Showing posts with label housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label housing. Show all posts

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Empower and Educate Families

 When families enter the system, they are usually ordered by the court to participate in programs intended to help change their lifestyle. These programs typically include parenting, mental health therapy, and drug counseling, among other programs. The most prominent issues that I face when working with families are connecting them to the previously mentioned programs and essential housing resources.  

Many of the families we serve have limited income. Furthermore, low-income housing is limited or nonexistent, and the programs are not always accessible. Also, there have been many situations where individuals were able to successfully complete the services. However, they could not provide their children with a safe and stable home to return to. This can be very frustrating because social workers are expected to make things happen with limited to no support or financial resources.

Therefore, I work towards promoting social support systems that could encourage families to overcome their obstacles. Families are inspired to build a team of supporters. This can include extended family, friends, and community affiliates. I work with the family to determine their underlying needs and identify what resources are necessary for change. When working with families, it is essential to be respectful of their life stories and listen without judgment. Although there may be a difference in opinions regarding lifestyle choices, my goal is to ultimately support them with the process.

To genuinely support families and create positive social change, social workers need to be effective communicators, willing to put aside personal values and find common ground. We must also keep the safety of the child a priority when doing so. However, we must empower families to share their experiences and encourage them to improve for the better.

Families must be encouraged to be self-sufficient and made aware of the resources available within their communities. It is also essential for them to participate in community activities and become agents of change. Through community fellowship, families can improve their lives and live independent of the system. For example, I worked with a teen mom who became involved in the child welfare system as a minor. Unfortunately, she did not experience having a mother who was empowered and self-sufficient. As a result, when this girl became a mother, she felt that she could not provide for her child. Fortunately, I was able to connect her to a community program that aimed to support and empower families. They assisted families with overcoming barriers. The program provided her with financial assistance, mentoring, free childcare services, food resources, and low-income housing.

Some may say, "That is wonderful; there is your solution."  However, these opportunities are not always available. This young mother was fortunate enough to receive these services when funding was available. Often, resources can be limited depending on government funding. Nonetheless, I still have to empower families by educating them on what it means to be more involved in the community. They must also learn how to access the resources necessary to create change and preserve a stable and healthy life. Through empowerment, families may feel more confident in accessing community resources independently.

Why is it so Difficult Identifying our own Strengths?

I became a social worker because I enjoy helping others, seeing people happy, and succeeding. My beloved mother always loved helping others....