Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
McKenna, V; Kelly, C; Barry, MM
Social Care Ireland 2015: Breaking Barriers and Building Relationships
A health promotion model of social care: integrating health promotion into social care practice.
Optional Fields
Sligo Radisson Hotel on the 24th, 25th & 26th March.
A health promotion model of social care: integrating health promotion into social care practice. Verna McKenna, Colette Kelly & Margaret Barry. Discipline of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. Social care practitioners are often well placed to promote the health of service users and many routinely engage in health promotion activities. However, they may not always recognise this aspect of their work and often feel poorly trained in this area (Kelly and Houghton, 2009). Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health (WHO, 1986). It is concerned with addressing the broader social determinants of health (Dahlgren and Whitehead, 1992) and reducing health inequalities. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) sets out key action areas and strategies for the promotion of health. Each of the action areas (developing personal skills; strengthening community action; building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments and reorienting health services) can be utilised to underpin empowering social care practice. The concepts and practical skills of advocacy, empowerment and participation can also strengthen the role of the social care worker to support service users in identifying and responding to their health needs. The relevance of health promotion to the practice of social care is further affirmed in the HSE Strategic Framework, published in 2011 which emphasises the need for the reorganisation of health and social care services to include the development of organisational structures that support the promotion of health. The framework is of particular relevance to work in social care as it emphasises the need to develop the skills and capacity of those outside the health promotion workforce to adopt a stronger evidence-based health promoting role. This paper introduces a health promotion model of social care, which integrates the principles and key action areas of health promotion into social care practice. The model will be mapped to an example of social care practice.
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