The History Of The Functionalist Perspective Social Work Essay

Social work promotes societal alteration, job work outing within human relationships and empowers and liberates service user ‘s to heighten their wellbeing. Social work pattern takes topographic point where service users interact within their environments and affect using theories of behavior and societal systems ; basically societal work concerns itself with service users and wider society. This requires societal workers to prosecute with vulnerable people who are happening troubles in take parting to the full in society.

“ Social work pattern seeks to advance human wellbeing and to right human agony and injusticeaˆ¦..Such pattern maintains a peculiar concern for those who are most excluded from societal, economic or cultural procedures and structuresaˆ¦.Consequently, societal work pattern is a political activity and tensenesss between rights to care and command and self-government are really much a professional concern ” ( O’Connor et al, 2006, p.1 )

In drumhead, Social workers in consequence walk a thin line between back uping on behalf of a service user who has been marginalised, whilst being employed by both the societal and political environment that may hold played a cardinal function in that marginalization ( aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦ . ) .

The Brown household instance survey will be referred to throughout the essay in an effort to research and discourse the lived experiences of service users. With such an array of troubles faced by the household, in order to be able to supply analysis and review, some of these troubles and their correlativity within societal work pattern will non be explored. The essay will get down with analyzing the political background from Margaret Thatcher to the current Coalition authorities and stress their continued functionalist political orientations. It will besides discourse sociological buildings of the household, and refer to some of the factors that impact upon the Brown household ‘s twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours life.

Functionalist Perspective

There are many different positions in which to analyze society but this essay does non supply plenty range to discourse each position and will therefore position society from a functionalist position. This views society as a big system that is sustained by the establishments and persons that belong to that system. In order to maintain the system sustained Durkeim ( aˆ¦.. ) suggested that a cardinal issue was societal order and that that this can be established when there is a common set of regulations values and beliefs ( Cunningham & A ; Cunningham, 2008 ) .

The Neo-Liberal political orientation of both Margaret Thatcher and New Labour doubtless back up this functionalist position.

This political orientation could hold a damaging impact upon the Brown household. The Coalition authorities have progressively remained vocal refering the public functionalist rhetoric. Therefore, the Brown household go a mark for examination and negative attending that is merely exacerbated by media perceptual experiences of the deserving and undeserving.

Shipman ( 2011 ) refers to Iain Duncan Smiths position that the establishment of ‘family ‘ is cardinal to keeping a stable society.

It is of import to besides see how this Neo-Liberal Functionalism can hold an consequence on societal work pattern. The rhetoric that is systematically provided can unwittingly act upon or alter an appraisal or change the type of intercessions that may be offered to a household. When merely shoping through the instance survey, certain issues that the household have attract attending and perceptual experiences of these issues may get down to overcast the a professionals opinion of the household before face to face contact has even been made

Social policy has long been associated with an involvement in politician ‘s attempts to seek to alter the behavior of complex and troublesome populations and public assistance has remained the method for advancing the desired alterations in behavior ( Deacon, 2002 ) . The 2011 Welfare Reform Bill guarantees robust steps to do certain that work wages and terminate public assistance dependence. In order implement this, the authorities will be increasing punishments and presenting new limitations for people who do non stay by the steps ( Department for Work and Pensions, 2010 ) . Despite the fact that politicians imply that work is the duty of single, they besides place noticeable importance on the fact that work can bring forth wagess that are non merely concerned with wage. These include important sweetenings in mental wellness and wellbeing, physical wellness and better chances for kids ( Department for work and Pensions, 2008 ) . Basically, they advocate that ‘work is the best signifier of public assistance ‘ and this look is accepted by both the New Labour and the Coalition. Facilitating people back into work is considered by the Coalition to be a cardinal factor in trying to repair ‘Broken Britain ‘ .

The fecund instances of the deceases of Victoria Climbie and Baby P led to such media examination and a downward bend in public perceptual experience of societal workers. As a consequence, this has led to alterations in societal work pattern with kids and households.

Due to the current asceticism steps, societal workers gatekeeping of resources and holding to run into rigorous thresholds frequently result in restrictions being put on households and making what aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦..describes as a revolving door syndrome. The Brown instance survey refers to there being intermittent engagement from societal services over several old ages, which supports the suggestion of a revolving door syndrome. Although the instance survey is non expressed, I think it would be safe to presume that issues faced by the Brown household may hold suggested that they meet the subdivision 47 threshold set out in the Children Act which would hold triggered societal work engagement with the household. However, if the engagement has been intermittent, this would propose that one time important hazard had diminished the engagement with the household was stopped which suggest hazard led pattern was employed instead than a demands led ( Axford, 2010 ) .

Munro ‘s recent reappraisal of kid protection ( 2011 ) included 15 recommendations. There is non scope to discourse each recommendation but she urges the authorities to accept that there will necessarily be an component of uncertainness, to let professionals to hold a greater freedom to utilize their professional opinion and expertness, and to cut down bureaucratism. The response from authorities is to accept 9 out of the 15 recommendations ( DfE, 2011 )


The instance survey high spots that the Brown household are dependent on public assistance benefits and that they find it hard to pull off their fundss. Therefore, they are basically populating in poorness. Poverty can be described as a complex happening that can be caused by a scope of issues which can ensue in unequal resources. It impacts on childhoods, life opportunities and imposes costs on society

“ Child poorness costs the state at least ?25 billion a twelvemonth, including ?17 billion that could accrue to the Exchequer if child poorness were eradicated. Traveling all households above the poorness line would non immediately produce this amount. But in the long term, immense sums would be saved from non holding to pick up the pieces of kid poorness and associated societal ailments. ” ( Hirsch, 2008: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, p.1 )

Cross national surveies have suggested that kid poorness is non a natural happening. Furthermore it is a political happening, the merchandise of determinations and actions made by the authorities and society. Attention refering a dependence civilization has filtered through different political parties and have been utilised with renewed enthusiasm since the formation of the alliance authorities in 2010. These averments of dependence create propaganda about the attitudes of the workless and they give the incorrect feeling of the old attempts of the Labour authorities to undertake child poorness who focus was to direct increased public assistance payments towards those people who are working in low paid occupations. The alliance is presently cut downing benefit payments to households in work. As a consequence of these cuts, many kids will obviously be thrust back into kid poorness ( aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦ ) .

