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"Strengths Perspective" is a new paradigm for addressing the needs of people or groups in crisis or in situations of chronic difficulties. Examples of these individuals and groups are those suffering from trauma, alcoholism, abuse, mental illness and homelessness. Two underlying premises of Strength Perspective is that there are "resources in every environment" and that caring is the core of "human well being." There are certain essential perspectives that are incorporated into Strengths perspective and these include: belief in the client, dialogue and collaboration, and empowerment (Strengths Institute, University of Kansas). There are a number of questions that frame assessment in Strength Perspective, each designed to uncover "competencies, courage, purpose, possibility, resources, relationships, resources." Two Strength Perspective questions that might be best utilized for families suffering homelessness might be:
- Exception questions: “When things were going well in life, what was different?”
- Change questions: What do you think is necessary for things to change? What could you do to make that happen?
- Survival questions: How have you managed to overcome/ survive the challenges that you have faced? “What have you learned about yourself and your world during those struggles?” (Strengths Institute, University of Kansas, from Saleebey, 2006)
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