• Corinne Strydom Department of Social Work, School of Psycho-Social Behavioural Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Cornelia Wessels Department of Social Work, School of Psycho-Social Behavioural Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Herman Strydom Department of Social Work, School of Psycho-Social Behavioural Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa



A research study was conducted at Heuningvlei near Vryburg in the Northern Cape Province ofSouth Africa during 2006. The study was called “Tshwaragano”, meaning togetherness, andwas sponsored by the National Research Foundation. The research focused on health issues andpoverty, and was undertaken to determine their effect on families in rural areas. Seven master’sstudents and two PhD students were involved in the project. The master’s students did a needsassessment with their specific aim in mind and developed guidelines. The PhD students usedthis needs assessment of the first phase to compile their social work group-work programmes toempower the families of Heuningvlei and to enhance their quality of life. This article reports ona section of the research which examined the living conditions and income of the households,and the causes and effects of poverty and unemployment. Aspects such as crime, violence andmarital conflict received attention. Because the strengths approach was used in this study, thestrengths of the families were investigated. Finally, the roles of the social worker to implementpreventive and treatment strategies in the community were discussed.


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How to Cite

Strydom, C., Wessels, C., & Strydom, H. (2014). THE ROLE OF THE SOCIAL WORKER TO EMPOWER FAMILIES IN A DEEP RURAL COMMUNITY. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 46(2).




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