Social Work Practice System |

Note on Social Work Practice System

  • Note
  • Things to remember

Social work practice system Model Of Social Work Practice

Social work is a helping profession that deals with problems of individuals group or community people. With whom social worker work is called the client and the social worker is someone who has to interact with different system while dealing with the client's problem. In social work practice, those systems are understood as four practice of social work are Client system, action system, target system and change agent system.

Client System

Client could be an individual group or community or society that asks for help from the change agent system. They become client system when they ask for help and come in the social work process. They become client system only when they ask for help and sign an agreement or working contract with the social worker who is also known as change agent system. The agreement includes purpose of help, clearly defined goals, method used for helping the client and the total duration needed to help the client. Client systems are direct beneficiary of help given by the social worker. On the basis of agreement client can be categorized in the two types.

  • Actual client: Actual client are those who are ask for help and have agreed to sign a mutual agreement or contract with the social worker. For ex: Let's take the case Mina. Here, Mina has a problem she came to Ram for help. Ram asked to Mina to fill necessary documents and make agreement with his organization by giving sanction to him to work on behalf of her. When she filled up the documents and submitted to the Ram, then she became an actual client for Mohan and his organization. Here Ram and his organization represents change agent system.
  • Potential client: Potential client are those who have problem but are not aware have not enter into mutual contract for e.g. a women who has been a victim of domestic violence but not aware of own problem and someone ask to get help from social worker and convinced to her and take to social worker or agency this type of client is potential client

Change agent system

In social work practice there will be one primary change agent who bears major responsibility of change. (Pincus and Minahan, 1978)Change agent systems are none other than the social worker. Social workers are professional who are acquired and academic and degree in social and have experience and skill of working as social worker. In general understanding, social worker is considered as change agent and the public, voluntary, non –profit making organization, community or institution that employs the social worker are considered as change agent system Change agent can work both outside and outside of the organization. Independent social worker or private practitioner can be considered as change agent or change agent system who works to bring about change in client or clients environment. In the case of Mina, she could not get help from various persons and organizations, police, lawyer, family members, neighbors, etc but Ram is one who bears major responsibility for the change process. Therefore he is a main change agent system.

Target system

In the case of Mina, Ram finds that husband(a target system) has to change his behavior by quitting alcohol. However, he also finds that the husband has tried to quit alcohol but due to the Mina harsh behavior of Mina, he has not succeeded to quit. In the case, Ram has to make a plan to change Mina behavior also so that Mina could save her family and marriage life. The example so that sometime client and target system can be overlapped, where social worker has to work with both client and target for change. In the social work process sometimes, in order to help the client system the social worker has to change some other system to achieve the desire goal. Therefore this system or the third party that needs to be changed by the change agent system in order to bring change in the client system is called target system.

Action system

In the case of Mina, Ram needs help from police to the save from her husband. He also needs to consult the lawyer for the legal treatment for Mina. In the situation, the police and lawyer can be considered as action system, who will be helpful during problem solving process. Therefore all the four practice system are inter dependent on one another and directly responsible for the change system. The four practice system also be called as four pillars in social work on which the helping processlize. Social work is a such a profession which needs to incomplete lots of other discipline in order to help the client. The social worker as a change agent cannot work done to solve to problem of the client he/she needs support from people of other faculty as well. Therefore all the other people who are involved in the process of helping the client to come not of his/her problems are known as action system. Action system could be all these people who help the social worker in the process of problem solving like psychologist, psychiatrist, lawyer, doctor, teacher, policeman, community people etc.


Shrestha, S. K. (2013). the concept of social work. Kathmandu: Taleju Prakashan.


Very Short Questions



No discussion on this note yet. Be first to comment on this note