Maintaining the perspective that people are in constant interaction with their environment and the social systems therein (the Person in Environment perspective) is a key concept in the field of social work. Social work recognizes that the concerns or problems individuals face might be due to many causes. This view also supports another goal of social work which is to empower clients who are marginalized and oppressed to collaborate in the resolution of their problems or concerns as experts of their life experiences. As such, looking at a problem and assessing the needs of individuals depends on a review of the challenges they have encountered on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Assessing the situation on all three levels will provide a holistic map for goal planning. For example, you might assess a client’s individual strengths and challenges, the support or lack of support received from family, friends, and others in the client’s life regarding the issue, and the societal resources available to address the problem.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Select either the course-specific case study for Abdel or Pedro. Then, consider what information you need to gather and what questions you need to ask in order to complete a proper assessment for the client, based on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice.
By Day 3
Post a brief explanation of the information you need to gather and the questions you need to ask, in order to complete a proper assessment for the client in the case study you selected, based on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice. Be sure to reference in your post which case study you selected.
You walk into the waiting room to greet a client for the first time and the client begins yelling at you, “I have done nothing wrong. I do NOT need to be here”. How might you react to this behavior? During the intake session, the client exhibits classic signs of defensiveness and disengagement, such as eye-contact avoidance and folded arms across the chest. Working with clients who have not chosen to come to you for your services can be challenging at times. How might this behavior impact your feelings about this client? It likely could evoke your own sense of anxiety, frustration, or even anger. What steps would you take to engage the client? Recognizing that the interaction is not truly about you will help you maintain a professional and calm demeanor, even when you begin to feel your own emotions rise. Many social workers engage with mandated or involuntary clients—for example in child protective service agencies, correctional institutions, and sometimes psychiatric facilities. Treating these clients with respect and attending to their concerns will demonstrate your desire to assist them. Furthermore, verbalizing that you understand that they are there against their will can begin a conversation about how they got there in the first place. In these situations, an additional dose of empathy, warmth, and genuineness will help you understand the client’s position and exemplify your desire to help.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources, including the Hernandez Family Case Study video and the assigned pages from Chapter 2 of the Krist-Ashman & Hull (2012) text. Consider the potential challenges of working with mandatory and involuntary clients, such as the Hernandez family.