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Social Workers Approaches

Of all the total crimes committed in the UK, 18% are domestic abuse-related (Cleaver et al., 2019, p.140). Social working is the profession where trained personnel help susceptible people and communities to walk through challenges posed to them. A social worker’s primary roles include promoting the social welfare of the vulnerable groups, assisting individuals in overcoming challenges, and advocating for equal social and economical treatment of diverse groups. Social workers offer emotional and physical support to enable individuals to meet their spired needs (Weiss‐Gal, 2017, p. 285). Research shows that domestic abuse is the principal problem social workers encounter (SafeLives, n.d). in the UK, cases of domestic abuse aimed at women are very; 1.2 million females were subjected to domestic violence, equating to a staggering 30% (Local Government Association, 2015, p. 13). Social workers have employed various theories to study and correct domestic violence focused on mothers.

This assignment aims to assess the different approaches social workers can incorporate when shielding mothers against domestic violence. It will also evaluate the consequences of each course. The assessed methods include; the feminist perspective theory, signs of safety in social work, the must approach for intervention, and the domestic abuse legislation timeline.

Feminist theory

Feminist theory emerged in the 1970s when the world experienced increased women’s movements (Butler, 2020, p. 353).  The approach describes domestic violence as a men intimidation towards women. It insists that modes of domestic violence vary just like other criminal cases, and they include; rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, marital rape, and infanticide. The theory argues that unequal power between men and women in the marriage setup is the biggest driver of domestic violence levied on women. Butler (2020, p. 355) says the female gender is victimized due to male patriarchy, male power, and status in the family. The economic interdependence of women on men in several families also causes domestic violence and women’s subordination. The approach asserts that society condones the aggressive male behaviors while relishing the calm nature of women, thus cultivating domestic abuse on women (Ferguson, 2017, p. 269). Although women can also cause violence to men, Ferguson (2017, p. 270) claims that there is no need to give as much attention as men’s violence since it is not dominant in society.

Treating domestic violence on women involves the use of The Duluth model. The model was formed after frequent domestic violence and homicides were reported in Duluth (Wilson, 2019, p 3). In Minnesota, increased domestic violence forced the community and governmental agencies to seek a permanent and effective solution comprising police officers, courts, and humanitarian representation. The following questions guided the Duluth Model; why women were the target of violence, the impact of male violence on the relationships balance, the perceived remedies of violent actions, why men feel they have power in marriages and relationships, and the community take on domestic violence. The model focuses on the power dynamics in unions, representing the difference between men’s and women’s power socialization. The model’s goal is to educate the male gender on their roles in the family or relationship. It also enlightens men on how societal endorsement of patriarchal privileges is unfair to women and imposes healthy relations with females.

Consequences of The Feminist Theory

Espousal of the feminist theory in social work has led to improved treatment of women in their residential units (Finke, 2018). Women now have the freedom to file and get a divorce and make pregnancy-related decisions, including accessing family planning services. Finke (2018) is glad that through the feminist approach, there are clear set rules that give women equal chances of wealth ownership. On the other hand, borrowing from Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker, the approach has decreased the possibility of men being killed by their female partners/wives (Wendell, 2017, p. 329). The course has streamlined human rights and gender equality in representation, workplaces, and governmental services. In an unhappy relationship or marriage, the approach facilitates easier moving out, thus enabling women to stay where they find amity and contentment. And the process has improved women’s confidence; they undertake their errands knowing they have a supportive channel.

Sign of Safety

Signs of safety approach was innovated in Australia in the 1990s to offer protection services to children (CommunityCare, 2021, p. 1). Different organizations have far used the method worldwide to solve domestic misunderstandings. It is focused on strengths and solutions and emphasizes building relationships with both families and other professions. The signs of safety approach concentrate on what works in the prevailing scenario. It works with the family to create child protection plans.

Implementation of the model involves five main stages (Baginsky, 2020, p. 160). Firstly, ask questions to identify any present strengths and safety acronyms. This entails interrogating the family to recognize positive areas that can be relied on. The first conversation reveals all of these facets, enabling the social worker to distinguish the background of the violence. Secondly, the social worker maps each assessment’s strengths, harms, intricate aspects, and safety. Mapping is done to distinguish the elements to emphasize the imperative rudiments clearly. After the mapping, precise analysis is formed and shared with the family. The study enlightens the family on professional uncertainties based on the threat declarations and safety goals.

