Systems Perspective and Social Change

nt member in his community, church community, and was able to handle his life all by himself. However, after an automobile accident, Lester has done a 180 and can no longer clothe or clean himself (Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen, 2014). This is where systems perspective comes in: what systems in Lester’s life can the social worker use to assist Lester? From the case study, we know that Lester is close with his family, but his sister-in-law has really stepped up to the plate in helping with Lester’s care. Because of Lester’s connections with his religious community, they may be relied on for resources. Lester’s children have not been involved really at all, so they should not be counted on as a system on which Lester can rely (Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen, 2014). Lester will have to have new systems created for him, as he cannot create them for himself anymore.

            As a social worker, it is crucial to know the systems on which a client can rely. System Theory is a good theory because of its ability to be used with any client. Knowing what resources are available to a client, as well as their interactions with those resources, is key in creating a treatment plan for the client.

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Working with People with Disabilities: The Case of Lester. Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.

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Multiple systems interact to impact individuals on many levels. In Lester’s case he is a 59 year old African American widower who suffered from injuries because of his involvment in a mulitiple car crash. “Prior to the accident he was an electrician and lived on his own in a family home”, (Plummer, Makris and Brocksen 2014). This crash caused him to depend on multiple systems in his life such as his family, rehabilitation facilities, and social workers. All of these systems interact as aid for Lester’s recovery. Members of his family are requesting Power of attorney in order to make important decisions for him, as well as pay his bills and other things. The social worker wanted to make sure that his mental state was okay by doing assessments, and the rehabilitation centers are aiding in his overall physical recovery.

As a social worker I might apply systems perspective to my work with Lester by, allowing him to see all of the people that truly care about him, and are aiding him in his recovery. “Clients are affected by and in constant dynamic interactions with other systems including families groups organizations and communities”, (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016).. Sometimes when tragic things happen to people they become depressed, and can only see the negative. As a social worker I would also use the systems perspective to connect his rrehabilitation process, counseling, and family matters. All of these things aid in helping Lester live a productive life despite his current circumstances. I would apply a systems perspective to social work practice by addressing all areas of a clients situation. In order to do that, a social worker needs to make sure that the primary focus is on the individuals well-being, and all of the other areas such as family, groups, organizations and communities aid in helping that client reach his or her goals, and live productive lives.

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