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Collaborating with other actors such as civil society, including community organizations and self-help groups, and the private sector among others, governments can lead the way by developing policies and initiation of sustainable actions to put an end or at least reduce significantly the incidence of poverty in the world. Although poverty means scarcity of resources to meet basic needs, many sustainable strategies for reducing poverty are aimed at the fundamental causes of the situation, rather than only the provision of direct material support.
Participation, self-reliance, sustainability, and empowerment are the key principles often applied by social workers in the design for poverty reduction strategies and in fostering social integration. Means — tested and universal income — transfer programs, such as social security benefits, have an anti-poverty effect in that they move some families whose pre-transfer income was below the poverty level to a point at or above the poverty threshold.
The taxation system is also used, to some degree, to reduce poverty.
Social Change And Social Work: The changing societal conditions of social work in time and place
UN Secretary General in a letter dated May 26, reinforced the connection between human rights and poverty. As part of civil societies ground force, social workers have inside access to the people most affected by poverty and human rights injustices. Human rights and ethics in social work practice are inseparable and are fundamental part of the professional practice. Ethics guide and shape the social work profession and provide a value based foundation for social work practice.
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When examining the social problem of poverty and ways in which social workers can help to alleviate address and help individuals affected by poverty, they can turn to the Statement of Ethical Principles for guidance. Social workers also have a responsibility to ensure that social conditions that contribute to economic inequalities and unjust policies and practices are challenged and abolished.
This includes, but is not limited to, making sure that those most in need receive resources first, and that the resources offered are distributed fairly. At the micro level of daily practice, social workers are used to dealing with poverty and also with the risk assessment, working creatively and innovatively to help people individuals and communities to understand their situation and to change their behaviour and their environment, where possible.
One role that derives increased attention is community development, which requires skills in community analysis, social planning, community organizing and social action. Community development requires the ability to foster economic opportunities for area residents through work on industrial retention, local business development, job training, and placement.
Another role is community practice which calls for social workers to help people to discover their own resources and their own ability to create influence and positive change. At times the role of social workers involves making tough judgements about risk to individuals and at times they have to use their ability and influence to protect the victims of poverty from themselves or from others. Examples include situations of domestic violence, child abuse or mental health. In this approach, community practice combines work with individuals and families with community work, focusing on enhancing resources and opportunities along with personal capacities and as individuals develop out of their poverty situations, so do communities, and the two become mutually reinforcing, creating a comprehensive and integrated model that addresses social and economic exclusion and social disintegration which is necessary for effective poverty eradication.
The International Federation of Social Workers IFSW is a global organisation striving for social justice, human rights and social development through the promotion of social work, best practice models and the facilitation of international cooperation. Copy to clipboard Close.
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