Title page for ETD etd-08082005-211705

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Kleijn, Willemien Cornelia
Email wkleijn@gmail.com
URN etd-08082005-211705
Document Title A developmental approach to statutory social work services
Degree MSD (Social Development and Policy)
Department Social Work
Advisor Name Title
Prof A Lombard
  • prevention
  • poverty
  • children
  • families
  • social work
  • family preservation
  • developmental approach
  • children’s court
  • partnerships
  • reunification
  • statutory intervention
  • early intervention
Date 2005-08-08
Availability unrestricted
The changeover of the South African government in 1994, brought along a need for transformation on all levels of society, including social welfare. As part of this transformation the South African government adopted the developmental approach to social welfare. Within this policy framework the government expects all social welfare services to be developmental. Existing services, including statutory social work services, should thus be reoriented to make them developmentally focused (White Paper for Social Welfare, 1997:7). The researcher has, however, identified a lack of clear guidelines for the transformation process of social welfare services and particularly of statutory social work. The goal of this study was therefore to investigate how statutory social work services can be rendered in a developmental manner, that is, in an empowering and upbuilding manner, and to formulate guidelines for social work practice in this regard.

For this study, the researcher utilised the qualitative approach. The respondents included were seven social workers and six clients in the study as respondents, representing five welfare organisations in Tshwane.

The key findings indicated that the developmental approach to statutory social work entails an emphasis on family preservation, which implies prevention and early intervention as well as reunification strategies. The findings also indicate that, although social workers are aware of what the developmental approach entails, this emphasis currently does not exist in practice due to various reasons, including the fact that social workers are overburdened and under-resourced.

The recommendations of this study are captured in guidelines for developmental statutory social work and guidelines for creating an enabling environment for statutory social work services. The guidelines for developmental statutory social work include various strategies for prevention and early intervention, while the guidelines for creating an enabling environment especially emphasise creating working partnerships with the government and other professionals and organisations.

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