Task centred approach has been found to be one of the ways in which service users can be empowered. This paper looks into the various ways in which service users can get to be empowered. In providing this analysis, this paper examines several ways by which service users can be empowered such as theory and practice, which is used for changing the institutional and social contexts in a way which permits people to achieve the goals and values for social work. Next the paper explores codes of conduct as well as the duties which are expected of the social workers. At the same time, the paper discussed the issue of poverty and how it can be eradicated before discussing the whole process of empowerment while illustrating the principles of the same. The paper equally examines the issue of knowledge and how it is important in the field of social work. In this regard the concept or research is mentioned and how it contributed to the generation of more knowledge and under standing of social work. Eventually the paper makes a conclusion. For instance the paper concludes by emphasising the need to adopt the task centred approaches in helping the service users in resolving the problems as a way of empowering them.
There is a lot of debate going on with respect to the best ways in which task centred approach can be used to empower service users. Before analysing how this can be done, it is important to understand some basic definitions. First task centred approach is a psychological approach of solving any problem more so in social work. This implies that social work involves several tasks. The rationale behind the task centred approach is to select problem solving technique which is relevant to the particular task that is being undertaken. It is drawn from both behavioural as well as cognitive psychotherapies which are concerned with the perceptions, learning and thoughts of individuals with regards to information (Sternberg, 1995). Task centred approach is highly structured and time limited approach which is usually focused on the problem. At the same time, service users are those people who are directly involved or the direct recipients of the services provided by the social work being undertaken. One way by which task centred approach is helpful to service users is by empowerment.
Theory and Practice
Theory and practice is one way that task-centred approach can be used to empower service users. Theory is used for changing the institutional and social contexts in order that people may achieve the goals and values for social work. The theories of social work are practice guidelines and are drawn from the sociology and psychology disciplines. The social work theories help in the construction of the human needs understanding. Social workers should identify the reasons of their social work practices. Theories are framework threads that are used in practice and therefore people need to construct the threads for the practice of the social work. Theories components are like tools and people need to select the component that is relevant to the work context of the social worker since the social work primary’s task is varied. Since there are various context of social work such as risk management, community education, policy development among others, social workers have many theories that go with the contexts (Healy 2005).
Task centred approach are theories that show how people learn, perceive, think and remember the things that they see (Sternberg 1995). The approach is a structured highly, focused on problem and time-limited even though it can used in many other theories. This approach is used in many interventions of social service. In interventions that are short term, human beings tend to have a great progress than in long term interventions. There are various task centred practice principles. The principles include promoting structured approaches and systematic to intervention, planned briefness and adopting a practice evaluation scientific approach. The other principles include seeking mutual clarity with service users and aiming at achieving small changes. The other principles of the task centred practice include focusing on the things that are here and now, promoting collaboration that is between service users and social workers and lastly building client action capacities (Healy 2005).
In seeking mutual clarity, social workers ensure that identify the simple gesture and visiting the people in need. In the mutual clarity, the social workers also ensure that they work out a plan that will be used for the treatment process of the service users. The social workers should also ensure that they achieve small things than achieving the large changes. An example of achieving small changes is shown when a social worker start by determining the problems that the client is facing and determining the medical assistance that is needed. The social worker should also focus on the present and not the future of the client and by this the social worker will be applying the focus on here and now principle. The social worker should also do the task together with their clients for the recovery process. By doing this the social worker will be applying the collaboration principle. The sessions of the social worker and the client should also be systematic, structured and brief. The social worker should apply the principle of using a scientific approach to ensure that he or she is evaluating the work outcomes and the strengths of the practice (Healy 2005, p.116).
Task centred approaches are used for treating problems that have been accepted and acknowledged by the clients. The task centred approaches are also used for problems that have clearly defined by the clients and are resolved through actions. For example, when a client acknowledges that he or she is having a problem, the problem can be easily and immediately resolved by finding out the possible course of action that can be used. This process helps the resolving of the service user process easier. The social worker’s intervention strategy is to ensure that clients are first helped in the problems that are mostly concerned to them. In the second task, the social worker should help the clients in having a good experience while resolving the problem. This process is to help the clients in improving the future capacity of dealing with the problems. The clients are also helped in being willing to accept the problems that are facing them using this approach (Payne 1997).
The social worker should be willing to work with the clients in the resolving of the problems. The social workers must be available in the provision of the services to the service users. The social workers should use the planned, systematic and the structured approach that will be used in giving the clients the experiences that will help the clients in problems solving capacities in the future. By doing this the service users will be empowered by the task centred approach which will encourage them in resolving their problems in the future. Task centred approaches are used by the social workers to achieve collaboration between the client and the social worker. The social workers need to work in conjunction with the service users in order to resolve the problems and this will therefore encourage the service users (Payne 1997).
The task centred approaches are also used in targeting the problems of the clients in order for the achievement of rehearsal and review of the task centred approaches. This means that the task centred approaches are theories such as the social learning, cognitive-behavioural and communication since the task centred approaches focus on learning the behaviours of human beings and resolving the problems that face people (Payne 1997, p. 108). Task centred approaches are a formal working ways. The task centred approaches aims at doing all the tasks in a formal way. The task centred approaches are not effective especially in crisis that are debilitating constantly. When crisis tend to weaken regularly, the task centred approaches can not be able to resolve the crisis. The task approaches are non effective in problems that are long-term psychological. The practices that are mostly used by the task centred approaches are focused, directive and time-restricted (Payne 1997, p.113).
