Concept and Assumptions of Case Work
According to Gordon and Hamilton, “social case work which is both a tool and area of work consists of processes which develop personal ity through adjustment, consciously affect individual by individual between man and his social environment”. Mary Richmond defines “case work as an art of doing different things for and with different people by cooperating with them to achieve at one and at the same time their own and their society’s betterment.” Thus it is both an art and a science of resolving individual problems in social
area, for individual and society are interdependent and social forces influence behaviour and attitude of an individual.
There are theoretical concepts or set of ideas, which are accepted as true about the human beings functioning. These are known as basic assumptions of social case work. They give us a frame of reference to understand man in interaction with his environment
and help in exploration, diagnosis and evaluation of the cases. According to Hamilton the basic assumptions of social case work are:
Individual and society are interdependent and complimentary to each other.
Various factors operative in the society influence human behaviour and attitude.
Some problems are psychological and some are interpersonal in nature.
Within certain limits, man can be understood and helped.
Man can grow and change as per his/her inherent capacities and potentials.
Every person is unique as well as similar to others.
The ultimate goal of social case work is to establish harmonious relationship between individual and society to which he belongs. According to Grace Mathew there are certain assumptions, which constitute the fundamental structure of social case work. These are
generated out of the collective thinking and traditions in case work.
These philosophical assumptions are:
Every human being has to be considered as a person with dignity and worth.
Human beings are interdependent and it governs their interaction in social groups.
There are common human needs for growth and development of individuals. The existence of common human needs does not negate the uniqueness of individual. Every individual is like all other human beings in some aspects and like no other individual in certain aspects.
Every individual has within him / her, the potential for growth an achievement and s/he has right to the realization of this potential. Form this it follows that people have the capacity to change.
Society has an obligation to help those who do not have the means for the real ization of their potentials.