Empowerment Essay

1153 Words5 Pages
Is there a role for empowerment in work with children, young people and families and why? This essay will discuss the concept of empowerment in work with children, young people and their families. It will explore how power and inequality exists in the communities where children, young people and their families live. This essay will consider my setting of a Surestart Children Centre and how my role may or may not support empowerment. Critical analysis will be provided, informed by current and historical social policy and key sociological perspectives. To begin, the term empowerment can be interpreted in many ways, a useful definition by Allen and Thomas(2002) states that empowerment is a desired process by which individuals, typically including the poorest of the poor are to take direct control over their lives. Empowerment can be viewed as a process and must come from bottom-up. Children, young people and their families must take empowerment. However, the taking of empowerment is still a process and has to be carried out by participation. Therefore, the role of a practitioner should be an enabling and supporting one. The main objective of the practitioner is to create space for children, young people and families to take empowerment and provide them with the necessary information so that their empowerment will be meaningful to them. Empowerment involves a form of critical education that encourages people to question their reality. This links the pedagogy of Paulo Freire (….) who believed that empowerment was rooted in lived reality, in the stories of the people, in relations of trust, respect and dialogue, leading to a critical understanding of the nature of structural oppression they live in. The concept of power and equality are intrinsically linked to empowerment. Luke (1974) described two aspects of power: power to and power over. The ‘power to’

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