Social empowerment

Social empowerment is a broad area of practice drawing upon social work and community development principles. Social empowerment is typically implemented at the four following levels: (1) the individual level - where the person values him/herself and actively wants to participate in life, (2) family level, (3) community level and (4) social policies level impacting local and national level actions to promote social equity and inclusion of all persons.

Social empowerment is indispensable to achieving quality of life for people with disabilities and it is both a continuous process as well as a result. Though social empowerment can be achieved through other areas of practice, such as inclusive education and socio-economic integration, it is also a specific area of practice where tools, methods and approaches exist to facilitate social inclusion. Personalised social support is one specific and tailored approach to social inclusion where a person is accompanied to thrive in his/her personal situation and environment.

This key list features resources that highlight all four levels of social empowerment through social work, personalised social support and general inclusion principles. We welcome your feedback: please send comments or suggested additions to sourceassistant@hi-uk.org.

Selected resources

Inclusion principles

Leadership for social inclusion in the lives of persons with disabilities

SHERWIN, Jane
September 2010

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"This article identifies five challenges for those in leadership roles: developing a deep sense of what the concept ‘social inclusion’ really means; confronting the values questions; developing consciousness of what the community is taught through the actions of services; transforming the role of services and workers; and the use of theory-based knowledge. The article also explores the attributes of those in leadership roles, so that they are more equipped to respond to these challenges: ethical and moral leadership; a combination of conceptual clarity, insight, knowledge and wisdom; authentic relationships with people with disabilities and family members; an appreciation of history; and a faith and efforts in things that are likely to bring dividends"
The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services , Vol 6 supplement

Social inclusion, citizenship and diversity

SALOOJEE, Anver

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This article explores the concepts of social inclusion, citizenship and diversity and highlights that social inclusion can provide a coherent critique of the multiple forms of social injustices and the concomitant institutional policies and practices

Social work

Community-based rehabilitation : CBR Guidelines|Social component

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
et al
2010

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This component of the CBR Guidelines focuses on social component. It describes "the role of the CBR is to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in the social life of their families and communities. CBR programmes can provide support and assistance to people with disabilities to enable them to access social opportunities, and can challenge stigma and discrimination to bring about positive social change." The guideline outlines key concepts, and then presents the core concepts, examples and areas of suggested activities in each of the following five elements: Personal Assistance; Relationships, marriage and family; Culture and arts; Recreation, leisure and sport; Justice. This guideline is useful for anyone interested in social component of CBR

Community-based social services : practical advice based upon lessons from outside of the World Bank

MCLEOAD, Dinah
December 2003

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The purpose of this paper is to gather information outside of the Bank, in both developed and developing countries, on design and delivery of community based social service initiatives. Recommendations are provided for practical advice on project design and to enhance the sub-project cycle for social service-type projects
Social Protection Discussion Paper Series

Empowering practice

WEETMAN, Robert
October 2010

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"(T)his book was originally written to accompany a training course for people involved in support work. It's directed at people with the imagination and creativity to recognise that 'how we've always done things around here' isn't a good guide to good practice...The book looks in detail about what can go wrong...about how support can be disempowering...The book goes on to discuss alternative ways of working. It takes a look at what overall aims may be appropriate in support work; how different service design might help; what capacity thinking is; and it presents some ideas on how to work in an empowering way"
Version 2b

Empowerment : self in community

LORD, John
September 1997

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This paper highlights the main findings of personal empowerment research studies and presents the qualitative themes and the empowerment process that were identified
Empowerment Practice in Social Work Conference
Toronto, Canada
September 1997

Resilience and success of persons with disabilities in Ethiopia

TEFERRA, Tirussew
2005

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"This is an empirical cross-disability study among successful persons with hearing, visual and motor impairments. It tries to explore the threads of resilience which may be attributed to personal as well as environmental factors within the Ethiopian context. As it is the first attempt in the country, it is presumed to bring a fresh insight in the field and serve as a basis future intervention and research endeavour"
Chapter 5 from the book "Disability in Ethiopia: Issues, Insights and Implications" by Tirussew Teferra

Role of social workers in Indonesia

SUHARTO, Edi
2006

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"After reviewing the figures and definitions related to disability, this paper explores the psychosocial issues confronting people with disabilities and the challenges for social workers working in rehabilitation for people with disabilities. Finally, the process of social work services and the roles of social workers with reference to the rehabilitation setting are examined"
Third Country Training on Vocational Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities, National Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (NVRC)
Cibinong, Bogor, Indonesia
10-11 November 2006

Personalised social support

Circles of support : an introduction

WEETMAN, Robert
2006

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"This article briefly describes: what a circle of support is; how circles work; why they are important; who should be in circle of support; key ideas; the facilitation of a circle of support; and the relationship of circles to person centred planning"

Personalised social support : thoughts, method and tools in an approach of proximity social services

RELANDEAU, Audrey
et al
May 2010

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This paper is a methodological guide to personalised social support to enhance understanding, thinking about and practising this approach to social work. It is targeted at field workers and public services’ or association advisers responsible for receiving, informing, guiding and supporting people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
This guide is divided into three sections. First, a "principles and benchmarks" section explores the theoretical aspects of social work, development and personalised social support. This section is followed by a "Practical guide" targeted at social workers, facilitators and advisers responsible for providing support and provides an in-depth guide to implementing personalised social support, based on various intervention techniques and practical tools. This section also offers a section devoted to project managers or social mecha¬nism coordinators, featuring benchmarks for the development and follow-up of a social support service. The third section features a "Toolbox" consisting mainly of tools sourced from Handicap International programmes

Reflecting on social roles : identifying opportunities to support personal freedom and social integration

O’BRIEN, John
June 2006

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The purpose of this resource is to "to encourage thoughtful discussion of the meaning of ‘least restrictive and most integrated’ as criteria for service adequacy. With this tool, multiple dimensions of a person's life can be examined, including: home and neighbourhood, family and friends, work, learning, spiritual and religious, community association, sports and fitness, and creative expression"
Version 1

SSR : supporting social roles|A second bottom line for services to people with developmental disabilities

O’BRIEN, John
July 2010

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This manual explores supporting social roles (SSR) and presents a way for an organization to identify what it is accomplishing by describing the social roles played by the people it supports. The manual outlines SSR as an appreciative process focused on organizational learning and builds on what is already working. Worksheets are provided to describe the roles, supports and lessons in each category

What really matters : a guide to person-centered excellence|Application for services for people with mental illness

THE COUNCIL ON QUALITY AND LEADERSHIP (CQL)
2010

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"This guide promotes quality improvement in behavioral health services and supports. These best practices and the resulting quality improvement initiatives can be applied across the range of supports and services for people with mental illness...This manual has eight main sections and each section contains a key factor with its success indicators. We use the term ‘factor’ to refer to the main area: for example, Person-centered Planning. Likewise, each factor has a number of ‘success indicators’ that describe critical aspects of the factor. For each success indicator there are three parts: a statement of the indicator; a brief explanation of the meaning behind this indicator; a description of how organizations apply this indicator in practice"

Comments

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