A possible contention is that the alliance authorities argue that they seek to handle the symptoms of poorness, instead than the causes. However, their analyses of the causes are at best partial or uncomplete. While in-work poorness is acknowledged, it is frequently buried beneath the rhetoric of public assistance dependence ( ESRC, 2011 ) . The suggestion that old methods to undertake child poorness have necessarily robbed people of their ain duty and hence led them to go dependent on the public assistance province that merely hands out hard currency is absurd ( Minujin & A ; Nandy, 2012 ) .

Work is often referred to as the favoured path out of poorness. Although the authorities have introduced legion policies to ‘make work wage ‘ there are infinite households that still do non gain adequate money to try to raise their household out of poorness ( Barnardos, 2009 ) . More than half of all kids presently populating in poorness have a parent in paid work ( DWP, 2009 ) . The Brown household have both parents out of work, with Anne holding ne’er been in paid work and Craig fighting to happen regular employment since go forthing the Army 8 old ages ago. Both parents have literacy troubles and so necessitate a complex bundle of support to enable them to better their life opportunities of deriving employment that pays above the minimal pay in order for their household to no longer be populating in poorness.

Harmonizing to the codification of pattern ( HCPC, 2012 ) societal workers are required toaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦

As mentioned antecedently, consecutive Neo Liberal authoritiess uphold a functionalist political orientation that often locates poorness in footings of personal duty and shortages.


As mentioned antecedently, services have alterations over the past 20 old ages and this can be explained by the outgrowth of a managerial attack to how services are being delivered. Intrinsically, managerialism is a basic set of thoughts that transpired from the New Right unfavorable judgment of public assistance and is founded on the impression that public services need to be managed in the same manner as profit-making administrations ( Harris & A ; Unwin, 2009 ) . In the UK there has been a rise in managerialism which can frequently take to weakening the function and liberty of societal work pattern. In the chase of going accountable and impartial, directors are trying to command or order pattern in increasing item which inexorably leads to cut downing the chance for practicians to implement single logical thinking ( Rogowski, 2011 ) . As a consequence, this leads to policies that represent regulations that can frequently be described as inept and insensitive for the service user. Therefore, the hassle between the managerial and the professional control in societal work pattern is frequently a contested issue ( Munro, 2008 ) . As managerialism takes more control, so a displacement towards defensive pattern develops which consequences in processs that are insensitive to the demands of households. In kernel, the professional function of a societal worker can be increasingly reduced to a administrative official with no possibility for expertness or personalised responses

In add-on, a managerial attack causes struggle, as it emphasises the demand for marks that will measure public presentation and the bringing of services ( Brotherton et Al, 20120 ) . Furthermore, there is a correlativity with an evident misgiving or liberty of professionals. This has led to an rush in examination by a assortment of review organic structures such as Ofsted and this has been highly important in the country of child protection following the high-profile instances of the deceases of Victoria Climbie and Peter Connolly.


The instance survey draws attending to the socially disadvantaged country in a big metropolis where the Brown household are presently shacking and that they are populating in private rented adjustment. Recent statistics indicate that progressively high costs of leasing can thrust families and in peculiar households with kids, into poorness or farther into poorness. In comparing with other term of offices, and with the cost of lodging taken into consideration, about 54 % of kids who live in private rented houses are presently populating below the poorness line ( Harker, 2006 ) .

“ Cardinal to all of this is the demand for Government to to the full recognize the importance of lodging as the foundation of people ‘s lives. Housing must travel up the parties ‘ political precedence lists, and go a cardinal portion of all policy arguments on poorness, criterions of life and future economic prosperity. Without this occurrence, we run the hazard that we will damage the cloth of society, and make a black hereafter for many. ” ( Turffrey, 2010, p.25 )

Harmonizing to Shelter, populating in hapless or deficient lodging can hold an immense and possible permanent consequence on kids ‘s opportunities in life. There is besides an related shared cost amongst a broad choice of policy countries. In malice of this, policy has afforded little thought to the influence that lodging can hold on a household. The Every Child Matters agenda offers a alone chance to better kids ‘s services, nonetheless it is important that lodging is incorporated at the nucleus of this docket. By trying to undertake unfit or unequal lodging conditions, the authorities will back up kids to boom and it will to boot play a portion in the mark for the authorities to stop kid poorness by 2020.


As antecedently mentioned, the Brown household live in a socially disadvantaged country of a big metropolis and research has shown that kids from deprived countries are frequently left with modest entree to resources and less experient instructors, as staff with more expendable income chose to relocate to more flush countries. Therefore, the location in which the Brown kids live could hold a damaging influence on their educational chances ( Barnard, 2011 ) . The instance analyze provinces that both parents have literacy jobs which raise issues about the educational chances that they had entree to as a kid and whether or non the country in which they lived may hold contributed to their chances. Finally, the instance survey besides highlights the fickle attending of Holly, Ben and Kirsty at primary school. One could propose that this may be as a consequence of their parents own personal agnosticism about the educational system and what their kids have to derive.


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