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WEEK 5: AT A GLANCE

MACRO SKILLS

INTRODUCTION

Will your social work practice be focused on the micro/mezzo or the macro level? Do you feel like you have to identify with one over the other?

While social workers do tend to be divided by their primary mode of practice (e.g., direct practice with individuals/families/groups versus macro practice with organizations/communities), all social workers benefit from having strong micro, mezzo, and macro skills. Administrators, community developers, and policy makers need micro- and mezzo-level practice skills in order to develop individual relationships and direct groups. Likewise, individual and group practitioners need advocacy skills to address the social injustices that impact their clients in order to effectively promote client well-being. According to the Council on Social Work Education (2015), all social workers are expected to be competent in the knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive/affective processes related to the competencies “Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice” and “Engage in Policy Practice.”

This week, you discuss one area of macro practice both by exploring the strengths and challenges that exist within communities, as well as by applying specific social work macro practice skills.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students will:

Apply the strengths perspective in relation to community challenges

Analyze social work roles and skills at the macro level

COMMUNITY SOCIAL WORK

Have you ever wondered 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 resources available. The ways in which society provides and allocates resources disproportionately benefits certain groups while harming others through lack of resources or displacement.

All communities have strengths despite their challenges. Use of the strengths-based 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.

RESOURCES

Required Readings

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Empowerment series: Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). CENGAGE Learning.

Chapter 4, “Skills for Working With Organizations and Communities” (pp. 138–174)

Austin, M. J., Anthony, E. K., Knee, R. T., & Mathias, J. (2016). Revisiting the relationship between micro and macro social work practice.Links to an external site. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 97(4), 270–277.

Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.

TO PREPARE

Identify characteristics that represent your community. Then, take a picture that represents these characteristics in your community. Note that your photo does not need to be literal—it can be symbolic.

Post a response to the following: ANSWER QUESTIONS BELOW 250-WORD COUNT WITH REFERENCE AND MAKE SURE TO SELECT A PHOTO THAT REPRESENT A COMMUNITY TO SPEAK ABOUT

1. Include a picture you took that represents the characteristics you identified in the community.

2. Provide a description of the community.

3. Explain the strengths and challenges associated with that community based on its characteristics.

4. Explain how you could utilize community strengths to address their challenges.

5. Identify at least three (3) macro-practice skills, and explain how you would use these skills to help the community address their challenges.

Support your post with examples from the course text and any other resources used to respond to this Discussion. Demonstrate that you have completed the required readings, understand the material, and are able to apply the concepts. Include a full reference of resources at the bottom of the post