Contemporary Practice Approaches – Social Work Theories

Contemporary Practice Approaches – Social Work Theories
First and foremost, this topic revolves around the AUSTRALIAN society. So focus, examples and pointers should be within and related to the AUSTRALIAN context.

This is also a paper for a Social Work degree course and is under a subject called ‘Contemporary Practice Approaches’. Hence, the context and relevant literature or references should be related to Social Work Theories and applied WITHIN the context of Australia.


This essay requires you to critically analyse ONE social work theory and critically apply this to one field of practice. The field of practice in this essay would be ‘depression experienced by young people in Australia’. This essay requires situating your analysis in contemporary social work theory debates. The types of Social Work Theories that could be applied are (for example);

– Cognitive behavioural therapy
– Empowerment Theory
– Strengths Perspectives Theory
– Solution focused Theory

Hence, choose ONE theory that could be best applied and analysed in the context of ‘depression experienced by young people in Australia’.


This essay has two parts that will inform each other. You are asked to examine one theory and argue why you think it is an appropriate theory or not to use in the field of practice (depression experienced by young people in Australia). The following outline will assist in structuring the essay.

Part One: Reviewing a Theory (approx 1000 words)

This should include:
– Describing the social work theory you have selected.
– Exploring influences on the development of the theory, that is, how has it historically been situated in social work, what is its relationship to social work values, purpose and professional identity.
-Exploring modern/postmodern influences of the theory.

Part Two: Applying the theory to field of practice (approx 1500 words).

This should include:
– A brief description of the field of practice – what do you know about it? (i.e: What do you know or can explain about depression experienced by young people in Australia?)
– Critically analyse the application of the theory to the field of practice, that is, explore the strengths and limitations of the theory in relation to the field of practice.
– Your conclusion to why you think the theory is applicable or not to the particular field you have examined.

NOTE: think about concepts such as power, gender, culture, purpose, truth etc. to help your critical analysis, that is, points of contention between different theories will help you engage in CRITICAL discussion rather than a descriptive discussion.

This essay is asking for CRITICAL ANALYSIS and this will be the focus of marking and grading. It is about showing your ability to contribute to theoretical discussions and debates that currently inform social work. This is an academic paper and so needs to be written in the third person. It also needs to draw on a range of social work references that engage with your theory, field of practice, and theoretical debates.
*I will also be uploading an attachment with further elaborations on my instructions for this particular essay. Please read all my instructions carefully and clarify should you not be familiar with anything.

**IN ADDITION, please use textbook: ‘ Payne, M. 2014, Modern Social Work Theory, 4th, Palgrave Macmillan’ as MAIN REFERENCE SOURCE.**

You will need to use academic references in this paper. At least 10 references in total are required. Use HARVARD REFERENCING style.

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