empowerment approach

Review the 12 principles presented by Hardina et al. 

Hardina et al. (2007) suggest that an “empowering approach” to social service management is characterized by the following basic principles:Empowerment-oriented organizations create formal structures to support the participation of clients in organizational decision-making …Empowerment-oriented organizations create partnerships with program beneficiaries in which all parties (clients, staff, and board members) are equal participants …The purpose of client involvement in service delivery is to decrease personal feelings of powerlessness and to improve the quality of, and access to, services …Empowerment-oriented organizations explicitly develop policies, programs, and procedures that can be used to bridge cultural, ethnic, gender, and other demographic barriers to effective service delivery …Empowerment-oriented organizations have top managers who are ideologically committed to the empowerment of both staff members and program beneficiaries …Empowerment-oriented organizations engage in specific strategies to increase the psychological empowerment and motivation of workers …Empowerment-oriented organizations promote the use of team building and collaboration among staff members …Empowerment-oriented organizations encourage staff to advocate for improvements in services and policies …Empowerment-oriented management approaches can only produce effective outcomes when a consistent funding base is available to maintain the organization …Empowerment-oriented organizations involve clients, community constituency groups, and staff members in ongoing evaluation of services and program renewal …Empowerment-oriented organizations act to increase their own political power as well as the political influence of program beneficiaries …Empowerment-oriented organizations acknowledge the limitations of participatory management approaches and take proactive measures to balance inclusion in decision-making with tasks associated with organizational maintenance … (pp. 12–16)


These principles are especially important if the organization’s consumers are drawn from populations that are marginalized and disempowered. Of course it is important to meet the urgent needs of people who face multiple sources of oppression and multiple traumas. It may be even more important, however, to make sure that help is provided in a way that is respectful and empowering. Diaz-LaPlante (2010) describes an experience of building community mental health program in Haiti after a major earthquake brought untold devastation. Under the assumption that “mental health is a human right,” Diaz-LaPlante and her colleagues sought to build a responsive, community-based mental health program that would be seen as desirable and important by people who had no words for “mental health” in their Creole language. Participating together in focus groups and interviews, Haitians from the community of Jeremie and their international visitors began the work of creating a program in which power would be shared and activities would be based on the Haitian culture. One important outcome of this process was the recognition that “sustainable livelihood is needed for mental health.” Because of this learning, the mental health interventions in Jeremie and neighboring communities include farming projects and housing for women.       



Discuss the principles that characterize an empowerment approach to human service management.

Evaluate how you might apply these principles to the developmental processes of your own Ideal human service organization.

Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper that applies the principles presented by Hardina et al. to your ideal human service organization.

Specifically, address the following:How clients will be included in the organizational decision-making processesHow your ideal agency will decrease a sense of powerlessness among consumers and increase access and quality of services for clienteleThe measures your ideal human service agency will take to ensure that diverse cross-cultural needs are metThe following areas of diversity: socioeconomic background, culture, age, gender, sexual identity, spirituality, disability, and other unique differencesThe ideological belief systems of a manager who espouses empowerment for the overall agency, staff members, and clienteleHow the concepts of team building and collaboration are met within the organizationThe strategies for consistent evaluation of organizational efficacy that includes strategic feedback from clients, community constituency groups, and staff members within the agency


Format your report consistent with APA guidelines.

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