Empowerment Theory

753 Words 4 Pages
Generalist Social Work Practice with Women with Trauma History

Generalist practice is commonly described as “the application of an extensive and diverse knowledge base, professional values, and a wide range of skills to promote human well-being for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities” (Kirst-Ashman, 2014, p. 29). As generalist social workers, one of the major goals is to understand human diversity and how certain socio-demographic characteristics place diverse groups at-risk of discrimination, oppression, and exclusion in the micro social environment. Generalist social worker’s professional response to women who experienced trauma as a result of domestic violence is ultimately to provide empowerment; to strive
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Krist-Ashman (2014) defines “empowerment as the process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or political power so that individuals can take action to improve their life’s situation” (p. 62). The empowerment approach is considered to be the most effective practice of combating trauma of domestic violence. Consciousness raising, a significant aspect of both empowerment theory and feminist theories, involves a process that views increased personal awareness and the understanding of “the personal as political” as the leading means to meeting the emotional, social, and economic needs of women who have experienced trauma of domestic …show more content…
The empowerment approach involves multidisciplinary teams that collaboratively provide crisis and pre-crisis services, medium and long-term services, and children’s services to women with trauma history of domestic violence. “This approach is grounded in the belief that victims of domestic violence should have access to information, education, and other necessary social support to make informed decisions that best reflect their interests and needs” (Ofstehage, Gandhi, Sholk, Radday & Stanzler, 2011). A two-year study conducted at Michigan State University revealed that women with trauma of domestic violence significantly benefit from provisions of community resources and support, safety plans, and advocacy services. The empowerment approach decreases physical violence and depression, increases quality of life, and heighten social support through specialized services that allows for victims to take control and make sound personal decisions to protect themselves, such as post-victimization assistance and risk minimization (Sullivan & Deborah,

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