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SWRK 200 // Systems Theory

#UTMSWRK200 // Chapter 4 Addition
by

Donald Jordan

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of SWRK 200 // Systems Theory

Donald G Jordan, LMSW
University of Tennessee at Martin
Life isn't linear;
neither are we.
System
: a whole made up of interdependent parts
: is composed of interdependent elements that share some common goals, interrelated functions, boundaries, and an identity.

: takes the position that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Systems
Theory

MACRO
MICRO
individual
couple
Intro to Social Work // #UTMSWRK200
groups
MEZZO
extended families
support networks
communities
organizations
OPEN SYSTEMS
:structures that maintain their organization even though their parts constantly change.

Individuals, families, groups, schools, organizations, societies are all open systems
Systems use
FEEDBACK
mechanisms to identify and respond to environmental changes

In order to continue functioning, systems must identify and respond to environmental changes

Systems then adjust or incorporate themselves based on that feedback in order to continue functioning
This process can be referred to as
ADAPTIVE SELF-REGULATION
Sometimes this adaptation is unconsciously managed by internal systems, and other times it is a conscious decision of the system based on gathered feedback
Systems retain their identity by creating either higher structures to organize themselves within, or substructures by revising the relationships among components
The system as a whole is always in tension with the components of the system

All living entities are both components of a system as well as an entire system of their own
BOUNDARIES
:
the repeatedly occurring patterns that characterize the relationships within a system and give that system a particular identity, setting it apart from other systems.

Boundaries establish how various units in a system relate to each other

Boundaries distinguish between those components that belong and those who do not belong within a given system.


Systems retain their identity by creating either higher structures to organize themselves within, or substructures by revising the relationships among components
SUBSYSTEM
- a secondary or subordinate system, a smaller system within a larger system

HOMEOSTASIS
- the tendency for a system to maintain a relatively stable, constant state of balance so that it can survive and family members can stay together.

Homeostatis is the status quo, which systems work to maintain; imagine autopilot working to regain a steady state for conitnuation of functioning.
STATUS QUO:
worth defending?
needs to go?
microsystem?
mezzosystem?
macrosystem?
ROLE
: socially expected bx pattern usually determined by status in society
Each component of a system assumes a role in that position; this role may or may not be the role assigned
Each component fullfils
NUMEROUS ROLES
because each component is often involved in many systems at one time
RELATIONSHIP
is the mutual exchange between two systems of virtually any size
INPUT

the flow of energy, information, communication, or other resource received from another system.
RELATIONSHIP
OUTPUT

may or may not have value, and is the result of input from another system after it is processed
FEEDBACK

positive, negative, or otherwise, is a special kind of input about a system receiving information about its own performance
positive better? negative better?
what are examples? micro, mezzo, macro
INTERFACE
contact point between various systems where interaction and communication takes place
treatment plan
field contract
job description
COMMON GROUND
probation meeting

parent-child discipline
UNCOMMON GROUND
what else?
Change Agent System
The system enacting change within the client system
Client System
The system seeking professional help from the Change Agent System
Target System
The system to be changed
Action System
all the systems which enact change on target system
Entrophy
Working toward disorganization
Negative Entrophy
Working toward organization
Equifinality
Many ways to the same goal
Full transcript