations. This was achieved through preparing for action with clients that are disabled in various ways. I also utilized my interpersonal skills and empathy. Another way was through assessment of client behavior, which includes the clients weaknesses and strengths. Additionally, I initiated actions through my research that were focused on achieving the organizational goals and evaluation of the interventions through monitoring and analyzing them.

Examining Dissonance

A conflict arises regarding the client focused theory and what the organization advocates for. Notably, the client focused theory advances for the need of a social worker to focus his attention on the clients needs. Notably, this means that whatever the client requires, it should be provided to them without questions. However, the organization does not support this point fully. This abounds from the fact that when; for instance, the client who in this context is non-verbal needs to take a walk, I should first check whether there are enough members of staff who can take care of other clients before I consent to take the client for a walk. This abounds a conflict basing on the fact that I will be required to inform the client to wait until other staff members report to duty before I can consent to his request of going for a walk. Additionally, there is a conflict between what the research regarding my client group advised me and how the clients reacted. Notably, research indicated that if the client opposed to my request and started yelling, I should avail him other options that can help calm the client down. However, there was conflict when I provided my client with options as the client did not seem to consent to any of the option I availed. The client continued to yell until I was helped by another staff that took the client away and calmed him down.

Articulating Learning

Personally, I have learnt the need for researching on the client group that I am dealing with. This is essential in provision of background knowledge regarding the client and dealing away with problems associated with misunderstandings. Additionally, I have learnt that it is critical to be patient with the client group. This requires the inclusion of theories, social work knowledge and ethical values, principles and standards of social work. For instance, I was not aware of the ethical values that I can perform to make an interaction. A good example concerns my sexual responsibility and respect for the clients right.

Regarding the client, I have learnt the need for handling them with care in order to deal away with instances of rebellion. For instance, I have learnt that it is necessary to avail a client with various options that they can decide from especially when dealing with a non-verbal client that yells when his request is not met. I have learnt that such a client is easy to deal with and cannot result to any form of harm. This abounds from the fact that they only react in such away in order to get their demands met.

Regarding the system, I have learnt there are rules that bound a social worker. These are stipulated under the ethical values, principles and standards. It is essential that a social worker observe all these ethical values, principles and standards in order to make an interaction with a client. I have also learnt that the system is geared towards bettering of individuals lives and it is critical that this goal be upheld.

Regarding the process, I have discovered that it is an easy process, but requires much patience. Patience is critical in dealing because you have to get to learn about your client before you can be successful in deadline with them. Thus, this requires extensive research on your client in order to determine the processes available in dealing with them.

Developing a Plan

The next course of learning that I will take entails how to facilitate the client to become aware of his situation and take it positively. This is a critical area of my learning because it will entail the formation of a rapport with the client first before I am able to start communicating with him. Additionally, I will strive to learn other ways that I can utilize in communicating with the client in order to be able to pass my message across to customer. On achieving this, I will be able to facilitate a positive development on the client. Notably, the new goal will be to get the client to stop yelling when he feels that his request has not been met. This can be achieved through advising the client on accepted behavior and those deemed not correct. This is one of the challenging tasks that I will have to achieve with the client.


In conclusion, this paper has commenced by an exploration of gathering data from an objective experience. My client comprised of a disabled person that was non-verbal. The non-verbal client was difficult to deal with at first given the language barrier and his reaction. However, after a talk with my supervisor, I went ahead to research about my client and got some tips regarding how to handle him. Another critical point to note is I felt like dealing with the client was hard and thought that I could not manage, which is not the case. Two main theories were explicated that reflect how I could make an interaction with the client. These include client based theory and communication theory. Additionally, it was mentioned in the essay that knowledge on social work is also critical in dealing with the client. Sexual responsibility and respect are critical value and principle respectively in dealing with the client as a social worker. Personally, I garnered different lessons regarding the process, the client and the system as discussed above. Future plans with client regard teaching him to accept himself and embrace life positively.

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