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Love Is God Essay

6636 words - 27 pages

Why is client’s participation in social work so important? And which role can the university play to get the involvement of social service’s users? Examples from Zaragoza in Spain
Tomasa Báñez, University of Zaragoza 1) Introduction With my presentation I would like encourage you about the importance of clients’ participation in social work and to present an experience of community work done using participatory action research methodology in Zaragoza (Spain). In the first place, I will present some reasons for clients’ participation in social work, both practical and philosophical reasons, to continue analysing the current situation on this topic in Spain and how we can improve client’s ...view middle of the document...

, 1982: 16). Murray G. Ross talking about community organization as a process, underlying the importance of the participation of the community because the democratic values of freedom, human dignity and consensus (Ross, M. G., 1967: 123). 1) In an instrumental sense, participation is a means for working in an efficient way. So, it is not possible to achieve educative or therapeutic objectives with our clients if they do not share the diagnosis of their situation. Then, we must listening to them and encourage their active participation in order to improve their situation. Talking about community work, and from an instrumental standpoint, participation is necessary to improve planning efforts because it is sensitive to and informed by detailed local knowledge. 2) Because philosophical or ideological reasons, participation is a right of our clients. Talking again about community work, the instrumental benefits of participation are rooted in more intrinsic values associated with democracy, selfdetermination, human dignity, empowerment and social justice, in which greater 1

decision-making control is placed into the hands of participants who might otherwise be excluded from the planning process. Currently it seems that philosophical reasons for clients’ participation have become more important than the practical ones. Both, in the political context and in the profession. For example, current social policy in Spain gives a lot importance to the clients’ participation in the management of social services. Clients’ participation is also important from the professional point of view. According to the last definition of the profession (International Federation of Social Workers and International Association of Schools of Social Work) in 2004, social work values are an important part of the profession, together with theoretical and methodological knowledge. So it seems to me that currently philosophical reasons for clients’ participation are more important than they use to be. The document “Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles” (approved at the General Meetings of the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work in Adelaide, Australia, October 2004), says “The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. “ Defending human rights and human dignity as part of social work means among other things: 1. “Respecting the right to self-determination. Social workers should respect and promote people’s right to make their own choices and decisions, irrespective of their values and life choices, provided this does not threaten the rights and legitimate interests of others. 2....

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