Afrocentric social work: Implications for practice issues

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The paper is a critical review on how Afrocentric social work could be applicable to Africa and how this would be manifested in social work practice. Schiele (2000) in human services and the Afrocentric paradigm and Graham (2002) in Social work and African-centred world views have made solid cases for the approach. These two book sand the authors' other related work refer to social work in the United States and Britain respectively. This paper argues that the Afrocentric approach has a wider application. The Afrocentric paradigm has identical principles with Ubuntu which in Africa exemplifies African values and ethics in the service of humanity. While social work theories make western theories and philosophies their reference point,the Afrocentric paradigm is based on traditional African philosophies,history, culture, values and ethics. There are also common grounds with social work values and ethics in upholding human rights and focusing on service to alleviate human suffering.For the African people to cope with modern challenges it is important for them to seek strength in the foundations of their indigenous cultures. African cultures value collectivity, reciprocity, spirituality and interconnectedness of all beings. Much of these values have been eroded by modernity and market forces. The popular symbol of the Akan people of Ghana called Sankofa is a bird looking back but going forward and means that it important to reflect on the past to build a prosperous future. The concept of Sankofa therefore advocates revisiting the past to find what is forgotten in order to build a strong and resilient future, noting that the past, present and future are all inter connected. The focus of this paper is to demonstrate how these values can address the challenges of social development in our time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSome aspects of community empowerment and resilience
EditorsVenkat Pulla, Bharath Mamidi
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherAllied Publishers Private Limited
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9788184249620
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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