Social Work with Marriage Based Immigrant Families: an Application of Empowerment Approach

결혼이민자 가족을 위한 임파워먼트 기반의 사회복지실천 연구

  • Yoon, Hye-Mee (Dept. of Child Welfare, Chungbuk National University)
  • Received : 2009.07.01
  • Accepted : 2009.08.24
  • Published : 2009.11.30


The quickening pace of international migration in the last twenty years brought fundamental demographic and social changes to the Korean society. Increasing number of marriage-based immigrant families imposes new challenges on social work community; however, the social work community has not been equipped with necessary practice models, sets of skills and professionals with cultural competency. This study aims to explore an integrative framework of social work practice with this client group. Research foci include the profile of marriage-based immigrant families in Korea, available social services at the time, challenges and issues they face, the compatibility of the empowerment based social work practice, and micro/mezzo/macro level concerns that arise for the effective service provision. Challenges among marriage-based immigrant families are converged into personal/familial, community related, and larger social-cultural issues. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social process to help people gain control over their lives; a process that fosters power in people, for use in their lives, their communities and in their society. Empowerment based social work practice can be the most competent framework for working with multi-cultural families considering their multi-faceted acculturation issues while they navigate thru Korean society. Issues of educating and training of culturally competent social workers are discussed.


marriage-based immigrant family;empowerment;social work;practice;multi-culturalism;cultural competency


Supported by : 한국학술진흥재단