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Over the past decade, a strengths perspective has been evolved as an important orientation in working with clients in social work (Yip, 2003).The strengths perspective as a philosophical principle of social work practice emanates from social work values: self-determination (the act of giving clients the freedom to make choices in their lives and to move toward established goals in a manner that they see as most fitting for them), empowerment (lays the groundwork for informed self-determination), inherent worth and dignity (a core value of the profession is respect for every human being’s) (Cummins, Sevel, & Pedrick, 2006).In this process, clients often fill out long intake forms about themselves, their families, their occupational histories, and other aspects of their lives.
This model, rooted in cultural and belief systems, arose in the field of medicine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has been the dominant paradigm of practice in the helping profession.
In the problem-solving paradigm, the specialist as the “expert” usually designs the solution (Berg & Kelly, 2000, p. The preoccupation with problems, deficits has dominated the attention of social work since its early development and in a way has led to an understanding of families at-risk and in need mainly through what is wrong, absent, or insufficient.
Innovative practitioners have started to challenge the traditional views with these alternative approaches to human problems.
In social work literature, there has been a great deal of discussion about strengths-based approach (Berg & Kelly, 2000; Shlonsky & Wagner, 2005; Corbett, 2006; Probst, 2010; Lietz, 2011).
The strengths approach entails a fundamental view of human beings as being capable of change (Saleebey, 2002: see Caddell 2005), emphasizing the positive aspects of client’t effort and achievement, as well as human strengths” (see Gardner & Toope, 2011, p. In short, the strengths-based approach shifts the emphasis of the intervention from what went wrong to what can be done to enhance functionality, and builds on family strengths and resources that enable mastery of life’s challenges and the healthy development of all family members (Sousa, Ribeiro & Rodrigues, 2006, p. Strengths perspective in practice has been advocated as consistent with social work values (Bogo, 2006) as the idea of building on people’s strengths has become axiomatic in professional social work (Saleebey, 2006a).
The strengths model embodies a holistic respect for the dignity and uniqueness of individuals (Noble et al., 2000; Platt, 2006; Saleebey, 2006c), recognizing their way to experience and construct their social realities (Saleebey 2006b).Robert said that he only drinks when the children are not there and that he separated from their mother because it was not good for them to see their parents fighting.His physical care of the children is excellent and his house is clean and tidy.The 1980s was the rising of strengths-based approach, which is now coming to be one of the most influential perspectives in the field of both social work theories and practice.It is an attempt in response to the demand for ending the longstanding conflict between social work values and practice caused by the traditional deficit-focused approach, and also for the search for the essence of social work (Min, 2011, p. This perspective draws on the humanistic approach emphasizing the potential of the individual.This influences the content of the interaction between practitioners and clients.Practitioners characteristically ask clients to spend significant amounts of time describing who, what, when, where, and why of their problems to gain sufficient information for accurate assessment of the problems.Once problems are assessed, the practitioner again draws on her expertise about problems and related interventions.As a result, the interaction between clients and practitioners focuses on problems (de Jong & Berg, 2002a, p. Weik, Rapp, Sullivan & Kisthardt (1989) were unsatisfied with the traditional deficit-focused perspective in mental health services, thus they began to make the earliest exploration to reform social work perspectives.He argued that doing well at school is the key to achievement for his children and that his older children from an earlier relationship have all done well in life, so he isn’t going to change his ideas now.He was also scornful of the child protection worker’s views on parenting on the grounds that she is young and has no children of her own.