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Faith-Based Human Services Initiatives

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Barbara Conrad

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of Faith-Based Human Services Initiatives

Faith-Based Human Services Initiatives

Social workers face many challenges when dealing with Faith-based human services initiatives.

Social workers must consider the complex relationships between religion, culture, practices, and policy.
Theoretical integration of ecosystems and structuration perspectives may help social workers through the complex ideological and practical consequences regarding the changing service delivery.
These integrations provide a useful way to bridge micro and macro levels of practice.
Ecosystem's Perspective
Focuses on interactions between individuals and their social environment.
NASW have many concerns surrounding faith-based initiatives such as:
Potential proselytization
Discrimination in services delivery
Worker competence in addressing complex clinical issues
Consideration of job applicants' religious beliefs in hiring decisions
The culture of social services delivery in the U.S. is shifting to accommodate charitable choice provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and more recent faith-based initiatives.
In 2002, President George Bush signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against any organization on the basis of religion or religious beliefs in the administration or distribution of federal financial assistant for social services programs.
Although public funding cannot be used for inherently religious activities, organizations can maintain their autonomy.
Empowerment practice is intended to generate greater social power among individuals and groups who have been oppressed.
Although faith-based initiatives may seem overwhelming, greater knowledge of faith-related services can inform social worker decisions about changing policies and service relationships.
According to Tangenberg:
Conrad, Zachary. (2011-2014). Photography. Retrieved from https:/

Wakemen, Rick. (2007).
Sea Horses
. The Classical Connection.
Retrieved from: iTunes

Zachary Conrad
Tangenberg, Kathleen, M. (2005). Faith-Based Human Services Initiatives: Considerations for Social Work Practice and Theory. Social Work. Vol. 50 Issue 3, p. 197-206. 10p.
Retrieved from
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