The utilisation of community work within a military context : the role of the social worker

Bagnall, Karen (2002-03)

Thesis (MSocialWork)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Community work fulfils definite functions within the social work milieu and develops according to a process. The SANDF does not possess any definite guidelines regarding community work. The resultant consequence is that community work is not utilised to its full potential in that the client system does not always receive a quality service. The purpose of this study was to compose a framework for the Directorate of Social Work within the SANDF, which can serve as a guideline for the possible formulation of a policy document on community work within social work practice. The objectives of the study are firstly to provide theoretical and practical guidelines which social workers in a military setting can follow when utilising community work as a social work method of intervention. Secondly, to explore the knowledge and skills of social workers in the military within the SANDF regarding community work. Thirdly, the need for guidelines with regard to community work within the SANDF, was explored. This study was confined geographically to the social workers in the military of the Western Province. An exploratory study was executed in order to achieve the stated goal and objectives. The research methodology was a quantitative design being a data collection instrument in the form of a questionnaire. The questionnaire was used to probe skills, knowledge perceptions and attitudes relating to community work and to determine the impact of existing community programmes. The empirical study enabled the researcher to draw certain conclusions. Although certain misconceptions were evident, the respondents understood the term developmental social work, community and community work, as well as the systems involved in the community work process and the practice models. The most utilised social work method was casework. The respondents who utilised community work made use of a community work process. Most of the respondents utilised the social community education model in the military. Most of the respondents indicated that guidelines for community work within the SANDF would be helpful. Approximately thirty percent of the respondents experienced problems while making use of community work as a social work method of intervention. A number of recommendations stem from the findings and conclusions. The social workers knowledge with regard to community work needs to be updated. Practical opportunities need to be provided to afford the social worker the opportunity to implement the newly acquired knowledge. Community work guidelines need to be determined within the SANDF, and need to be formulated into a policy document. Specific community work posts, which include all disciplines, need to be created within the SANDF. Post-graduates studies should be undertaken by social workers before being promoted into managerial positions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gemeenskapswerk is een van die drie primere metodes van maatskaplike werk. Gemeenskapswerk is 'n proses wat mense help om hulle probleme en behoeftes duidelik te identifiseer en wat die gemeenskap verder help om potensialiteite en vermoëns te ontwikkel om probleme en behoeftes self te kan hanteer, op te los en te voorkom. Gemeenskapswerk het 'n bepaalde funksie binne die maatskaplike werk milieu en verloop volgens 'n proses. Die SANW beskik nie oor geskrewe riglyne vir gemeenskapswerk nie. Dit kan die kwaliteit van dienslewering aan die kliëntsisteem beinvloed. Die doel van hierdie studie is om 'n raamwerk vir die Direktoraat Maatskaplikewerk Dienste in die Suid Afrikaanse Nationale Weermag(SANW) op te stel wat as riglyne vir gemeenskapswerk in die maatskaplike-praktyk benut kan word, en aangewend kan word om 'n beleidsdokument saam te stel. Die doelwitte van die studie is eerstens om 'n teoretiese uiteensetting van verskeie praktyk modelle van gemeenskapswerk en die proses van gemeenskapswerk in die maatskaplike-praktyk aan te bied. Tweedens is beoog om deur middel van 'n ondersoek te bepaal oor watter kennis van en vaardigheid in gemeenskapwerk , maatskaplike werkers in die SANW beskik. In die derde plek is die behoefte aan riglyne vir gemeenskapswerk in die SANW ondersoek. Die studie is begrens tot maatskaplike wekers in die militêr verbonde aan die Westelike Provinsie. 'n Verkennende studie is onderneem om die gestelde doelstelling en doelwitte te bereik. 'n Vraelys is benut as instrument ter insameling van die data. Die empiriese ondersoek is gedoen deur die benutting van kwantitatiewe navorsing om die voorkoms van die werklikhede te bespreek. Na aanleiding van die empiriese ondersoek is bepaalde gevolgtrekkings gemaak. Alhoewel die respondente die terme gemeenskapswerk, gemeenskappe en gemeenskapwerk modelle en die vier sisteme binne gemeenskapswerk verstaan, het verwarring wel voorgekom. Daar is bevind dat die gevallewerkmetode deur die oorgrote meederheid van die respondente gebruik word. Daar is ook bevind dat gemeenskapswerk verloop volgens 'n proses. Die gemeenskaps-opvoedkundige model word deur die meerderheid van die respondente benut. Daar is bevind dat riglyne vir gemeenskapswerk in die SANW bruikbaar sal wees, omdat ongeveer dertig persent van die respondente probleme ondervind tydens die benutting van die gemeenskapswerk proses. Aanbevelings na aanleiding van die bevindinge en gevolgtrekkings sluit in dat maatskaplike werkers in die militêr se teoretiese kennis oor gemeenskapswerk uitgebrei moet word, waarna opleiding benodig word om hierdie kennis toe te pas. Riglyne vir gemeenskapswerk in die SANW moet opgestel word en in 'n beleidsdokument saamgevat word. Die SANW moet spesifieke gemeenskapswerkposte skep wat alle dissiplines sal insluit. Voorts moet nagraadse studie ook 'n vereiste wees vir maatskaplikewerk-personeel om tot 'n bestuursposisie bevorder te kan word.

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