Training, consultancy and
capacity building services

The Strengths Approach

By Wayne McCashen

In this definitive publication, Wayne McCashen provides a practical guide to the Strengths Approach as it is used by social workers, psychologists, counsellors and many other people in the human service professions. The Strengths Approach is a model of intervention that shifts the focus of work with clients from power-over to power-with, from deficits to capacities, from expert-focussed to the-client-as-expert.

Wayne McCashen clearly describes the ideas, values, beliefs and frameworks that help create respectful ways of working with people. His book is full of anecdotes and examples of strengths-based practice in action. Noticing strengths and exceptions, creating 'pictures of the future', using the column approach, measuring change and client-owned recording are just a few of the topics explored.

This is an accessible, comprehensive text and one of Innovative Resources’ best-selling publications.

“This book articulates such concerns as power-over and power-with; self-determination and expertness; just practice; dismantling expert power, and above all else, the detailing of a practice of respect. This book would have rewarded any reader if it had stopped there. However, it also takes up with the same ethical diligence, how such practice might be implicated in service delivery, organisational culture, supervision and community building – and does so comprehensively.”

(From the foreword by David Epston, Co-director, The Family Therapy Centre, Auckland, New Zealand).

Published by Innovative Resources, 2005.
Reprinted 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Paperback, 240mm x 170mm, 208 pages; includes annotated bibliography.
ISNB: 978 192094513 8

Communities of Hope

By Wayne McCashen

Communities of Hope is about something very precious. It's about a community's capacity to learn, to change, to grow—and to build that most invaluable of commodities: respectful connectedness.

Communities of Hope describes a 'strengths' approach to community capacity building. This approach is concerned with the building of a community's own capacity and potential. The focus is on the building of community by the community. Planning, competency and decision making are owned by the community. Additional expertise, information, knowledge and other resources are accessed by the community to complement its vision, its strengths and existing resources.

This publication is based on the strengths approach to community capacity building. It contains a comprehensive three-day workshop plan and 39 reproducible handout masters to build and empower communities.

Social workers, community leaders, mental health professionals: here is a step-by-step blueprint for a strengths-based approach to community capacity building, designed to guide people as they create resilient, flexible, well-connected communities.

Published by Innovative Resources, 2004.
Paperback, 214mm x 278mm, 208 pages.
ISBN:1 920945 00 8

Respect and Justice Cards

By Innovative Resources

Reminders for ‘doing hope’

The strengths approach is characterised by genuine collaboration between people—or ‘power-with’ as it has become known. ‘Doing’ power-with challenges us to address power imbalances and structures that constrain, discriminate and disadvantage. It also challenges us to create conditions that build hope, respect and fairness.

Following the success of The Strengths Approach by Wayne McCashen, here is a set of 32 small format cards that act as reminders for doing respect and justice. Navigating our way through changes and challenges can be daunting at times. But signposts can be found in the principles and frameworks of the strengths approach that help us to respond with integrity to even the most difficult or dilemma-ridden circumstances. Each of the Respect and Justice Cards feature a phrase followed by a question. For example:

Keeping optimism alive
How do we help build a hopeful picture of the future?

Tackling stuckness and friction
How do we notice and build on exceptions to the problem?

Understanding the power of labels
How do we challenge stereotypes?

These simple cards provide opportunities for trainers, facilitators, teachers, managers, social workers, teams, communities and individuals to engage in lively discussion and reflection on the principles and practices of the strengths approach.

Published by Innovative Resources, 2008

30 laminated, full-colour cards, 105 x 65mm
Polypropylene box folds back to make a stand, 32-page booklet
Booklet: Russell Deal
Designer: Jacqui Lynch
ISBN: 978 1 920945 21 3