Empowerment Theory and Child Protection (Social Worker Essay Example)
Children prove the most vulnerable lot in the society. Therefore, it is important that they get appropriate care as they grow up. However, every person needs empowerment to help them realize their ambitions in life. Therefore, the empowerment theory advocates for ensuring that people gain empowerment in their social areas. For children, their positive growth and development are essential. The society must have the mechanism to guarantee that children gain self-esteem regardless of their age or gender. The claim is vital since it ensures that youngsters acquire positive traits necessary for their development. Pragmatically, the process allows children to have control and power over their lives. Thus, it is essential for people to embrace the advocacy of the empowerment theory in ensuring that children remain successful in their future endeavors. Therefore, it is true that the strong sides of the empowerment theory are related to child protection values, purposes, and professional identity as a social work.
Empowerment Theory Review
The empowerment theory holds that “individuals, who have power and control over their lives, in the sense that they can access the necessary resources to meet their needs and rights, can thrive and develop.” It is apparent from the above statement that this social work theory advocated for people’s need to be self-regulating. Moreover, there is the view that the ability to have power and control over oneself proves necessary for everyone. The theory is relevant for child protection since it upholds one of its values advocating that children should have control over themselves (Beckett & Horner, 2016). It gives clients the ability to make various decisions concerning their lives. The theory allows young people to eliminate any hindrance, whether social or personal, that bars them from fulfilling their mission. As a result, their self-esteem increases, and they gain the ability to transfer power to other groups. Besides, they ensure that individuals can advocate for themselves since they have the power and control over their lives.
Furthermore, one of the child protection purposes in the social work it is to recognize the empowerment of the vulnerable in the society, which the theory supports. In many cases, children have faced marginalization in their social platforms. As a result, they have lost self-esteem and do not value themselves. On such grounds, the empowerment theory was developed to stress the need for the individuals to gain power and control over their lives (Fetterman & Wandersman, 2005). The theory also shares much with the system theory. It explains the relationship between a person and his/her environment. Many people including children interact with different phenomena in the society. Therefore, the lack of power and control over themselves does not allow them to apply judicious judgement to such instances. The theory also recognizes how social and economic justices interrelate. One can only realize social justice if they have the ability to control themselves and there are powers that allow them to take those actions. When one attains power and control, he/she can claim economic justice. Moreover, the theory also recognizes the pain and suffering of the marginalized individuals in the society. It argues that empowering them to have control over themselves and participate in various decisions affecting the society is pivotal (Hepworth, 2010). It is only by allowing these people to have power and control over themselves so that they can alleviate the dominant pain and sufferings in their lives. Moreover, it remains factual that power and control are the only means that individuals can use to claim social and economic equality. At this instant, the empowerment theory remains relevant to such progress.
Another aspect of empowerment theory falls in the social work’s professional identity regarding its original application to the oppressed groups. Initially, the use of the term empowerment in the social work never recognized individual. People used the notion to connote an oppressed group in the social setting. It, therefore, made people direct their attention to groups rather that consider a single person (Hepworth, 2013). Any positive efforts in helping these people focused only on a group. On the onset of the empowerment theory, many people thought that it marked the end of troubles to such groups. However, the theory aimed at showing people the real way to go. The individuals had to remain aware of what was good for them. The best way to achieve this was to ensure that they gain power and control over themselves. It could then enable them to decide on the issues that could make them remain socially and economically accepted.
Despite the group aspect, the sole role of the empowerment theory remained unaltered. However, it is vital to appreciate that the empowerment theory focuses on an individual. It sees the need to make a child have power and control over him/her. When they get such powers, they also can do a lot of activities in the society. It is important for the vulnerable to trust one with their powers for some time (In Cahalane, 2013). The person then assists them to gain full control over their lives. This aspect of empowerment is appropriate since it exalts an individual socially and economically. A person needs power and self-control to become socially and economic upright.
The empowerment theory also sees the importance of allowing an individual to control his/her life and influence the surrounding, which is a social work value. Interacting with the environment is essential in ensuring that one becomes socially stable. In effect, the person attains the ability to make major decisions concerning his/her daily life (Segal, Gerdes, & Steiner, 2013). The process is attainable since there are strengths and resources in the community for the people to do so. The qualities allow them to solve their immediate problems that arise from the environment. The only thing is that they are afraid to make the first steps that can allow them to gain power and control over themselves and thus fulfil the mission. It proves the reason for the attempt of the empowerment theory in an attempt to solve the issue. It also recognizes that such individuals can resist institutionalized oppression and their structures (Kirst-Ashman, 2014). As a result, when such people gain power and control over their lives, they can achieve many things.