The Main Domains

Roy (2020, p. 10) insists that in assessing children’s lives, three main domains are involved in implementing the model; their worries, happiness, and dreams. Children will be asked to talk about what makes them worried in their lives, sources of joy, and what they wish for. Altogether, they employ the three-house slant; house of worries, house of good things, and the house of dreams. The assessment will then incorporate four main questions; what is your biggest fear concerning the child, what works well in the family, what is supposed to be done to ensure the child’s future is safe, and on a scale of 0-10, where zero means no safety while ten means maximum safety.

A family plan is then presented as follows.

What are we worried about? What is working well? What needs to happen?
Previous events have created worries and impacts on the children, including family happenings that complicate the existing problems. Events that are already happening maintain the child’s safety and ability to meet requirements. Identification of strengths What the social workers need to witness to be convinced the child’s safety has been attained. They turn into family strategies and goals.

Scale: 0                                                                         10


Danger                                                                       Safe

Consequences of Safety in Social Work

Conferring to the report of a study steered by Signs of Safety (n.d), the implications of the approach were overwhelming. Parents testified that their roles are now clear to them, and their children’s expectation has promoted harmony in the previous conflict-flooded homes. The approach also upheld transparency in making decisions at home, reducing the possibilities of misunderstandings. Signs of Safety also reported that social workers gained more skills and became more concerned about the child’s well-being. The approach suggestively invigorated accurate and improved evidence presentation. The use of scale and simple tables to display information explained the position of the families quickly, leaving them more informed and advised the necessary course to assume. And, families led a safe life since all the possible menaces were acknowledged and necessary actions were taken.

Domestic Abuse Legislation

Numerous attempts have been made to define domestic violence but ended in vain. Domestic violence/ abuse has no universal connotation nor a precise definition. Consequently, the abundant descriptions help understand the nature of domestic crime and the whole phenomenon. Domestic abuse can therefore be any act that destroys or devalues the dignity of a family member, more so women since they are the most targeted. Although the laws do not provide that domestic abuse is a criminal offense, the acts that result in domestic abuse are regarded as crimes (Wydall et al., 2018, p. 170). According to the CPS, domestic abuse cases are being prioritized in the UK, Wydall et al. (2018, p. 171) claiming they are among the severe cases.

According to Buckinghamshire (n.d), the Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) were fully implemented in Wales and England in 2014. The orders offer protection to domestic violence victims with the help of police and magistrates immediately after the manifestation of domestic abuse. The DVPOs can ban the accused from accessing their residence for up to 28 days to allow the victim to have a personal space to make up their mind (Buckinghamshire, n.d). Initially, domestic violence cases could take a long time since the police needed to investigate the report, allowing the perpetrator to be released on bond. Still, the outcomes take less time with the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. The scheme was also formed in 2014 (Buckinghamshire n.d) maintains. It allows the public to get information about the person they are with or their spouse relationship partners. Therefore, the social workers can seek legal action on behalf of the domestically abused mother, the perpetrator will be prosecuted, and compensation presented to the complainant where necessary.

Consequences of legislation

Although legislation is an approach to solving domestic violence, sociologies like Ferguson (2017, p. 284) argue that laws on domestic violence create more disparities between the individuals related. The legislation creates more hostility between parents and has far more impacts on the children. For instance, if a father gets jailed for suspected domestic abuse to his wife while ongoing investigations, it will create tension for the children. It may lure the accused to act differently if he is found single. Additionally, some cases require the services of lawyers to represent each party (Avila, 2018, p. 15). Hiring a lawyer may be too expensive, considering the abused may be dependent. It, therefore, results in financial constraints and some cases, leaves the abused with bad debts. Additionally, the amended laws account for domestic violence cases that are not more than six months old (Fitz-Gibbon & Walklate, 2017, p. 2090). This rule makes it easier for perpetrators to escape the arm of the law since, after the expiry of the six months, the case is classified as void. And also, legislation has helped reduce the number of domestic violence cases from 269,000 to 200,000 (Robinson, 2021, p. 120). The strict amended laws have significantly discouraged domestic abuses in the whole UK.

