EXPERT SOLUTION: Week 11 Discussion In chapter 10, we explore people and power in communities. Specifically, this c

Week 11


In chapter 10, we explore people and power in communities. Specifically, this chapter includes provides 7 rationales that explain why some people have greater power than others. These rationales also can be referred to as sources of power.

For this discussion thread, think about someone you consider to be a community activist. What is/was the person’s source(s) of power (see the 7 rationales for power). Discuss the ways in which this person’s power and efforts move(d) the community toward personal and/or social empowerment.

Reply two class mate

Social Worker Roles in Macro Practice

Generalist social work practitioners may assume a wide range of professional roles in macro practice. A role is a culturally expected behavior pattern for a person having a specified status or being involved in a designated social relationship. For example, people have certain expectations of how social workers will act and of the activities they will pursue.

Professional roles in macro practice include enabler, mediator, coordinator, manager, educator, evaluator, broker, facilitator, initiator, negotiator, mobilizer, and advocate. Note that professional roles are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A worker may perform the functions of more than one role at a time. Similarly, aspects of the roles may overlap.

An enabler
provides support, encouragement, and suggestions to members of a macro client system, thus allowing the system to operate more easily and more successfully in completing tasks and/or solving problems. In the enabler role, a worker helps a client system become capable of coping with situational or transitional stress. Specific skills used in achieving this objective include conveying hope, reducing resistance and ambivalence, recognizing and managing feelings, identifying and supporting personal strengths and social assets, breaking down problems into parts that can more readily be solved [partialization], and maintaining a focus on goals and the means of achieving them (Barker, 2003). For example, an enabler might help a community develop a program for identifying and shutting down crack houses. Community citizens do the work, but the enabler provides enthusiastic encouragement and helps participants identify their strengths and weaknesses and work out their interpersonal conflicts while keeping on task. Enablers, then, are helpers. Practitioners can function in the role of enabler for systems of all sizes.

(Note that this definition of enabler is very different from that used in the topic area of substance abuse. There, the term refers to someone else such as a family member or friend who facilitates the substance abuser in continuing to use and abuse the drug of his or her choice.)

A mediator
resolves arguments or disagreements among micro, mezzo, and/or macro systems in conflict (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). At the macro level mediators help various factions (subsystems) in a community or community systems themselves work out their differences. For example, a community (or neighborhood) and a social services organization may require mediation over the placement of a substance abuse treatment center. Perhaps the social services organization has selected a prime spot, but the community or neighborhood is balking at the establishment of such a center within its boundaries.

Coordination involves bringing components together in some kind of organized manner. A coordinator, therefore, brings the people involved in various systems together and organizes their performance (Netting et al., 2012; Yessian & Broskowski, 1983). A generalist social worker can function as a coordinator in many contexts including synchronization of advocacy pursuits, social service projects, the lobbying of legislators for some policy change, the provision of specialized consultation, or the process of enhancing the linkages between clients and services.

A manager
in social work is one who assumes some level of administrative responsibility for a social services agency or some other organizational system (Burghardt, 2011; Kettner, Moroney, & Martin, 2013). Management involves the “attainment of organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling organizational resources” (Daft & Marcic, 2013, p. 9).

An educator gives information and teaches skills to other systems. To be an effective educator, the worker must be knowledgeable about the topics being taught and a good communicator so that information is conveyed clearly.

An evaluator
determines the extent to which a program or agency is effective (Brody, 2005; Kettner et al., 2013). This can occur in an organizational or community context. Generalist social workers with a broad knowledge base about systems of all sizes can analyze or evaluate how well programs and systems work. Likewise, they can evaluate the effectiveness of their own interventions with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.

A broker links the macro client system (individuals, groups, organizations, or communities) with community resources and services. Such resources might be financial, legal, educational, psychological, recreational, or health-oriented.

A facilitator
is one who guides a group experience. Although the facilitator role is very common in mezzo practice, workers also frequently assume it in macro practice. In the macro context a facilitator brings participants together to promote the change process by improving communication, helping direct their efforts and resources, and linking them with needed information and expert help.

An initiator
is the person or persons who call attention to an issue. The issue in the community may be a problem, a need, or simply a situation that can be improved. It is important to recognize that a problem does not have to exist before a situation can be dealt with. Often preventing future problems or enhancing existing services is a satisfactory reason for creating a change effort. Thus, a social worker may recognize that a policy has the potential to create problems for particular clients and bring this to the attention of her supervisor. Likewise, a client may identify ways that service could be improved. In each case, the worker is playing the role of initiator in terms of beginning the actual change process. Usually, this role must be followed up by other kinds of work, because merely pointing out problems does not guarantee they will be solved.

