Strength-Based Social Work

Decent Essays
The current trend in social work is one characterized by a shift towards strength-based approaches. Group work has long been used to alleviate various illnesses as well as substance abuse disorders. Support groups for people suffering from trauma, refugees, caregivers and patients suffering from various medical problems are also common. This paper illustrates the use of a strength-based approach to alleviate the conditions of single-parents suffering from several psychological stressors.
I had the opportunity of working with a single-parent support group in a local outpatient counseling agency. According to McLanahan & Sandefur (2015), as many as one-third of families in the United States are headed by single parents. Divorce, abandonment
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Jenson (2007) asserts that such curricula tend to be problematic especially when group members are not given an opportunity to contribute to the group 's purpose. Being forced to adhere to a rigid curriculum may have discouraged the participants from contributing to the group 's activities. Therefore, we had to eliminate the pre-set curriculum and asked the participants to work together towards creating their content, group 's purpose and mission. According to Brown & Brown (2014), such a group that does not have a designated leader is referred to as a leaderless group. Members usually assume the role of a leader in turns. Such groups are usually ideal for sharing and as a source of support (Wagner & Ingersoll, 2012). After a critical evaluation of the needs of the group members, the details of the structure were laid out. We asked the participants to consider the content of their curriculum by suggesting the topics they would be comfortable discussing. By inclining their focus towards their strengths, each member was assigned to take leadership of the group, stating what content worked best for them during a ten-week period. In so doing, we strived to ensure that the process was as flexible as possible, letting each group member choose a topic that they would develop and share with the rest of the group members. The topics discussed were diverse, ranging from practical concerns such as developing self-esteem, …show more content…
Under the NASW code, a social worker owns a duty of confidentiality to their clients (Adams et al., 2014). However, in cases where the information disclosed by the client is contrary to the laws of the country, the social worker can only lead the client to collaborate with the authorities. The purpose of client confidentiality is to encourage clients to share information that may be self-incriminating or embarrassing. Sharing the information provides an avenue for the social worker to help the client address the issues at hand. The NASW code of ethics 1.07 states that social workers should respect the client 's right to privacy except in situations where there is a very compelling professional reason not to (DiFranks, 2008). In light of this assertion, information that is self-incriminating suffices for a compelling professional reason. That may explain why we decided to urge the client to collaborate with the relevant authorities. Another example of a compelling professional reason to break client confidentiality is by exercising the legal requirement to report child abuse even if following this path conflicts with the client 's interests. Therefore, there arise scenarios where the responsibility of the social worker to the society at large supersedes client loyalty. Abiding by the NASW code and following one 's intrinsic morality should inform on the

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