System Theory

System theory suggests that human behavior is inclined by home environment, family, friends, social sceneries, a fiscal class that works together. Each member of the family is a subsystem. The focal subsystems are parent-parent, parent-child, and child-child. Primarily, the happenings in the parent-parent correlation affect both the parent-to-child and child-to-child association. Ruben (2018, p. 97) claims that these and other factors influence individuals’ actions and thinking; therefore, examining them to detect ineffective aspects and undertaking corrections can help correct behavior. In this theory, social workers look at the social systems that affect the behavior and correct them. Ruben (2018, p. 97) contends that usually, discrepancies will always occur between parents and children, but extreme cases of these misunderstandings may result in abuse. In the family setting, abuse may be through words, emotions, or actions rendered to the wife by the husband. Children also can abuse their parents, especially their mother, because they witness her being accused, and therefore, they feel it is an everyday act.

Liberating and correcting domestic abuse may also include the system theory approach. A study shows that raising a child in a poverty system depressingly affects their rational and decision-making abilities. Social workers integrate a four-stage domestic violence correction plan; engaging, assessing, intervening, and evaluating. The engagement stage refers to the social worker and the client (Howe, 2017). The duration taken depends on the nature of the case. The social worker needs to maintain a friendly nature and exhibit high listening qualities to accurately get the gist of the problem. The worker may maintain eye contact, empathy, excellent rhetoric questions, and lively listening. Secondly, assessing involves reviewing the shared information and formulating necessary stratagems in the subsequent stage. Howe (2017) advises that raising the client’s confidence is necessary at this stage. It can be achieved by highlighting their strengths and areas they should be proud of from the narration of their issues. Thirdly, the intervening stage involves a combination of the preceding two stages. Devising the specific objectives and strategies to ensure goals are met. The social worker is tasked with monitoring the strategies to ensure clients expected services are delivered. The client should hereafter implement the proposals. Lastly, the evaluation stage is a continuous process from the third stage. Evaluation is crucial to ascertain the success threshold (Howe, 2017). The client gives feedback and may request a repeat if they feel unsatisfied.

Consequences of Systems Theory

The systems theory offers a deep understanding of the problem, assessing the background to domestic abuse, hence creating lasting relationships between client and social worker resulting in more accessible and faster decision making (Lewis, 2017, p. 170). Relishing a good relationship encourages openness, and my help prevents future abuses from happening. Systems theory creates confidence and self-realization in the victim. And understanding the different causes and dimensions of individuals thinking and actions helps promote harmonious relationships and marriages.


The various theories above show that the offender is not solely reliable to their action. Instead, environmental, economic, social, physical, and cultural factors propel them to execute domestic violence. Therefore, the behaviors of the perpetrators towards mothers largely depend on uncontrollable factors. The concept of domestic violence is so enormous its understanding requires a multidimensional method enlightening the discussed contributory factors. Social workers effectively solve these abuses; therefore, more training on handling such cases is imperative.


Baginsky, M., Hickman, B., Moriarty, J., and Manthorpe, J., 2020. Working with signs of safety: Parents’ perception of change. Child & Family Social Work25(1), pp.154-164.

Buckinghamshire: 6.2 Domestic Abuse: Guidance and Procedure | Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual

Butler, J., 2020. Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory (pp. 353-361). Routledge.

Cleaver, K., Maras, P., Oram, C., and McCallum, K., 2019. A review of UK-based multi-agency approaches to early intervention in domestic abuse: Lessons from existing evaluation studies. Aggression and violent behavior46, pp.140-155.

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Robinson, A.L., 2021. Domestic violence and abuse in the UK. In Global responses to domestic violence (pp. 107-124). Springer, Cham.

Ruben, B.D., 2018. General system theory. In Interdisciplinary approaches to human communication (pp. 95-118). Routledge.

Roy, J., 2020. Signs of Safety: The View From Early Help. Child Care in Practice, pp.1-17.

SafeLives: The role of social workers in responding effectively to domestic abuse | Safelives

Signs of Safety:

Weiss‐Gal, I., 2017. Social workers’ policy engagement: A review of the literature. International Journal of Social Welfare26(3), pp.285-298.

Wendell, S., 2017. Feminism, Disability, and the Transcendence of the Body. In Feminist Theory and the body (pp. 324-333). Routledge.

Wilson, J.K., 2019. The cycle of Violence. The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime, pp.1-5.

Wydall, S., Clarke, A., Williams, J. and Zerk, R., 2018. Domestic abuse and elder abuse in Wales: A tale of two initiatives. British Journal of Social Work48(4), pp.962-981.


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