Application of the Empowerment Theory to Child Protection
The analysis on how the empowerment theory relates to child protection proves the next important aspect of this discussion. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to examine child abuse while considering its various aspects in an organization. Children face many problems in the world that calls for immediate solution if they are to become better people in the society. It is from these demands that the empowerment theory recommends ensuring that they have power and control over themselves (Bell, 2011). In many cases, children have faced different types of abuse from their families and other persons. People take advantages of their young age and exploit the little opportunity available to them. Moreover, some people have abused children physically. The process involves subjecting them to the activities that the adults are capable of doing. This deems it appropriate to apply the theory and try to solve the problems. When one can give children power and control of themselves, then they can be recognized in the society. They will have the ability to decide some of the issues affecting their lives. The best protection for the kids is to empower them to perform their tasks and control any activities that they participate in. It is, therefore, necessary for the children to have laws that protect them from any evil.
The first aspect of empowerment in terms of offering protection to children is to raise their self-esteem. As a child, one needs to acquire positive traits which may allow him/her to believe in himself/herself (Bloom, Shono, & Schwarzer, 2006). Power and self-control are some of the necessary tools that a child can use to develop self-esteem. Many people deprive children of their rights to perform some duties which they should have the right to do. When these kids see others doing the same tasks, they get attracted them, but due to restrictions, they do not attend. As a result, they develop low self-esteem. When such a situation takes place, then children lose control over themselves. According to the empowerment theory, such unworthy behavior is unnecessary. It argues that such children require power and control over themselves. The process will ensure that these kids acquire both the power and control of oneself.
Another important aspect of the empowerment theory for child protection is its ability to have the internal locus of control. It is essential for children to have a sense of control in their behavior. When kids are able to decide for themselves correctly, it is important to instill the sense of power and control (Carl, 2009). The empowerment theory also advocates for the need for youngsters to have the capacity to decide some matters for themselves. They can only do so if they have power and control over their lives. Apparently, restricting an individual’s life may occasionally lead to harm. Socialization allows children to compare their lives with others and adjust where necessary. However, this claim is possible only if the kids have the ability to exercise their power. Furthermore, the sense of control and power allow children to develop the potent sense of self. Positive attitude proves the best quality that children should have to grow well. The kids’ ability to develop this attitude in their everyday life is vital. It allows them to interact with other people, thus enhances their growth and development.
The ability of children to show focus on the future activities is pivotal. Through empowerment, young people construct the knowledge and capacity to meet their needs. However, with the lack of power and self-regulation, they lose the opportunity to decide most of the things for themselves (Collins, Jordan, & Coleman, 2013). As a result, it hinders their growth and development. It is essential for parents to see the sense of instilling the sense of responsibility in their children. Logically, a young person capable of reasoning and regulating his/her actions is one any society should thrive to raise. Children should judge some situations by themselves without any interference from their parents. They need to evaluate those circumstances and choose the most appropriate decisions. Apart from promoting self-belief and esteem in children, they develop decision-thinking skills. Being able to evaluate situations and come up with a relevant verdict is a show of self-control. It is this ability that the empowerment theory advocates for in the lives of people. It shows that one has power and control over his/her life as the key to realizing the future goals. It is apparent that giving children the opportunity to regulate themselves will allow them to prepare for their future endeavors (Carl, 2009). In essence, the community should allow young people to be all round concerning their life demands. It implies giving them the opportunity to interact freely and decide on certain matters affecting their lives. The chance will allow them to develop positive traits which are instrumental in their future growth and development.
Additionally, children need to have goals that can guide their aspirations. The empowerment theory advocates for the need for people to cultivate resources, competences, and the available strategies to realize their future goals. The dream remains attainable if individuals have power and control over their lives to pursue them. Children have a long way to go in their lives. It is, therefore, essential that they have the requisite materials that can assist them in realizing their ambitions. The empowerment theory proves relevant in such circumstances since it outlines power and control as the major tools one needs to fulfil such dreams. Despite the modern society interpreting power on the limelight of political engagement, individual power is of importance. In the modern society, when one mentions power, it appears that he/she wants to throw a person out of his/her thrown. However, the power that sounds relevant for the empowerment theory allows individuals to control themselves in making their life decisions. For instance, in the case of children, it is necessary that they have their room to evaluate certain event and make decisions out of them. This claim does not imply the total lack of regulation on the children’s behavior (Hepworth, 2010). It only demands the ability of the young people to have the opportunity to decide on matters affecting their lives.
In conclusion, it is important to reiterate the relevance of the empowerment theory to the children protection. This theory defines two elements that it requires people to have. First, it demands that people have power. Power is an essential tool for children since it will protect them in most of the decisions that they make concerning their lives. It also bars any person who intends to infringe the rights of children in any way. Self-control proves the second aspect of the empowerment theory concerning the protection of children. It is significant for children to have control over their lives since it assists them in achieving their future goals. Young people still have a long journey to travel in their lives, and ambitions should act as their roadmaps. Therefore, they should have both the power and control to help them pursue their future goals. The recognition of the rights of children regarding decision-making and self-regulation sounds significant to their protection. When such recognitions are present, they allow people to consider the role of children in making decisions over their lives hence ensuring their protection against unnecessary beliefs. As a result, it will ensure that they pursue their ambitions and attain their life missions.