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Analysing the potential of group work to promote mutual aid and empowerment

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  1. Introduction
  2. Mutual aid is empowering
  3. Aspects of mutual aid groups
  4. Anti-Oppressive practices
  5. Conclusion

Mutual aid is group work where there group member is not only a recipient of help but also providers of service in enabling the group to meet its common goals and achieving its common strategy. Empowerment is both a process and a goal. It is a process that involves ongoing development of the clients which begins with the individual, continues through to the group and eventually results in a larger social change.

It is a goal that is achieved when the clients attain the desired psychological state and when society becomes relatively more equal in terms of opportunities and the distribution and allocation of resources. Empowerment is a complex process that does not just happen at an individual level but also occurs in a group, organisational or other setting

[...] The intention of these practices is examined to look at how such harmful and hateful measures can result not only for the individual or personal perspective but also from the wide societal impact and how this affects the general well being of the society at large. The outcome of this is to have a more supportive and collaborative attitude not only between the group members but also among the group and the wider society. References Audet, S. (2003). Factors in the development of mutual aid in groups supporting integration. Available at; 4.pdf Children's Aid Society of Brant. [...]

[...] Leading communities of practice in social work: Groupwork or management? Available at; Hammond, K. (2013). In Types of Social Work Groups. Retrieved May from Hammond, D., & Taylor, M. (1998). In mutual aid and self-help Coping strategies for excluded communities. Available at; help.pdf Mutual aid and self-help programmes. (2012). [...]

[...] Even in a fairly hierarchical group, it is possible to get some are for communal practice. Though the leader needs to be sensitive to certain even non-spoken nuances that affect the group dynamics, it all leads to a more synergistic fertilization of ideas that is mutually beneficial and useful to all members (Gray, Parker & Immins p. 35). Social workers need to realize that support groups that help people who are coping with personal or social situations or conditions in their lives are in many cases better dealt with in support groups where they can learn from each others experience and support each other as well as gaining and giving emotional support and understanding (Hammond par. [...]

[...] Social workers need to incorporate ways of including them in their work and destigmatize them (Strier p.3). By ensuring that anti-oppressive practice is implemented the social worker ensures that there is a level playing field for all members of the group. It ensures that equality of the members is assured by showing how all the group members are all in the same boat and stressing how much they have in common rather than emphasizing their differences. Anti-oppressive practices also ensure that the members of a group are able to embrace their diversity and see it more as a unifying force than something that divides them or encourages or enhances their differences. [...]

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