be the most effective will depend upon the clients and their unique psycho-social needs and the capabilities of the social worker to provide best practice assistance to clients. Social work is a profession based on knowledge, skills and values that must be translated into effective social work outcomes, meaning the social worker must maintain diverse, multi-faceted consciousness and education to achieve positive social results.
Through the utilization of a variety of different theories and approaches, social workers are able to both influence behavior of clients and help individuals interact more effectively with their environment (IFSW 2011). One of the most effective models of social work is the humanistic approach, one which focuses on the foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The humanistic model of social work is a client-centric model offering warmth, positive mutual regard for the client, empathy and understanding (Leskosek, 2009). Humanistic models allow the social worker to build positive interpersonal relationships, building client perceptions of social belonging, promoting self-esteem development, and the provision of security to fulfill important inherent client needs at the psycho-social level. Thus, in order to provide effective social work outcomes, knowledge must be gleaned in areas of sociological theory, psychological theory, and relevant models such as social learning theory. To provide humanistic-based assistance requires competencies in education in human behavior, biopsychosocial-spiritual perspectives, and diversity (Western Kentucky University, 2009).
Social work theory also provides the behavioral approach to assisting clients. Behavioral models assume that the client is either frustrated or aggressive in their coping skills. The social worker under this model attempts to create conscious connections between maladjusted coping systems to either strengthen or weaken desired behaviors (Leskosek, 2009). Through either classical