SOCIAL WORK 4300 – Theory of Social Work Practice – Fall ‘Paper’


Theory of Social Work Practice

Fall ‘Paper’


Stories and narratives are powerful ways to foster implementation of new programs, strength-based approaches, advocacy, communication of ideas, and insights into the values and purposes we hold most important.

The fall ‘paper’ will utilize these sources:

Three guests: Jim Diers, Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods, Linda Bruins, Evergreen a United Neighbourhood and Patty Hajdu, Director, Shelter House;

  • Getting to Maybe text book and related links/resources;
  • Your own personal ‘getting to maybe’ experiences
  • Class discussions


The overall purpose of the Fall ‘Paper’ is to provide you with some reflective time:

To operationalize the social determinants of health as a social work practice theory

To understand through the Getting to Maybe stories how to engage in social work practice that includes addressing the social determinants of health with those who seek your help

To share a personal Getting to Maybe story that focuses on addressing the social determinants of health.

Step 1: Select three Getting to Maybe stories from the following: Mount, Brown,  Etmanski, Pritchards, Foster & Keefe, Dallaire,  Lightner, Gordon, Yunas, and Lundstrom. [~ nine pages (3 pages/story)]

What was the passion?

  • How did the person approach addressing the passion?
  • What are the social determinants of health that are addressed through your selected Getting to Maybe story?
  • Draw from the list of terms below in describing three Westley et al. Getting to Maybe stories. Be sure to include at least 6 different terms for each of the three stories and use all 18 terms within the three stories.  You may use more than 6 terms per story.  Just make sure that within the three stories you demonstrate that you understand all of the terms below.
  • Share some additional information you learned about your selected three Getting to Maybe stories by checking updates about your stories on the web.

Step 2:  Tell the stories of Jim, Linda and Patty weaving in at least 5 terms from the list of terms below. [~ 3 pages]

Step 3: Share a personal Getting to Maybe story. You can draw from the questions in Step 1 to assist you in presenting your original Getting to Maybe story.  [~2 pages).  I encourage you to be creative.  You may do Step 3 with photos, videos, songs, art, blog etc.]

Step 4: Listen to the following audiotape

Step 5:  [~1 pages]

Integrate your learning about the social determinants as a theory of social work practice with Peter Blocks discussion of how building community arises from a focus on an enhancement of the social fabric of a community, not adding more services.  How does Peter describe the meaning of community?

Getting to Maybe is an approach to helping that is based on complexity theory: a new approach for social work practice.  Describe some of the parallels between a Getting to Maybe approach to helping and the Block audiotape.


October 29, 2013 Fall Term Paper

May be handed in by e-mail

List of terms in Getting to Maybe

standing still hubris dagu flow

resilience rigidity trap calling powerful strangers

poverty trap cross-scale interactions cold heaven attractors

complexity fitness landscape emergence compassion fatigue

feedback loop tipping point