Empowerment Paper

Topics: Decision making, Social work, Decision theory Pages: 7 (1605 words) Published: December 4, 2014


Empowerment Approach to Human Services Management
Havalyn Cantrell
BSHS/425

Heather Zahurak
Empowerment Approach to Human Services Management
In the wake of many recent tragedies including both those created by nature as well as those caused by man, we have seen the number the human service organizations grow beyond leaps and bounds. However how these agencies interact with their clients can play a valuable role when these clients come in to receive services. In trying to meet the needs of all those in the wake of such tragedies, it is often hard to understand how someone can also empower others within the agency that is offering services. In the light of helping everyone, many agencies are now implementing services now geared or centered on or around the needs of their client. However, this is one thing that leaves many human service managers faced with a pressing question: How can a human service program or agency come together and in doing so in a manner that can provide an adequate means for this kind of work? It is often because in today’s standards we see so many agencies working with “multimillion-dollar budgets, professional staffs, and expensive facilities that one may find it hard to believe that the underlying philosophy is one that any agency can live on.” However, it is the agency that utilizes an empowerment-focused attitude and the theories that support them that has been an area of centralized research for many organizations for several years. It is the utilization of an empowerment approach within the agency that ensures that if the client can receive services or aid, it will given or done so in a manner that is both respectful as well without bias. At any agency, it should be understood that no matter what we want empowerment to be used not only to lift up the client but also to help to encourage the clients to do better each and every day. It is by using approaches aimed to promote positive energy and strength-based approaches along with client’s strengths can be the basis to build on, as this can help strengthen his or her weaknesses. According to Hardina et al. (2007), social service management is characterized by 12 fundamental principles in relation to the empowering approach. For the population or consumers addressed in our dream agency, it is these principles that are of the most importance for them to have a feeling that they belong and that their needs are just as important. For these individuals have already in most cases given up as their cycle of poverty have been occurring generation after generation. For many years many organizations were often quick to use a problem-based approach to helping their clients, and for a long time this was accepted and part of the norm. However, in the past few decades the focus now revolves around that of strength and empowerment (Cowger, 1994). From a social service management point of view, it is this focus that has been to strong an issue to ignore. It is the client, who even with being overwhelmed with other life challenges, when given the opportunity, can play a major role in the organizational decision making process. For they can bring a different view point to the forefront, as most are situations many deal with on a daily basis. It is a known fact that in the social work or the social services arena, decision making is an important task on every level. Understanding that critically, decision regarding the goals of the agency and its interaction within the community as well as how the agency is maintained can and usually made on an administrative level. However, when it relates to the overall continued existence as well as the agency’s effectiveness in addressing the needs and wellness of the client, these are just as important but may be made by other staff within the organization.

Providing an answer to or even better finding a means to help in solving their client’s problem is the sole responsibility of service workers and...

References: Cowger, C. D. (1994). Assessing client strengths: clinical assessment for client empowerment.
Social Work. 39(3): 262- 268.
Lewis, J. A., Lewis, M. D., & Packard, T. R. (2012). Management of human service programs (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
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