From the Strengths Perspective to an Empowerment–Participation–Strengths Model in Social Work Practice

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1444
Number of pages20
Journal / PublicationThe British Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Online published12 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


Over recent years, the strengths perspective has been promoted as a practice model with a range of social service users. Despite acknowledging its positive aspects, there has been increasing discussion about its application in actual practice, underlining the need to advance a practice model that helps enhance its use in social work practice. This article aims to do this by proposing the adoption of an Empowerment–Participation–Strengths (EPS) model that integrates the strengths perspective with two other important concepts in social work, participation and empowerment. The EPS model integrates these three concepts by proposing that social workers use the strengths perspective to look at service users, encourage their participation and then help them to empower themselves. The strengths perspective is the base, participation is considered as a useful method, and empowerment is the goal. These three concepts are equally important, and none can be disregarded. This article first reviews the issues in applying the strengths perspective. It then presents the special features of the model and discusses how this enhances the strengths perspective in social work practice.

Research Area(s)

  • EPS model, empowerment, participation, strengths perspective, social work practice