The application of social work theories, methods, frameworks and models often presents great challenges to practitioners in many fields of practice. Sometimes, the explicit use of theories is avoided, ostrich-like, with social workers protesting that they do not see their relevance. Some social workers espouse an anti-intellectualism, which fails to understand that all practice is based on an understanding of the world, whether that be local, at a personal level, an agency-adopted and tacit approach, or a procedural or legislatively prescribed model, rather than a more formal, recognized method of practising social work (Coulshed and Orme, 2006; Parker and Bradley, 2010). Sometimes, it may be the structure of the workforce and social policy that leads to the eschewal of theory. Social work with older people has not been the priority of policymakers, workforce planners or academics for many years. As such, the workforce has not been able to develop its theoretical base as fully as other areas of practice.
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