The Better Future International’s family care model in Tanzania: Creating social capital as a means to empowerment in social work practice

Barbara Kail, Manoj Pardasani, Robert Chazin - International Social Work


This article describes the impact on social services of an innovative model of family care in Moshi, Tanzania, aimed at orphaned children and youth who are affected by HIV/AIDS and their caregivers. We explore three questions: Is social capital created during the provision of social work services? If so, what aspects of the model are responsible for it? How does this social capital influence the participants’ educational/occupational aspirations and vision of the future? This qualitative study is based on a case analysis of eight adolescents and their caregivers. Data were collected from in-depth interviews. The unique aspects of a family-oriented, holistic, social service model focused on empowerment and future orientation-generated bridging, bonding, and linking social capital. Youth with more social capital appeared to have clearer visions of their future path. Implications for community-based social work practice serving marginalized and impoverished groups are presented.