Social needs framework : an alternative framework to analyzing and addressing social problems
Balyejjusa, Senkosi Moses
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Every community has its own social problems. These may be common across communities but may be experienced in unique ways. Indeed, social work as a profession focuses on addressing social problems. Drawing on concepts used by the social workers during social work practice and the meanings of the needs concept, the purpose of this chapter is to present and discuss a practice framework (social needs framework) that can be used to analyze and address social problems during social work practice. The social needs framework integrates all tasks social workers engage in during social problem-solving. A qualitative analysis of concepts used during social work practice shows that social work practice focuses on social needs as social problems, social solutions, social resources, and social ends while solving clients’ social problems. It is these four practice concepts and meanings of the concept of human needs that constitute the social needs framework. Social workers must focus on all the four social needs concepts during practice if they are to enhance the well-being of clients. It is concluded that adopting the social needs framework makes social work practice coherent, systematic, and holistic where the social worker and client start from social problems to social solutions through social resources in order to achieve the social ends.
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