Systems perspectives underpin knowledge development in the social work profession. Some social work theorists argue that recognition of the systemic character of human problems and the need for intervention to improve the interaction between the client and their broader environment distinguishes social work from other human service professions (see Meyer, 1976). Systemic analyses focus on interactions within and across multiple ‘social’ systems, which can include the interpersonal system of family and friendship ties, neighbourhood systems, organizational systems, social policy systems, and social structural systems. Systems theory emphasizes the role of these systems in contributing to individual and community wellbeing and for providing multiple points for social work intervention to improve the fit between the individual and their social environment.
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