The Codes of Conducts and Duties of the Social Workers
For the service users to be empowered by the task centred approaches, the social workers should ensure that they follow the codes of conducts such as treating every person as one. The social workers should also respect and maintain the service users’ privacy and dignity. The social workers should promote and ensure that every service user is given equal opportunity. The social workers should also ensure that the different and diverse service users’ values and cultures. The social workers are also supposed to prepare the work for the service users and thereafter work with the service users in the task centred approaches in resolving the issues that are affecting the community. The social workers are also supposed to plan the various task centred approaches and carry out while evaluating the task centred approaches of the social work. The social workers are also supposed to help the service users by demonstrating the task centred approaches of the social work (Cunningham & Cunningham 2007).
Another task centred approach that can be used in the empowering of the service users is through poverty eradication since poverty is one of the defining characteristics of the social work service users’ lives. This can be done by identifying the poverty causes. The task centred approach is to identify the values and beliefs of the social work (Cunningham & Cunningham 2007). Since the service users are overwhelmed with the poverty levels that they are faced with, they have been discouraged and therefore by eradicating the poverty levels of the service users they will be empowered (Smale et al. 2000, p.18). The features that are identified with the poverty such as social isolation, unemployment and low incomes have enhanced the problems that are faced by the service users. The problems that have been caused by poverty include poor health, break ups of families and poor care for the children. The social workers should aim at dealing with the poverty problem so as empower the service users by reducing the chances of people going to social cares (Becker 1997).
Social workers are encouraged to understand the factors that generate poverty so that they can empower the service users. This is because the social workers have been found not to understand the factors that produce the poverty. The social workers have also been found to have failed in the addressing the issues of the poverty in the social work (Becker 1997, p.114). Social workers should help in the poverty eradication by ensuring that they work on the individual service users than the structural levels (Becker 1997, p.116).
The social workers should use task centred practices to address the poverty impacts on the lives of the service users since they are practical approaches that can deal with the problem of poverty (Doel and Marsh 1992; Reid and Shyne 1969). The task centred approaches are practical approaches that can help in dealing with problems affecting the service users such as debt, living problems and lack of housing. This is because task centred approaches are models that are practical and ensures that the service users are empowered since the problems that the service users need to be worked on are chosen. The task centred approaches are based on principle that the social worker work in conjunction with the service users. The process of the social worker working together with the service users ensures that the new methods of problems solving are learnt to ensure that the service users are equipped in problem solving in the future (Cunningham & Cunningham 2007).
The task centred approaches can also be combined with other essential approaches such as the individualised approach to help in the poverty eradication to the service users to ensure that they are empowered (Cunningham & Cunningham 2007). To address the issue of poverty among the service users, there is need of the social workers to reduce inequality to help in the poverty eradication. It is also suggested that the social workers should adopt the mutuality approach so that people can be in a position to share the responsibilities and resources to help in the poverty eradication. The social workers should support the service users by changing the inequalities among the service users (Holman 1993, p. 71).
A task centred approach is of great importance because it can empower service users. There are different ways in which this approach can be expressed. One such way is through empowerment. Empowerment as a perception is comprehensive and gives information on different tasks in the communal employment together with features of hypothesis and rehearsal. Empowerment also assists in the understanding of different customs of societal work since it is a loom in its own accuracy (Payne 1997, p.266).
It is therefore important to note that empowerment tries to offer support to the customers in order for them to increase influence. The authority to be gained through empowerment by the users is for both pronouncement and accomplishment over their own existence. This is by reducing the consequences of both collective and individual blocks in order for the existing power to be put into effect. This can all be achieved by making sure that the users have augmented their competence and self-confidence in order to make appropriate use of the power. The users can also move power from the atmosphere to the customers (Payne 1997, p.266).
Empowerment is comprehensive with the shifting of authority and the importance. This is in the direction of congregating the requirements and privileges of the users who might be demoralized. Therefore, empowerment is the process of escalating individual authority. The escalation is aimed at assisting the individuals to acquire accomplishment for them to perk up their conditions (DuBois 1994, p.202 & Miley 2005, p.25). Authorizing is about the accomplishment of influence. Allowing can refer to a state of mind, for instance sentiment of value and capability. Empowerment can also be described as the reorganization of authority that results from shifting communal constructions (DuBois & Miley 2005).
Principles of empowerment
The essential sanctioning purpose is communal impartiality. This means that providing protection for individual users together with social equality through the mutual support and shared learning (Payne 1997). Therefore, authorizing, originates from the knowledge regarding the speculations of individual. Sanctioning can also be derived from both the fundamentals of political affairs and way of life. This can be in terms of the background since democratic organization is basically based on the authoritarian principle. This principle of inhabitants encourages the partaking of the resolutions which influence their wellbeing.
