Theoretical Explanations: The Assessment Process

Assessment is critical in the field of social work and it entails the collection of diverse information that is related to the client using an appropriate social work theory and framework to come up with a plan that addresses a particular situation while involving all parties and levels. In the light of this, the first notable assessment concept is the biological aspect of the client, which involves gathering the information that is related to a human’s basic needs, such as the food, the physical environment, and physical abilities (Graybeal, 2001). The second notable assessment concept is the sociocultural concept. Based on the sociocultural concept, it is critical to have an excellent comprehension of the client’s family, community, social environment, friends, political environment, and economic environment. The third relevant assessment concept is the psychological concept, which emphasizes the need to understand the history of the client, mental abilities, self-concept, and personality style of the individual (Birkenmaier, Berg-Weger, & Dewees, 2011). The last and fourth notable assessment concept would be the spiritual needs of the client, including his/her religious life, the elements that make meaning to him/her, and the value base. Assessment concepts simplify the social work by offering the relevant information about the client to the social worker.

Summary and Application


The classical theory is associated with various key points. One of the notable points of the theory is that the obtained score of the client in the assessment represents the sum of the error-free score and the error-score (Gentle-Genitty, Chen, Karikari, & Barnett, 2014). This primarily relates to the psychological assessment of the client, where the outcomes have to be decoded appropriately in the course of providing assessments. More so, the theory focuses on upholding the reliability of psychological tests in the course of assessments. Reliability is key to ensuring that the results that are derived from the tests are as accurate as possible and helpful to the client. Based on the theory, it is impossible to estimate the reliability directly because of the inability to have a real picture of the true scores (Young, McKenzie, Omre, Schjelderup, & Walker, 2014). The overall point of the classic theory is anchored on the psychological assessment of individuals to understand the cognitive abilities of the clients. Thus, the theory emphasizes the need to look into the rationality of the individual when it comes to decision-making.

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The contemporary theory of assessment is a multi-paradigm approach that is made up of various theoretical approaches, including functionalism, interactionism, conflict theory, and the utilitarianism aspect (Michailakis & Schirmer, 2014). Thus, one of its key points is that society is made up of a complex structure that needs to be used so that it would work more efficiently. Respected societal institutions are the norms that play an instrumental role in ensuring easier functioning in the social structure. The second vital point of the theory is that segments of the social conflict with each other in the course of their interactions (Michailakis & Schirmer, 2014). Aspects, such as differences in gender, class, race, and even historical differences, play an instrumental role in promoting the differences that exist within the societal framework. A dominant group stands out and wants to rule over the one perceived by the minority. The third notable point of the theory is that there will be the advancement of self-interest among the groups of the society. Every opportunity is being utilized for the maximization of the self-interest of the individual, as opposed to the general interests (Graybeal, 2001). It is considered that the theory brings out the view that individuals within the society interact with each other based on the continued activities that they handle in the course of their lives. The activities simplify how they meet and interact with each other, hence building a strong society.

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Both of these theories would be effectively applied to the social work practice, involving domestic violence victims. The classic theory will be applied to the assessment of the victims of domestic violence in terms of the mental turmoil that they are subjected to while experiencing domestic violence (Birkenmaier, Berg-Weger, & Dewees, 2011). The psychological assessments, in line with this theory, would be crucial in revealing the trauma that domestic violence victims undergo, hence the ultimate fear that they always have when trying to report cases of domestic violence. It is undeniable that most victims of domestic violence prefer to keep the issues to themselves and this leads to intensified trauma and other psychological distresses that would be effectively understood based on this theory (Young, et al., 2014). More so, the theory would be subsequently applied to the spiritual guidance that the client might need to cope with and address cases of domestic violence in their homes. With the classic theory, it will be easier to tell the nature of the belief system of the client in line with the thought process, hence ensuring they can cope and report the cases of domestic violence based on the appropriate frameworks.

On the one hand, the contemporary theory would be applied to the aspect of domestic violence with the desire to know the cause of violent actions or the cause of conflict. The gender differences and inclinations of the couple involved in the fight would be instrumental in understanding the cause (Graybeal, 2001). On the other hand, core concepts, such as the biological concept, will be considered based on the nature with which basic resources are provided within the family unit. The theory will also be applied to understanding the levels of interaction between the couple. The extent of interaction is critical to effective living among the members of the family with the view of alleviating the rate of domestic violence occurrence. Therefore, measuring the rate of interactions and the thoughts between individuals is vital in terms of their interactions within the family would add value to understanding the origin of domestic violence (Michailakis & Schirmer, 2014). Additionally, the theory will be applied to the understanding of families as complex units within the society, hence reaching the ultimate causes of domestic violence and the best approaches to address them. Moreover, in instances, where people are assessed on their understanding of the family the issue will be rectified based on their appreciation of peaceful dispute resolution, as opposed to domestic violence.


My perspective is that the assessment would be highly helpful in terms of understanding the social standing of the society, especially regarding families and individuals. I believe the assessments uphold the relevant ethical principles, while, at the same time, gathering vital information, as it regards the client. After my graduation, I will try to integrate my worldview of the need to support the positive outcomes of social frameworks and social work ethics of confidentiality, privacy, and integrity in ensuring that families have a better understanding of a dignified dispute resolution mechanism, rather than getting into domestic violence. Guided by both personal understandings and the ethical framework, it will be easier to guide individuals and families openly to ensure that domestic violence is alleviated.

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