Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Principles of Social Casework



The principles of social casework are applied in
establishing close relationship between social
caseworker and the client. Relationship is the medium
through which changes are brought in the behaviour
and personality of the client. The term relationship in
social casework was used for the first time by Miss
Virginia Robinson in her book, “A Changing Psychology
in Social Case Work” in 1939. The social casework
relationship is the dynamic interaction of attitudes and
emotions between the social caseworker and the client
with the purpose of helping the client to achieve a better
adjustment between himself and his/her environment.
Thus the purpose of establishing relationship is to help
the client with his/her psycho-social needs and
problems. The relationship between caseworker and
client may be more strengthened by using certain
principles. These principles are:
1) Principle of individualization
2) Principle of meaningful relationship
3) Principle of acceptance
4) Principle of communication
5) Principle of expression of feelings
6) Principle of controlled emotional involvement
7) Principle of non-judgmental attitude
8) Principle of client’s self-determination
9) Principle of worker’s self-awareness
10) Principle of social functioning
11) Principle of tuning behaviour
12) Principle of social learning
13) Principle of confidentiality
1) Principle of individualization
No two persons are alike in all qualities and traits. Their
problems may be the same but the cause of the problem,
the perception towards the problem and ego strength
differs in every individual. Therefore, each individual
client should be treated as a separate entity and
complete information is required to establish close
relations in order to solve his/her problem from root.
2) Principle of meaningful relationship
The purpose of establishing relationship in social
casework is to change the behaviour of the client or to
achieve adjustment in maladjusted situation.
Meaningful relationship is developed in social casework
by demonstrating the interests in client. He/she is
convinced of the caseworker’s warmth as an individual
and conveys respect and caring for him/her. In return,
the caseworker helps the client to trust in his/her
objectivity and feel secured as worthwhile individual.
3) Principle of acceptance
Social caseworker accepts the client as he is and with
all his/her limitations. He/she believes that acceptance
is the crux of all help. It embraces two basic ideas ---
one negative and one positive. He/she does not condemn
or feel hostile towards a client because his/her
behaviour differs from the approved one. Later on, he/
she tries to modify his/her behaviour step by step.
4) Principle of communication
Communication is a two-way process. There must be
proper communication between caseworker and the
client, which helps, in proper understanding of each
other. It is the road to the identification of the client’s
problem. The function of social caseworker is primarily
to create an environment in which the client will feel
comfortable in giving expression to his/her feelings. It
depends on a proper communication.
5) Principle of expression of feelings
Purposeful expression of feelings is the recognition of
the client’s need to express his/her feelings freely,
especially his/her negative feelings. The caseworker
listens purposefully, neither discouraging nor
condemning the expression of those feelings. Sometimes
he/she even stimulates and encourages them when
the expression is of therapeutic nature.
6) The Principle of controlled emotional involvement
The social caseworker tries to understand the client’s
feelings and emotions but he/she himself/herself does
not involved emotionally in his/her problems.
7) Principle of non-judgmental attitude
The non-judgmental attitude is a quality of the casework
relationship. The caseworker does not blame the client
for his/her problem nor he assigns any responsibility
for his/her miseries. He/she only evaluates the
attitudes, standards or action of the client.
8) Principle of client self-determination
The client’s self-determination is the practical
recognition of the right and need of clients to freedom
in making his/her own choices and decisions. But this
right is limited by the client’s capacity for positive and
constructive decision making.
9) Principle of self-awareness
It means that caseworker should known his/her own
strengths and limitations in dealing with client’s
problems. If he/she feels that the problems of the client
is beyond his/her capacity, the client should be
transferred to the appropriate authority.
10) Principle of social functioning
Social functioning means the functioning of the
individual in his/her social roles and relationships, with
emphasis on his/her relation to the environment. The
caseworker tries to assess the roles of the client and
his/her capacity to perform these roles.
11) Principle of tuning behaviour
Man has body, mind and intellect as three instruments
of experiences through which life constantly pulsates.
These three instruments have their own distinct
characteristics in each person. Hence each person has
unique personality. There is need of tuning three
instruments for right perception and thinking. The social
caseworker does it.
12) Principle of social learning
Social learning is a pre-requisite to the changes that
are inevitably involved in problem- solving. The social
learning processes involves (1) arousing and focusing
attention and concern, (2) organising and evaluating
the problem and planning future action, (3) searching
for and acquiring new information, (4) providing
opportunities to the client for new experience.
13) Principle of confidentiality
Confidentiality is the preservation of the secret
information concerning the client, which is disclosed
in the professional relationship only.