The implication here is that the principle of empowerment dates back from long ago implying that it is quite difficult to exactly figure out its origin. That not withstanding, Payne (1997) argues that empowerment originates from such theories as community development or self help. Still it could originate from the ideology of political empowerment. What needs to be noted is that the main aim of empowerment is to achieve social justice. Social justice entails not only giving people more security but also giving the people more political and social equality by the use of mutual support as well as shared learning. It is therefore evident that empowerment is informed by not only many knowledge bases but also many theoretical foundations.
There are some of the essential principles of allowing which are drawn from the performance of enlightening. The principles include observing customers as knowledgeable and capable if they get access to the prospect and possessions. There is also achievement of proficiency through the practices of life which is an enhancement before being informed what to do. There is a requirement of users to involve themselves in their own authority regarding the objectives, ways and the description of effects (Payne 1997, DuBois & Miley 2005).
Another approach requires that users gain and use proficiency since it can assist in the practice of freedom. The awareness level provides information which is essential for the happening of transformation (Payne 1997, DuBois & Miley 2005). The users are required to be inter-confidence of the performance and strategy. The elevation of awareness controls the lives, self-assurance in the user aptitude together with the informal representative recognition. Therefore, the achievement of sanction is accomplished through individual improvement.
The principles inform empowerment practices in the social work in different ways. The ways include providing maintenance to the users in the process of making pronouncements which influence their lives. The users are very crucial in the elucidation discovery process since this has a force (Payne 1997). Communal employees contain acquaintance and skills which can be utilized and allocated by the users. There should be corporation between the users and the communal employees. There should be perspective focus on the indulgent of the users on their circumstances. The communal working ways and user experience connection is essential in connecting individual with diplomacy.
The approach of empowerment is a very effective more so when dealing with women who have undergone domestic violence. Given the fact that empowerment entails a collaborative process between the clients and the practitioners working together. It therefore follows that those involved in social work appreciate the fact that clients are expertise regarding their personal problems, capacities as well as potential solutions. The principle of working in collaboration is very appropriate in cases of domestic violence. This is because it reduces the aspects of social control existent in worker-client relationships. Besides it does not replicate the power imbalances usually experienced by women particularly with regards to domestic violence. Through working in collaboration, survivors are presented with an opportunity of experiencing shared power besides being considered as equals in the relationship. In particular, feminist empowerment seeks to achieve empathy, common experience as well as mutual respect (Worell & Remer, 1992).
One fundamental aspect of social work is carrying out research with the intentions of generating more knowledge. This is more so important in a situation in which more and more information is being produced but which is not being utilized towards knowledge and understanding. Marsh & Fisher (2005) while analyzing the need to support for research in social work borrow from Lewis’s work in trying to come up with a formula for determining knowledge. Their contribution is that knowledge as applicable in social work is a result of combined evidence with not only practice and wisdom but also the views of the users. Evidence in this case refers to research based evidence which is usually very vital in policy formulation in social work. This combined together with the views of the service users makes suggests how powerful and transformative knowledge is.
It is however important to note that there are other ways in which knowledge can be polarized. This is informed by the fact that there exists several means of knowledge. Mode 1 knowledge for instance, is knowledge which is generated with the intention of ensuring that there is compliance with scientific practice. On the other hand, mode 2 knowledge is not only socially accountable but is equally transient and transdisciplinary (Gibbons et al 1994, p. 3). The second description is in tandem with what social work research seeks to achieve. The argument here is that when there is too much information, competence is not achieved by merely being in a position to generate more of the same. Rather emphasis should be laid on generating more insights by properly arranging what already exists (Gibbons et al 1994, p. 64).
For a long time now, those in charge of policy formulation in the UK have emphasized on evidence based practice (EBP). This was brought about by the realization that there was an absence of a systematic evidence to prove that that social work intervention just like in other professions had any positive impacts. Evidence based practice has the central concern of decision making which are supposed to be based on the evidence of what actually works (Webb 2001, p. 61). The only drawback with respect to knowledge is that assumptions vary about what planned results of social work interventions should be. This usually results from the disagreements which are bound to occur amongst professionals with regards to policy results. Still, these differences could result from the interpretations the policies which could be an indication of the expectations of then various people in the system.
In conclusion, there is need of the social workers to ensure that they adopt the task centred approaches in helping the service users in resolving the problems so to empower the service users. The social workers should training and teach the service users on how to use the task centred approaches in the resolving of the problems that are affecting the service users so as to empower them in dealing with problems in the future (Campbell 2008, p. 9). The social workers should also use theories to help in the construction of the human needs understanding by identifying the reasons of their social work practices. Social workers should use theories since they are framework threads that are used in practice and therefore people need to construct the threads for the practice of the social work (Healy 2005).
Conclusively, for the service users to be empowered by the task centred approaches, the social workers should ensure that they follow the codes of conducts such as treating every person as one and also respect and maintain the service users’ privacy and dignity. The social workers should promote and ensure that every service user is given equal opportunity. The social workers should also ensure that the different and diverse service users’ values and cultures. The social workers should also address the issue of poverty since many service users are affected by poverty to ensure that they are empowered (Cunningham & Cunningham 2007).
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