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Annual of Social work, Vol.15 No.2 November 2008.

Review article

THEORY OF EMPOWERMENT IN SOCIAL WORK

Marijana Kletečki Radović ; University of Zagreb,Faculty of Law,Department of Social Work

Fulltext: pdf (122 KB), Croatian, Pages 215 - 242 , downloads: 1.381 *

Abstracts
Modern social work is marked by the development of theories that are centered on the issues of social inequality, deprivation of rights and differences of some individuals, groups or communities in society. Theory of empowerment in social work is one of the theories that attempt to answer the aforementioned issues and actualize social action of the people lacking an equal share of valued resources with the aim of achieving a higher level of social justice in society. It is oriented towards the promotion of human empowerment.

Empowerment is understood as an intentional process that includes the initiative and action of persons in gaining power, taking over control in their lives and gaining a greater access to social resources with the aim of achieving personal and collective goals. In the process of empowerment, we are helping users to become aware of and critically understand structural inequalities and obstacles, and support them in the development of those skills and actions through which they can more considerably expand their influence and power in society. An important aspect of the process of empowerment is the final results of empowerment that leads to changes in the approach to social resources and to an increased social power of deprived individuals, groups or communities.

This paper presents the historical context of the empowerment theory, basic concepts for understanding the theory and practice of empowerment in social work, as well as fundamental provisions of the theory. Special attention is given to the principles that form the basis for the practice of empowerment in social work and the process of personal empowerment. Personal empowerment is considered as a necessary, but only one constituent part of the overall process of empowerment that includes the level of community and society as a whole.

Keywords
theory of social work; social work practice; empowerment; process of personal empowerment

[Croatian]

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