Utilization of community work to empower poor families

Poswa, Thabisa (2004-03)

Thesis (MSocialWork)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As poverty is becoming a growing concern in South Africa, poor families should not be seen as service recipients but more concern should be directed to their empowerment. Community work is an essential method to utilize for the empowerment of poor families since it involves working with people from individual up to community level. The Department of Social Development does not have guidelines based on the utilization of community work; as a result this method is not utilized to its full potential. The purpose of the study was to formulate guidelines on the utilization of community work on the family level. In order to achieve this aim, the objectives of this study, which mainly focused on describing the socio-economic circumstances of the poor families and the utilization of community work, were explored. An exploratory study was utilized in order to achieve the stated goal and objectives. The population for the study consisted of practicing social workers in the Department of Social Development. Purposive sample was used. The research methodology was a quantitative design with a data collection instrument being in the form of a questionnaire. To be able to gain insight about the utilization of community work, the questionnaire consisted of both closed and open-ended questions. Literature review enabled the researcher to compile a questionnaire. The empirical study focused on the knowledge and skills of social workers in utilizing community work. In addition, data was obtained on the community work process as a main procedure to follow when implementing community work. Despite the respondents' theoretical knowledge of community work, it was concluded that community work is utilized at a minimal level. The most utilized social work method by the respondents is casework. The reason for the lack of community work practice is based on the fact that the Department of Social Development does not have guidelines with regards to community work. It was recommended that the Department of Social Development should formulate a new regulation that will oblige the social workers to practice community work. In-service training should be held quarterly. Supervision should be offered regularly. Relevant qualification and extensive social work experience should be considered as a minimum requirement for managerial positions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Alhoewel armoede 'n al groter probleem in Suid-Afrika raak, behoort arm gesinne in 'n toenemende mate nie net slegs as ontvangers van dienste beskou word nie, maar moet ook aandag geskenk word aan hulle bemagtiging. Aangesien gemeenskapswerk betrokke is by die persoon sowel as die persoon in die gemeenskap, kan dit beskou word as die aangewese metode om arm gesinne te bemagtig. Die Departement Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling beskik oor geen riglyne vir die aanwending van gemeenskapswerk nie en gevolglik word die metode nie ten volle benut nie. Die studie het ten doel om riglyne vir die implementering van gemeenskapwerk op die vlak van die gesin te formuleer. Derhalwe word die klem op die beskrywing van die sosio-ekonomiese omstandighede van arm gesinne en die gebruik van gemeenskapswerk as metodiek geplaas. 'n Verkennende studie is gebruik om die navorsingsoogmerke te bereik. Respondente vir die studie was praktiserende maatskaplike werkers in diens van die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling. 'n Doelbewuste steekproef is benut. Daar is hoofsaaklik op kwantitatiewe navorsing gefokus en inligting is deur middel van vraelyste ingewin. Ten einde insig te ontwikkel in die gebruik van gemeenskapswerk is beide oop en geslote vrae gebruik. Die literatuurstudie het die navorser in staat gestel om die vraelys saam te stel. Die empiriese studie was gerig op die kennis en vaardighede waaroor gemeenskapswerkers beskik en hoe dit geïmplementeer word. Addisionele empiriese inligting is ook ten opsigte van die proses van gemeenskapswerk verkry. Dit het aan die lig gekom dat ten spyte van voldoende teoretiese kennis van gemeenskapswerk die metode minimaal gebruik word. Gevallewerk word steeds die meeste tydens intervensie aangewend. 'n Gebrek aan riglyne vir die gebruik van gemeenskapswerk, word as die rede waarom gemeenskapswerk nie implementeer word nie, aangevoer. Dit word aanbeveel dat die Departement Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling regulasies vir die uitvoering van dienste deur middel van die gemeenskapswerk metode moet instel. Hierdie riglyne behoort maatskaplike werkers te inspireer om die voordele van gemeenskapswerk te ondersoek en aan te wend. Indiensopleiding behoort op 'n kwartaallikse basis te geskied. Supervisie moet geredelik beskikbaar wees. Relevante kwalifikasies en uitgebreide praktykervaring as minimum vereistes vir bestuursposte sal oorweeg moet word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50218
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