The number of young people dropping out of schools has continued to increase in the past years for various reasons. Consequently, most of these young people become disengaged causing them to engage in destructive behavior such as joining gangs, dealing and abusing drugs. Crimes such as break-ins, burglary and thefts have also increased since most of this youngster are not employed and require money to sustain their habits. These events have not gone unnoticed, and a group of like-minded young entrepreneurs in the community have come together with the aim of using social justice precepts and offer assistance. They have integrated the concepts of just practice framework that include meaning, context, power, history and possibility in their work.
The group recognizes that a significant number of young people drop out of school for various reasons including inability to afford tuition fees, problems at home and influence of peers. However, if the situation is left to escalate the community and the youngsters would suffer equally. The group has established community-based centers where they invite young people who do not attend school and spend most of their time on the streets. The objective is to convince the disengaged young people to return to school so that they can realize their potential. The group actions offer these young people choices on how they can improve their future.
The group recognizes that though a significant number of these young people in the streets come from inner city neighborhoods, it does not mean that they should be neglected and ignored. The presentation of choices that can aid towards the attainment of sustainable outcomes in their lives instead of crime, street life and homelessness is considered a priority for the group. The group argues that by embracing social justice to help the vulnerable members of society, it is not just helping them, but it is helping the entire community (Jacobson, 2007).
The provision of support, guidance and aid to young people who have dropped out of schools ensures that a brighter future is guaranteed. In addition, through their participation towards the preservation of social justice, the group of young entrepreneurs in the community has saved local businesses, homes and individuals from crime. The group integrates the concepts of just practice framework in their actions by combining social work and social justice towards the improvement of the whole society’s wellbeing (Finn & Jacobson, 2007). Their work provides meaning to young people whose lives lacked a sense of direction and empower them to take charge of their future.
The application of just practice framework is based on the group’s observation and experiences in the community. The challenges faced by entrepreneurs opening small businesses in the community are numerous especially crime related one. A careful examination of the number of young people on the streets committing crimes and abusing drugs informed the decision to initiate social justice work that will solve the problem and improve lives (Finn & Jacobson, 2007).
Through social justice work, the group gives the young people hope and power to take control of their lives by going back to school or starting income generating enterprises that do not involve crime. These goals are achieved through an examination of the past especially the youngers history in the community and the outcomes of those who embraced crime. Evidently, most of them are either incarcerated or dead. The historical examination of crime in the community enables the group to put their agenda into context and convince the young people to change their behavior, beliefs and attitudes towards life.
Finn, J. L., & Jacobson, M. (2007). Just Practice: A social justice approach to social work. 2nd Edition. St, Peosta, IA: Eddie Bowers Publishing.
Jacobson, M. (2007). Food matters: Community food assessments as a tool for change. Journal of Community Practice, 15(3), 37-55.