Efficacy of strengths-based practice in engaging with children with behavioural problems: a case study from India

Shekhar, Rameela, Ponnuswami, Ilango, and Francis, Abraham P. (2014) Efficacy of strengths-based practice in engaging with children with behavioural problems: a case study from India. In: Francis, Abraham P., Pulla, Venkat, Clark, Michael, Mariscal, E. Susana, and Ponnuswami, Ilango, (eds.) Advancing Social Work in Mental Health through Strengths-Based Practice. Primrose Hall, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, pp. 197-211.

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In their work with children with behavioural problems, a vast majority of professionals, including social workers, adopt a problem or deficit focused approach rather than working with a strengths perspective. In recent years, we have been witnessing the benefits of the strength based approach in different areas, particularly in the field of mental health. Generally, children seem to have a greater potential for resilience and recovery provided they receive timely and appropriate interventions. The field of mental health and social services has a long history of focusing on children's deficits, problem behaviours, and pathologies. Within the last decade researchers and practitioners within the fields of education, mental health, psychology, social work, and child welfare have begun to question the deficit-based approach and move toward a more holistic model of development (Trout, Ryan, La Vigne, & Epstein, 2003). Rather than focusing on individual and family weaknesses or deficits, strength based practitioners collaborate with families and children to discover individual and family functioning and strengths (Laursen, 2000). At the foundation of the strength based approach is the belief that children and families have unique talents, skills, and life events, in addition to specific unmet needs (Olson, Whitebeck, & Robinson, 1991 as cited in Epstein, 1999). This paper reports the insights derived from social work interventions made by one of the authors in working with children with behaviour problems. Through qualitative analysis of the process and outcome of various psycho-social interventions, the authors argue the relative advantages of the strength based approach over the conventional problem or deficit focused models of interventions in working with children displaying problem behaviours.

Item ID: 33971
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-312-23230-3
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2014 01:33
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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