Create a client scenario of your choice for client engagement and assessment

In this project, you will practice client engagement and assessment and conduct a self-assessment of your social work skills.

 

Create a client scenario of your choice (example., Victim of domestic violence coming into a safe house for shelter). Please write a brief description of the client’s presenting issue and the social worker’s role.

 

Write an Assessment paper: Your paper should be organized using the following headings. You should include 5 scholarly references, integrated as in-text citations to demonstrate support from the literature.

 

Heading 1: Identifying Client Information

  • Brief description of the client
  • Summary of findings from the initial session

Heading 2: Cultural and Ethical Considerations

  • Relevant cultural factors and/or knowledge the social worker (you) needs
  • Identify social work values to be applied.
  • Describe any ethical dilemmas or possible ethical concerns in general and/or for you personally.

Heading 3: Engagement strategies

  • Describe engagement strategies the client seemed to respond well to
  • Discuss other engagement strategies that should be used in working with this client, based on culture or on your personal self-evaluation.
  • Identify any potential barriers to engaging the client in general and/or for you personally.

Heading 4: Assessment Approach

  • Identify a theoretical approach to assessment and describe the process of decision-making (what factors were considered in selecting this approach, what other theoretical approaches were considered, why were those eliminated, how does this theory best support your client)
  • What assessment strategies will be used?
  • What tools and/or measures will be used?

Heading 5: Planning for Intervention

  • Describe how the findings of the assessment will be used in planning for intervention.
  • Describe the integrated practice approached of the intervention at micro, mezzo and macro levels.

Heading 6: Client Assessment Session

Please write out all the social worker questions that will be asked during the session and client responses that will be asked during the session (at least 15 questions with responses).

 

Answer

Client Information

Miss V. is a victim of domestic abuse who came to the safe house for help. She explains that her husband is physically abusive and threatens to kill her if she goes to the police. The client has bruises all over her body and a bloody nose. She was taken to the emergency department, where they found that she had a concussion from being hit on the head. She appears disoriented and in pain from the attack. The initial session shows that she has been trying to cope with the physical abuse since she still loves her husband. She came in with a black eye and was hysterical. However, she fears for her life. She was unprepared to move out or involve law enforcement to prevent the abuses. Instead, the findings show that she was in a support group at a local community center and did not give her actual name for fear of getting her husband in trouble. In the current session, she is ready to seek help and move away from her husband to avoid serious harm.

Cultural and Ethnic Considerations

Social workers should be culturally sensitive and aware when working with diverse clients. Different cultures affect how people view gender roles, relationships, and abuse. They should be mindful of potential cultural factors affecting clients seeking help. Effective social work involves approaching a situation with humility and an open mind (Moffatt et al., 2021). Social workers should also not impose their ideas and beliefs on their clients.

Relevant social work values to be applied in this scenario include self-determination, empowerment, and client privacy. In self-determination, even though they may be wrong, social workers should not impose their decisions and beliefs on their clients (Banks et al., 2020). Second, empowerment aims at supporting the client enabling them to make informed decisions. Third, confidentiality enhances trust between clients and social workers (Banks et al., 2020). Protecting client’s privacy enables clients to be open about their experiences to seek help.

Ethical dilemmas or possible ethical concerns are not uncommon in social work. One ethical dilemma is balancing the duty to respect the client’s autonomy and protecting her from harm (Banks et al., 2020). However, there is also a duty to protect the client from harm. In this case, Miss V. does not want to involve law enforcement or leave her husband. However, any social worker knows the importance of involving law enforcement to ensure her safety. The social worker may face a conflict of interest in solving the dilemma. The second possible ethical concern is the lack of confidentiality (Banks et al., 2020). There are also ethical concerns of countertransference or personal biases.

Engagement Strategies

In this case, Miss V. responded well to the supportive and non-judgmental approach. There was empathy, active listening, and a safe and calming environment for the client to discuss her experiences. This approach cultivates trust and rapport with the client (Miller, 2022). On the other hand, active listening enabled the client to feel heard and valued. Other engagement strategies that may be effective with this client could include a strengths-based approach. Focusing on the client’s strengths and resilience instead of victimization would help her identify her capabilities in handling the situation. Additionally, a trauma-informed approach identifies the type of trauma to provide adequate support that targets the issue (Miller, 2022). Also, being culturally sensitive would help social workers adjust engagement strategies accordingly. For instance, some cultures may require social workers to engage the family or community members when assisting a client.

Potential barriers include fear, shame, or cultural beliefs hindering the client’s willingness to seek help or disclose sensitive information. It may be challenging to manage compassion fatigue when hearing about other people’s experiences. Additionally, a lack of awareness about a particular culture may hinder a social worker’s ability to engage effectively (Deshields et al., 2021). Therefore, social workers should consult with colleagues, supervisors, or cultural experts to understand how to handle the barriers and effectively support clients.