A negotiator is an intermediary who acts to settle disputes and/or resolve disagreements. However, unlike mediators, negotiators clearly take the side of one of the parties involved.

A mobilizer identifies and convenes community people and resources and makes them responsive to unmet community needs (Austin, 2008; Toseland & Rivas, 2012). The mobilizer’s purpose is to match resources to needs in the community context. Sometimes, a mobilizer’s goal involves making services more accessible to those in the community who need them. Other times, a goal is initiating and developing services to meet needs that heretofore were unmet.

Advocacy is active intervention on a client system’s behalf to get needed resources that are currently unavailable, or to change regulations or policies that negatively affect that client system. An advocate is one who steps forward and speaks out on behalf of the client system in order to promote fair and equitable treatment or gain needed resources. In macro practice, of course, it would be on the behalf of some macro client system. This may be especially appropriate when a macro client system has little power to get what it needs. It also often involves taking risks, especially when advocating on a client’s behalf in the face of a larger, more powerful system.

Week 12: Identifying Sources of Power


· To critique and apply knowledge [about sources of personal power for various individuals] to understand person and environment.


1. Associate one or more possible sources of power [Part A] for each individual identified below [Part B] at the end of the sentence.

2. Underneath the sentence, briefly mention how you interpret this possible source of power actually making this individual powerful.

Part A: Possible Sources of Power

· information

· wealth

· reputation

· high status

· decision-making positions

· laws and policies

· connections

Part B: Following Individuals

a. A newspaper editor who has a gambling problem and is in great debt

b. The wealthy CEO (chief executive officer) of a multimillion-dollar business that manufactures tractors and other farm equipment

c. The middle-class town board chairperson of Flab City, Nebraska

d. The only priest at a rural Roman Catholic church

e. A wealthy, popular talk show host

f. A famous, highly skilled, and popular football player

g. The neighborhood gossip

h. The President of the United States

i. The chief director of the FBI

j. The high school homecoming queen and cheerleader

k. The president of the local League of Women Voters chapter

l. The chancellor or president of your college or university

m. A local police officer

n. You

Week 12: Macro Practice Roles


· Describe a range of social work roles in macro practice.

· Examine the significance of each role in a social work practice situation.


1. Review the macro practice roles addressed in Chapter 10.

2. Review the macro practice roles overview (attachment 1).

3. Identify the macro practice role(s) assumed in the following case scenarios [A-L] below (it is possible that in some scenarios the worker may play more than one role).

4. After identifying the macro practice role(s), briefly explain how each role is functioning in the scenario.

Scenario A

A social worker employed by a neighborhood center determines that the various workers and other professionals dealing with adolescent clients are not communicating with each other. (A neighborhood center is a locally based facility intending to bring neighborhood residents together by providing services, resources, and opportunities for interaction.) For example, school social workers have no established procedure for conveying information to protective services workers who, in turn, do not communicate readily with probation and parole workers—despite the fact that these professionals are working with many of the same clients. The neighborhood center social worker decides to bring together representatives from the various agencies that serve the center and establish more clearly defined communication channels.

Macro practice role(s):


Scenario B

A worker in a child protective services unit has developed special skills in family counseling by participating in a two-year training program. Her agency’s assistant director asks her to provide a series of six in-service training program for other child protective services staff. (In-service training programs are educational sessions provided by an agency for its staff to develop their skills or improve their effectiveness.)

Macro practice role(s):


Scenario C

The main tasks of a foster care unit are to assess potential foster parent applicants, monitor placement, manage cases as children move in and out of foster care, and train foster parents in parenting and behavior-management skills. The unit social workers hold biweekly meetings to discuss how to improve agency service provision. The workers take turns organizing the meetings and running the discussions.

Macro practice role(s):


Scenario D

A social worker employed by a large private family services agency specializes in international adoptions, especially those involving countries from Northeastern Europe, Central Asia, and China. He discovers that many of the adoptive children suffer from health problems caused by early nutritional deprivation. The worker is convinced that this is not a matter of one or two problem cases, but a disturbing pattern. No automatic referral process is in place to assess these adoptive children and direct their families to needed resources, including designated medical specialists. The worker devises a systematic process for assessment and referral.

Macro practice role(s):


Scenario E

Agency administration asks one of three social workers in a large residential health care complex for older adults to assess the effectiveness of its social services program.

Macro practice role(s):


Scenario F

A social worker employed at a sheltered workshop for people with intellectual disabilities is assigned by her supervisor to oversee a new program that will teach anger management and appropriate assertiveness skills to clients. (Sheltered employment such as this workshop for people with intellectual disabilities is a program involving work in a safe, closely supervised work environment for people who have trouble functioning more independently.) The social worker will also be responsible for supervising two other social workers and training them to implement the program with their clients.

Macro practice role(s):


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