Critically assess the impact of Task-Centred by Ester Moreira
practice on the development of Social Work
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.
As in behavioural approaches, task-centred practice covers a wider range of problems, involving clients’ relationships to diverse environmental systems, for instance, homelessness problems, poor financial resources and conflicts between client and organisations have always been among the targets of the task-centred practice, but in
contrast they fall outside the usual range of behavioural approaches. (Reid, 1992).