This chapter examines how consultancy can empower people. We
begin by discussing how people may be empowered. Following this,
we examine how the consultants gather and use information pertaining
to the consultancy. Lastly, we dip into a consultant’s notebook to
explore how consultants work in different domains of public services
What empowerment entails
We saw in the definition of empowerment in Chapter Four that it
refers both to the capacity of people to take control of their lives
and to the process by which they do
This innovative and timely book examines the nature and meaning of ‘empowerment’ in child welfare and protection, using the family group conference (FGC) approach to decision making as an example. In response to the growing clamour for ‘evidence-based practice’, the book addresses the central question of how the idea of empowerment can be operationalised and evaluated.
One of the aims of FGCs is to empower children and their families by enabling them more effectively to participate in the decision-making process and by affording them greater control over the outcomes of that process. Empowering practice? critically assesses the available evidence on the empowerment potential of FGCs and examines the implications of the approach for professionals, their agencies and the children and families involved.
Empowering practice? is essential reading for academics and professionals working in a wide range of health, education and social care areas.
Part Four: Empowerment
The chapters in this section concentrate on using money in ways that
empower individuals directly. They emphasise the need to listen
carefully to, and value, the views of the recipients of money,
responding to the particular requirements of diverse community
cultures. The first chapter here expresses the view of someone living
on a low income. The chapters that then follow suggest approaches
that may help empower people within modern-day financial,
economic and social systems.
Moraene Roberts describes, from the viewpoint of
The current economic crisis with its gloomy implications for lost generations leaves many disadvantaged young people with ever-diminishing opportunities. The Youth Empowerment Partnership Programme (YEPP) is a fully evaluated on-going international programme focused on disadvantaged areas in eight European countries. It aims to empower young people and the communities in which they live by making them central to new decisionmaking processes involving partnerships between public, private and independent sectors.
This book provides the theoretical context for the programme, gives a full account of the process and outcomes of over 10 years of joint effort in its unique development and research process and reflects on the lessons learnt for future policy. It will appeal to practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and decision-makers in foundations.
Chapter Six has established that the FGC process generally appears very
enabling of family participation and represents, potentially at least, a means
for greater partnership between the family members and the professionals.
Effective participation in the process of decision making, however, is only
one of the preconditions of user empowerment. No matter how
potentially enabling the process, and accepting that this may itself be
viewed as an “immediate output” (Hudson et al, 1996, p 15), the FGC
will not serve to
of empowerment in social
Stijn Oosterlynck, Andreas Novy,
Bernhard Leubolt and Carla Weinzierl
The notions of social innovation and empowerment have a rather
similar history, at least over the past half a century. Whereas the first
regular use of the notion of social innovation can be traced back
to the period of utopian socialism in the late nineteenth century
(Godin, 2012), interest in social innovation experienced a revival
in the 1960s and 1970s (see Chapter 2), nurtured by the same
The dilemmas of empowerment
Fundamentally, [the Children, Young Persons and their Families
Act] is a change of statute law that incorporates procedures for
empowering the families ... of ‘at risk’ children, to be able to
work out and implement their own plans for the enhancement
of the welfare of their own children. (Wilcox et al, 1991, p 1)
As the above quotation indicates, one of the explicit aims of the legislation
behind the New Zealand family group conference (FGC) is the
‘empowerment’ of families within the childcare decision
Empowerment in process?
It is important to be clear about what is not partnership. It is
not equal power and it never can be, but it is about empowerment,
about families having sufficient information to be able to
understand and contribute to planning and have some influence
over the outcome. (Jackson, 1994, p 15)
As we have seen, the proponents of the FGC model claim that it provides
a much better basis than traditional meetings for embodying the spirit of
partnership between professionals and families implicit in the 1989
Justice and empowerment
Joanna Richardson and Andrew Ryder
This chapter examines the notions of ‘justice’ and ‘empowerment’ as
they relate to Gypsies and Travellers. It aims to provide a theoretical basis
on which to understand the ideas. In a time when the Conservative-led
Coalition Government aims to empower everyone to take part in a
‘Big Society’ (as discussed in Chapter One, this volume), it is important
to assess the extent to which Gypsies and Travellers will be included
in this aim.
Theories of power will provide a framework