This paper illustrates that according to Braye and Preston-Shoot, an anti-discriminatory practice has its basis in the social work reformist tradition while anti-oppressive practice is based on the radical tradition. Discrimination mainly refers to the process whereby individuals are treated in an unfair manner and is mostly based on bias and stereotyping, while oppression is not only concerned with the acts of direct or indirect discrimination, but also on the structural dimensions of power and the manner in which these are reproduced in day-to-day social interactions. In dealing with these practices, the identity concept is fundamental. Identity is mainly perceived as being fluid and not static hence; individuals may fall into the category of oppressors and be oppressed at the same time. There are different identities that are possessed by individuals; which include being black, female, old, lesbian, and having certain disabilities. The nature of social work as a profession calls for the people with strong desires to assist in improving other peoples’ lives to cope with as well as solve issues in their daily lives. These problems range from relationship issues, disabilities, housing, unemployment, substance abuse to even life-threatening diseases. They may additionally be charged with the responsibility of carrying out researches, service advocacy, policy formulation and implementation. Some social workers engage their professionalism in the provision of social services and assistance in the view to improving the social and psychological functioning of children and their families. By coordinating available services, these social workers assess their client’s needs and offer assistance to improve their situations. Shulman further indicates that social workers in schools often serve as the links between students’ families and the school, working with parents, guardians, teachers, and other school officials in ensuring that students reach their academic and personal potential further offering them assistance in dealing with stress and emotional problems.
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The questions that this study seeks to ascertain are: Are in the current climate of welfare reform the concepts of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice now outdated? How far can social workers employ these principles to assist service users to make a sustainable change?…
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