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Empowerment and strengths based perspective social work

The effectiveness of the strengths perspective in working with persons with dual diagnosis should not be measured in terms of disease oriented terms like detoxification nor harm-reduction nor symptom control. Instead, it should be measured by how far strengths, potentials, resources, trust, empathy, and competence have been explored, developed and nurtured by the social worker, by clients themselves, and by their family members Yip, 2003, p.

Describe a situation where you have followed 1 the traditional approach 2 and strengths-based approach every day or client-related —situation and outcome. In general, which approach are you focusing on more? According to a study conducted in Estonia, a higher number of the participants in empowerment and strengths based perspective social work study used the language of deficits, including blaming parents for not providing care and safety for their children see Toros, 2011.

Blaming parents leads to focusing on risks whit child protection workers acting as systems of control. The focus on deficits is less empowering for the clients and therefore fewer changes for the best interest of the child takes place. Focusing on deficits increases also the self-defense and guilt feeling for the parents, which might be an obstacle for engaging in a trustful relationship with parents. Nevertheless, some examples of strengths-based approaches to child protection practice in Estonia exist among participants in Toros 2011 study.

Saleebey has described several principles in strengths perspective, these are: Social workers need to assume that they do not know the upper limits of the capacity to grow and change and need to take individual, group and community aspirations seriously. In keeping with the principles, and in order to practice collaboratively with clients, social workers must hold a basic view of humans as strong beings capable of many accomplishments Caddell et al.

Kisthardt 2002 provides six principles of strengths-based helping. While these principles are similar in content to the six principles developed by Saleeby 2002the language used by Kisthardt focuses on the participants in the helping process, with little distinction between the helper and the client.

Child welfare agencies traditionally have excluded families and children from child welfare planning and decision-making. In recent years, awareness of helping the child by strengthening the family as the most effective way has grown.

In 2006, the family partnership model was developed in the UK to provide practitioners working with families with an explicit and detailed understanding of the dynamic processes of helping Family and Community Services, 2011. To date it is being used in the UK, Australia and a number of European countries.

This approach empowers the families through developing a respectful and effective helping relationship that is used to facilitate and achieve a change.

Building on Strengths: A Social Work Perspective

They are the following assumptions: What principle is the most hardest for you to apply in practice? MacFarlane 2006 quotes Henry Ford, who said: We create our reality, however full of hope or however bleak it may be.

Key concepts of strengths-based approach Key concepts of strengths-based approach are: Empowerment is one of the key concepts of the strengths perspective. Empowerment seeks to increase capacity by transferring power from the environment to clients, increasing their strength, and contributing to their well-being.

Social work practitioners have long been educated in applying empowerment processes and the strengths perspective to better serve their clients Karoll, 2010, p. This perspective understands client empowerment as central to clinical practice and client strengths as providing the fuel and energy for that empowerment Cowger, 1994, p.

Promoting empowerment means believing that people are capable of making their own choices and decisions. It means not only that human beings possess the strengths and potential to resolve their own difficult life situations, but also that they increase their strengths and contribute to society by doing so. The role of a social worker is to nourish, encourage, assist, enable, support, stimulate the strengths within people, to illuminate the strengths available to people in their own environment, and to promote equity and justice at all levels of society ibd, p.

The strengths perspective offers the profession an opportunity to change frames and learn to collaborate with individuals, families, communities in a more egalitarian working relationship based upon the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities Blundo, 2006, p.

The strengths perspective, on the other hand, which assumes that every system has competences, has been shown to be more effective.

  • In fact, the values of social work - which emphasise service user choice and empowerment - are consistent with those of a strengths-based approach;
  • Indeed, as interest has grown in this perspective, members of different disciplines in the sector are trying more positive approaches and using different words to describe it;
  • Amongst these, only the first one is based verbally, while the others are all pictorial;
  • Solution Focused Therapy SFT focuses on what people want to achieve rather than on the problem s that made them seek help.

Social workers implementing strengths-based practice must persist in emphasizing strengths throughout the relationship. In order to achieve this transformation, it is necessary to understand whether the professionals that work with clients are thinking or able to think in a strengths-focused way. Assessment of strengths, take a test: In the process of establishing professional relationship between social worker and client, this new strengths-based approach considers client as the director, and social worker as a partner or facilitator.

As for the concrete intervening procedure proposed by Min 2011the new strengths-based approach consists of three basic steps, see Figure 1 in Appendix 1. First, discover problematic strengths. Second, find out current life strengths.

Third, broaden daily life strengths. Strengths-based practice in child protection Signs of Safety is a strengths-based strategy that takes a collaborative approach to working with families where child protection is an issue.

The Signs of Safety achieves this medium between a problem and strengths-based solution focus through a planning and assessment framework that contains four domains of inquiry. Read the full article from Scerra 2011 about the Signs of Safety strategy.

Describe the role of a social worker in the context of strengths perspective. ROPES Graybeal 2001 refers that in their daily work, many social workers experience a tension between conflicting paradigms. He indicates that the challenge for social workers is to incorporate the strengths perspective, even in settings where there is little understanding, acknowledgment, or acceptance of it as relevant.

Strengths-based language avoids pathological labels that can prove distorted, limiting, mortifying, and identity stripping for people Saleebey, 2006a. Instead, the language of strengths is focused on hopeful, appreciative, and positive see Gleason, 2007.

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Renaming the words, rename following words into new positive words: A neighbour has reported much shouting in the home and the children crying a lot and being distressed. Her husband Works long hours and gets upset with her when faced with repeated complaints about the children and how they pay no attention to her requests even when she shouts at them.

They occasionally respond by crying and shouting back at her, each making allegations about the other. This makes children cry … Case analysis 2: Formulate strengths-based questions to Julie. Going back to case 1: