Beyond the Strengths Perspective : Towards an EPS (Empowerment-Participation-Strengths) Model in Social Work Practice

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 27 Jun 2019

Conference

TitleInternational Conference on Change and Innovation for a Better World
LocationThe University of Hong Kong
PlaceHong Kong
Period27 - 29 June 2019

Abstract

Over the past few decades, social work scholars suggested the application of the strengths perspective in direct social work services. A number of literature and publications also promote the application of this perspective in different clientele groups. Despite the acknowledgement of its positive functions in practice, critics have commented that the strength perspective has limitations and inadequacies. Several issues, such as only offering a way of positive thinking, lacking practice guidelines, ignoring the real and macro problem, difficult to convince service users to believe in and identify their strengths, and under-emphasis on making structural or environmental changes, have been raised, emphasizing a need for identifying a suitable practice model that helps enhance the strengths perspective of social work practice. This paper suggests to integrate the concept of strengths perspective with two more important concepts, namely empowerment and participation, to form a new social work intervention model called EPS (Empowerment-Participation-Strengths) model. EPS model does not suggest the independent application of the concepts of empowerment, participation, and strength perspective. It affirms that these three concepts are interrelated and must be closely interlinked. The integration of these concepts is the main feature of EPS model. The model links the three concepts by proposing that social work practice should be based on strength perspective and use participation to achieve service users’ empowerment. Strength perspective is the base, participation is the method, and empowerment is the goal. These three concepts are equally important and none of them can be disregarded. This paper firstly reviews the limitations and inadequacies of the strengths perspective. It then presents the special features of the EPS model and discusses how the model helps to enhance the strengths perspective in social work practice. The applicability of the model will also be examined.

Citation Format(s)

Beyond the Strengths Perspective : Towards an EPS (Empowerment-Participation-Strengths) Model in Social Work Practice. / Kam, Ping Kwong.

2019. International Conference on Change and Innovation for a Better World, Hong Kong.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review