CASEWORK PRACTICE ORIENTATIONS AMONG CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS
MOSCHETTA, PAUL VINCENT
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The purpose of the present study is to explore the casework practice orientations of clinical social workers in terms of their underlying philosophies of science. The thesis explored in this research is that different, implicit philosophies of science operate to influence the worker's stance vis-a-vis the client and lead to different practice orientations among clinical social workers. The present study identifies the characteristics of these philosophic pre-commitments and clarifys how they influence the worker-client helping relationship.;The major research questions which organized the study are as follows: (A) What different philosophies of science are reflected in the practice efforts of clinical social workers? (B) What are the implicit practice assumptions associated with these different philosophies of science? (C) How do these practice assumptions influence the worker-client relationship? (D) How do these practice assumptions influence the therapeutic goals clinical social workers develop with clients?;To pursue these questions the researcher developed a conceptual framework which described the characteristics of two major scientific world views and their manifestation in corresponding casework practice orientations. This conceptual framework was applied to fifty case summaries prepared by clinical social workers. A qualitative content analysis procedure was followed in analyzing the data found in the case summaries.;The findings show that among the three different practice orientations described, Holistic, Atomistic and Mixed, the majority (64%) of the clinical social workers in the study sample practiced from an Atomistic orientation, while (24%) practiced from a Holistic orientation and (12%) reflected Mixed orientation.
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