Assessment Approach

The ecological systems theory is the most suitable theoretical approach to assessment for this case study. This theory acknowledges that there is interconnectedness between individuals and their environments. The theory considers family, community, and societal systems that influence a person’s behavior and well-being (Guy-Evans, 2020). In this case, the factors considered were the client’s social and cultural context and the abuse’s impact on her relationships and sense of safety. Other theoretical approaches that were considered were cognitive behavioral therapy that enables mental health professionals to help patients fixate their thoughts on positive things to address the problem, and the psychodynamic theory asserting that childhood events may affect adult behavior and personalities (Aziz et al., 2020). The theories were less suitable because they eliminate a client’s social and cultural context.

The assessment strategy to be used is the comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment. The strategy requires evaluators to gather complete information about a client’s physical, emotional, and social states. They should also understand clients’ history of abuse and trauma (van der Put et al., 2019). The social worker may also use culturally sensitive assessment tools in this case. Measures like the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5) to determine the client’s symptoms of trauma may help. There will be clinical interviews and observation to understand the client’s needs and strengths,

Planning for Intervention

The assessment’s findings will help in developing a comprehensive intervention plan. The social worker will tailor the intervention plan based on the client’s needs and strengths. Based on the ecological systems theory, the micro level will have individual counseling. Social workers will focus on recovering from the trauma. It may include using evidence-based interventions such as trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral or narrative therapy (Guy-Evans, 2020). At the mezzo level, the intervention will involve working with family, friends, and community members. Social workers will educate them about domestic violence while informing them how they can support the client’s healing and recovery. Social workers may include group counseling, psychoeducation, or outreach to community organizations to provide them with resources and support. Finally, the macro-level interventions may involve advocating for increased funding for domestic violence programs. Social workers may also collaborate more with law enforcement officers to protect victims or develop community education programs that raise domestic violence abuse awareness.

Client Assessment Session

  1. Can you tell me about the abuse you have experienced in your relationship?
  • He hits me and threatens to kill me if I go to the police
  • He has been physically abusive for the past year
  • He controls everything I do
  1. Have you sought help before? If so, can you tell me about those experiences?
  • I have never sought help before
  • I went to a support group, but I didn’t give my real name
  1. How have you been coping with the abuse?
  • I’ve been trying to ignore it and pretend everything is okay
  • I’ve been talking to my friends and family about it
  1. Do you feel safe in your current living situation?
  • No, I fear for my life
  1. Do you have injuries from the abuse?
  • Yes, I have bruises all over my body and a concussion from being hit on the head
  1. How has the abuse affected your relationships with your friends and family?
  • I do not have friends and have isolated myself from family because of the abuse
  1. Do you feel like leaving the relationship?
  • Yes, but I still love him
  1. What would have happened if you stayed in the relationship?
  • I fear for my life
  1. Are there cultural or religious beliefs affecting how you perceive the abuse?
  • Yes, I believe that divorce is frowned upon in my culture
  1. Have you ever engaged the legal system before?
  • No, I’m afraid to involve the police
  1. Do you have goals for seeking help?
  • To be safe and free from abuse
  1. Are there mental health concerns?
  • Yes, I feel anxious and depressed because of the abuse
  1. Are there physical health concerns?
  • Yes, I have bruises and a concussion from the abuse
  1. Do you have any children?
  • Yes, my children have witnessed the abuse and are traumatized
  1. Do you have any concerns about seeking help from a social worker?
  • No, I am ready to seek help and avoid the abuse.

References

Aziz, M. O., Mehrinejad, S. A., Hashemian, K., & Paivastegar, M. (2020). Integrative therapy (short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy & cognitive-behavioral therapy) and cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 39, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101122

Banks, S., Cai, T., de Jonge, E., Shears, J., Shum, M., Sobočan, A. M., Strom, K., Truell, R., Úriz, M. J., & Weinberg, M. (2020). Practicing ethically during COVID-19: Social work challenges and responses. International Social Work, 63(5), 569–583. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872820949614

Deshields, T. L., Wells‐Di Gregorio, S., Flowers, S. R., Irwin, K. E., Nipp, R., Padgett, L., & Zebrack, B. (2021). Addressing distress management challenges: Recommendations from the consensus panel of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society and the Association of Oncology Social Work. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 71(5), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21672

Guy-Evans, O. (2020, November 9). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/Bronfenbrenner.html

Moffatt, K. M., Oxhandler, H. K., & Baldwin, S. (2021). Graduate social work program leaders’ perceived support and barriers to integrating spirituality in the curriculum. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought40(4), 443-458.

Miller, R. (2022). Chapter objectives. Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare: More Than Just Common Sense, 7.

van der Put, C. E., Gubbels, J., & Assink, M. (2019). Predicting domestic violence: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of risk assessment tools. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 47, 100–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2019.03.008

 

 

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