Military Social Work Thinking in South Africa
Keywords: Military social work, ecosystems, person-in-environment, occupational social work, South Africa
AbstractMilitary social workers in South Africa have developed distinctive ways of thinking about military social work. These developments have been influenced by various contextual factors, such as the transition of South Africa to a non-racial democracy in 1994 and the establishment of a military social work research capacity. These factors contributed to new ways of thinking, such as the recognition that military social work has a mandate to facilitate organizational change and the adoption of a resilience perspective. A central development in military social work thinking in South Africa was the formulation of a Military Social Work Practice Model, which is described and illustrated in some detail. This model emphasizes binocular vision (focusing on the interface between soldiers and the military organization) and four practice positions, derived from occupational social work theory. The author notes the importance of creating appropriate contexts that facilitate further developments in military social work theory.
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