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CRITICALLY ASSESS THE IMPACT OF TASK-CENTRED PRACTICE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL WORK The task-centred model is a short-term, problem-solving approach to social work practice. It was developed by William Reid and Laura Epstein in 1969 and appeared as a response to the criticism that long-term casework was time-consuming and it wasn't very successful in a significant percentage of clients. It is a way of working with people that highlight partnership and the clients' participation in decisions that affect them. Task-centred work is one of the few models of social work that encourages clients to decide what they wish to improve or change, rather than having to work on problems that the practitioner considers most important. It also emphasise the client's motivation, responsibility and the improving of problem-solving capacity. "... task-centred casework has become task-centred practice, an indication of its development from individualised, therapeutic beginnings to a broader stage; a move away from relatively conservative practices into more radical territory, embracing notions of partnership, empowerment and anti-oppressive practice, and signalling practical ways of realising these ideas." (Adams, 2002, p. 192) It's a practice that is heavily influenced by behavioural model, problem-solving approach and the learning theory. Like in the behavioural model, task-centred work is a short-term service, usually 6 to 12 sessions and it focuses on problems and behaviours, not in emotions. ...read more.


(www.geocities.com/taskcentered/). The task-centred practice, around the 1980s, was in the right position to give voice to the clients' rights/consumer choice movement (BASW, 1979). Its connections with open and shared recording (qualitative methodology) and the demands for transparency about the purpose of the work, gave task-centred practice ambiguous attraction to both radical and managerial elements in social work. This pressure continued through the 1990s and beyond; task-centred practice provides clear methods to shape the good intentions of partnership and the firm expression of anti-oppressive principles, but also attract interest from agency managers interested in having measurable outcomes and clear systems of accountability. (Adams, 2002, p. 193). As referred in a website about task-centred practice (www.geocities.com/taskcentered/) this model is split in 3 phases - the initial phase, the middle phase and the termination phase, and as a time limit set at the beginning of the intervention, in collaboration with the client. Usually the interventions will last between 6 to 12 weeks. In the initial phase the practitioner works with the client to identify problems. Next, target problems are selected and prioritized, in order of importance to the client. Finally the client set goals that will show that progress has been made towards resolution of the problem during intervention. Assessment, process and outcome data are collected systematically. In the middle phase, both client and practitioner mutually agree to tasks that will take the client step by step towards a resolution of their problems. ...read more.


However, such an approach might maintain a patriarchal or even abusive family structure. The work undertaken with the family might therefore achieve one of the goals of the intervention, reduced conflict, but not another more value-based goal-for the family to interact in a more equal manner. (Trotter, available from: www.allen-unwin.com.au [see bibliography]). Others say that the limitation of time is good for the practitioner and for the agencies (saves time and money), but it doesn't real help the client because the intervention is too short to resolve the real problems. In conclusion, some researches and development works showed that task-centred practice is very relevant in Social Work, but it isn't sufficient to have knowledge of the model to apply it. It is also important to train practitioners, to implement and to support this practice at personal, team and agency levels, mainly because the transition from knowledge to understanding and then to delivery it to clients is not simple. (Doel, 2006, available from www.communitycare.co.uk [see bibliography]). "Task-centred work has a solid pedigree of more than 40 years of research development. It fits so many of the developments in social work in recent times that it has come of age. Its long-standing commitment to involving service users at its core now chimes with current thinking in social work... We hope this approach will become mainstream to the development of social work practice over the coming years". (Doel, 2006, available from www.communitycare.co.uk [see bibliography]). ...read more.

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