Case study

profileSalman Wahid

Week 11

Integrating Theory and Practice

Integrated Framework

Anti-Oppressive practice


Organisational context


Phases of helping

Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (2009). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. Allen & Unwin.

Interlocking Theoretical Perspectives (Turner 2011)

What theories do people say drive their practice?

How much do clinicians know about the theories they follow?

Does one have to follow a strong theory base? Or is it enough to have one?

Is it possible to observe differences in outcomes when clinicians do not practice from a theoretical basis?

Can we see differences in outcomes where a theory base is examined?

Do we need to give more attention to technique rather than theory

"A critically reflective approach ...relies upon knowledge which is generated both empirically and self reflectively, and in a process of interaction, in order to analyse, resist and change constructed power relations, structures and ways of thinking"

(Fook, 1999, p. 202, cited in Osmond & Darlington, 2005, p. 3).

Critical Reflection

Integrating theory & practice


Bogo and Vayda’s (1998) Integration of Theory and Practice (ITP) Loop Model trains students and practitioners to cover four parts of a process during supervision of cases or projects, and to include review of four content elements in each process section.

The process is seen as a continuous learning loop for discussion in supervision, repeating the following components as needed during the course of the student’s work:

ITP Loop Model Continued

Retrieval: assessment, data-gathering, information both verbal and non-verbal

Reflection: personal concerns, conjectures, responses to the situation, biases, assumptions

Linkage: theoretical knowledge useful in developing and guiding interventions

Response: the professional plan developed and implemented as a result, then it’s assessment

ITP Loop Model Continued

Each process component includes four content elements that should be addressed to help students reflect on the multiple factors influencing social work practice:

Psychosocial factors: facts about the people, situation, and social problems at hand

Interactive factors: communications, interpretations, emotions, personalities, relationships

Contextual factors: cultural and community factors, beliefs, systemic, structural, power factors

Organizational factors: agency approaches and response, protocols, culture, system issues.

To illustrate…

Connelly, M and Harms, L.  p 27  Social Work Practice Theories and Frameworks

  Theoretical explanation - Narrative approach Practice approach
  People construct truths about themselves which may be helpful or unhelpful.  If unhelpful can cause deep distress Because truths are embedded in the narrative of self.  The practice approach involves the exploration of alternatives narrative that reflect preferred ways of being
  Theoretical explanation - Solution focused approach Practice approach
  The therapist helps the client to move away from their complaining difficulties Small positive changes that are possible to maintain that change is possible. Goals to see that situation can be viewed or seen differently.
  Theoretical Approach - Anti-oppressive practice Practice approach
  Discrimination implies people, groups or individuals are treated differently and unfairly for no apparent reason Empowerment and advocacy for the client to enable them to make changes as to what is effecting them.
  Theoretical approach - complex trauma Practice approach
  Understanding that this can be brought about by neglect, abandonment and abuse during early life.  It can effect behaviour and relationships Given a nurturing environment and a caring adult, individuals can learn to trust and feel secure.
  Value premises Personal and professional values and ethics
  Research findings Knowledge, theories and concepts

Practice Frameworks

Personal values

Field of practice

Client group

Agency context

Knowledge theories and concepts- Evidence base


Engaging with Individuals and Families in Partnership

Communication Skills


Critical Reflection

Anti-oppressive Practice

Strengths Based Approach

Attachment Theory

Systems /Ecological Approaches

Organisational contexts

Working with individuals and families

Learning Outcomes Review

Describe the underpinning theory that relates to direct practice for Social Work and Human Services.

Critically analyse theoretical perspectives that inform work with individuals and families.

Critically evaluate evidence in relation to the effectiveness of approaches to working with individuals and families.

Critically analyse the complex nature of direct practice, especially the impact of the organizational context on working with children and families.

Demonstrate a developing understanding of the integration of theory, methods and skills to support Social Work practice frameworks.

Identify and apply theoretical knowledge to practical tasks including conducting an assessment and developing an action plan.

Critically reflect on a range of social work and human service practice issues.

Good luck on your practice journey…

As you go from here…

To here!