Using the Strengths-Based Model for Social Work Practice Essay

Using the Strengths-Based Model for Social Work Practice Essay

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Utilizing strengths based perspective with clients enables social workers to focus on the client and family strengths and abilities instead of focusing on the client and family’s problems, bad behaviors and pathologies. The strengths based perspective applies six principles that guide the social worker professional in assisting client’s with the strengths based model; we all have areas of strength, but sometimes it takes an unbiased third party to notice and help others clearly see what they are capable of achieving, even in the midst of their crisis.

Every Individual, Group, Family and Community Has Strengths
Weick (1992) states “every person has an inherent power that may be characterized as life force, transformational capacity, life energy, spirituality, regenerative potential, and healing power, which is a potent form of knowledge that can guide personal and social transformation” (p. 24). No matter the crisis or oppression, it needs to be brought to client’s realization that they are strong, resilient and can overcome. They may not be aware of this inner power due to the constant stress and overwhelming sense of impending doom in their lives, but with the help of the strengths perspective, we can assist clients in realizing that they have strengths as well as weaknesses. Clients want to know that they can rely on social workers to provide adequate resources and respect their current situation, no matter how difficult it may be. Clients want to know that we can empathize with their situation and provide support, care and concern for the issues they are going through; they need to know that we will help them achieve their goals and not give up on them as many may have before in their lives. Saleeby (2013) states “your cli...


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...rk-practice in an urban context: The potential of a capacity-enhancement perspective. New York: Oxford University Press

Epstein, M.H. & Sharma, J.M. (1998). Behavioral and emotional rating scale: A strength-based approach to assessment. Texas: Pro-Ed.

Kaplan , L. & Girard, J. (1994). Strengthening high risk families. New York: Lexington Books.

Kisthardt, W. (1992). A strengths model of case management: The principles and functions of a helping partnership with persons with persistent mental illness. New York: Longman.

Saleeby, D. (2013). The strengths perspective in social work practice. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Weick, A. (1992). Building a strengths perspective for social work. New York: Longman.

Weick, A., Rapp, C., Sullivan, W.P. and Kisthardt, W. (1989). A strengths perspective for social work practice. Social Work, 34(4), 350-354.

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