Interpersonal Systems

Part 1: Case Description The client system chosen for your assignment can be drawn from a) current field placement; b) current employment (must be in human services field); c) case vignette (to be provided); or d) Video/movie (to be assigned).  The client system may be an individual, family, or group.  Possible videos include:    A Beautiful Mind Antwon Fisher Boys Don’t Cry Carol   Good Will Hunting Moonlight Precious Quincienera   Still Alice The Fisher King Tyler Perry’s The Family that Preys     a) Provide a thorough description of the individual, family or group (each member), including observational data (appearance, affect, behavior) as well as relevant social, cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, and vocational information. Describe where the client falls along the life course development trajectory. Describe how issues related to socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, life style, and individual difference affect the client system’s coping responses. Describe any physical, psychological, and social acute illnesses and long-term disabilities. Discuss the client system’s decision to seek help (voluntary vs. involuntary), the impact of the referral process, and any other factors influencing access and receipt of services.  Make sure to include attention to issues of diversity, difference, and identity.  Please protect client confidentiality by using pseudonyms.   b) Make an eco-map and a cultural gram of the relationships and systems involved in the case.  Provide a description of the key findings shown in the eco-map and cultural gram and their implications for your work with the client system.   Part 2: Theory Identify and explain what social work practice theory or theories you are using to organize your assessment. Refer to the course readings here for further information. Justify your choices in a general and brief way, explaining why the theory or theories makes sense for this particular case.  Avoid repeating material about the case that you will get into in greater depth in the assessment section.   Part 3: Presenting Problem Situation Data Source: Briefly describe how you gathered data for the assessment, including measures and assessment tools used, format, and an analysis of the strengths and limitations of the data. include a blank copy of any assessment forms or other data collection tools used at your agency in an appendix (excluded from the page limit).  Be sure to discuss how you use these tools and their implications.   Problem identification (client perspective): Describe the following from the client’s perspective: a) the presenting problem situation, b) client’s construction of meaning re: the problem situation, c) the reason(s) for or cause(s) of the problem situation, d) the desired solution(s)/outcome to the problem situation.   Problem identification (worker perspective): Describe your perception of the presenting problem situation as compared to the client’s perception and described the similarities and differences in your perspectives. To what extent is your perspective shared by others in your agency and other involved service providers?  What is the family’s perspective? What are the perspectives of significant others? Are there conflicts among perspectives and how have these been addressed?   Part 4: Assessment Assessment involves organizing into a framework all of the information you have obtained.  It is how you add up the strengths/capacities of the client system and various relevant systems to address the problem situations at hand.  Please make sure to explicitly incorporate the strengths perspective into your assessment.  Limitations and obstacles should be noted as well.  For this section, it is assumed that you will not have enough information to assess all aspects of the client system.  Be selective and include those aspects that are most important to the case, in your judgement.  If something is important but you don’t have information on it, say why you think it might affect your assessment.  Be sure to address specifically strengths as well as problems, and be sure to include how broader issues such as diversity, oppression, culture, or power may have affected the client system.   If the client system is an individual, assess the client on the main areas outlined in chapter 9 of the textbook: [1] Intrapersonal Systems (biological functioning, cognitive/perceptual functioning, affective functioning, behavioral functioning, and motivation); [2] Interpersonal Systems (social support systems, spirituality and affiliation with a faith community); and [3] Physical environment (safety of the main physical environment, place attachment, place identity, and territoriality).   If the client system is a family, assess the family system on the main areas outlined in chapter 10 of the textbook: [1] Family System (homeostasis; boundaries and boundary maintenance; family decision-making; hierarchy and power; family roles; communication styles of family members; family life cycle; family rules; social environment; family adaptive capacity); and [2] Physical environment (safety of the main physical environment, place attachment, place identity, and territoriality).   If the client is a group, assess the group system on the main areas outlined in chapter 11 of the textbook: Individuals’ patterned behavior and individuals’ cognitions and behaviors (you may select two group members); Roles of group members; The group’s patterned behaviors; Group Alliances; Group norms; Group cohesion; Physical environment (safety of the main physical environment, and its symbolic meaning in terms of place attachment, place identity, and territoriality).   Does your agency set guidelines for required content or use a standard format to gather assessment information? If so, describe the measure and how it assisted in your assessment. Did you use a rapid assessment instrument or other evaluation tool? If so, identify the measure and why you chose to use it. Be sure to discuss how you use these tools and their implications.   In this section, you should also identify and discuss strengths you observe in the client system.  Make sure to also include an assessment of culture and its impact with this client system.  Discuss any culturally relevant factors, including issues of oppression and discrimination that might influence their current situation. Also assess environmental factors that influence the system’s functioning and development.  Consider resources and risk factors at various systems levels.  Pay attention to and include assessment for potential sources of trauma.   Part 5: Using Evidence and the Professional Literature Identify two main client problem areas or client concerns that have emerged from your assessment above (e.g., teen pregnancy, child abuse or neglect, family conflict, substance abuse). Discuss your rationale for focusing on these issues with this client.  Why are they important in your work with this client?  For each problem area, read at least 3 recent professional peer-reviewed journal articles that are not on the syllabus (minimum 6 total references). The articles should be focused on assessment or interventions for the problems, not on describing the nature of the problems. You can use additional articles to describe background or human behavior articles on the problems. This minimum of six (6) references will assist you in developing a well-grounded evidence-based assessment and intervention plan for this client system. Do not use quotes, unless they are exceptional, but rather demonstrate your understanding of the literature and its relationship to your analysis and assessment. Be sure to cite the literature using APA format. Also use assigned readings on assessment that are relevant to your client and to the theoretical perspectives you are utilizing.   Communicate your understanding of this client system and the two problems that you selected. Address intra-personal, interpersonal, and environmental issues related to each problem. What are the resources available both within the client system and externally to deal with the problems and issues that have been identified? What obstacles exist internally and externally?   Part 6: Evaluation of the Therapeutic Relationship Briefly summarize the qualitative aspects of the client system’s relationship to you, both initially and at the current time.  How did you approach the process of engagement with this client system?  What issues impacted the engagement process?  What has assisted or impaired the establishment of your current relationship?  This may include client system characteristics, ethnic or racial issues, personal characteristics, communication/interviewing skills, helping strategies, barriers, and/or other issues.  If your assignment is based on a vignette or other alternative, you should use this section to write about what aspects of the therapeutic relationship would be important if you were working with this client system.   Part 7: Race, Ethnicity, Identity, and Culture What factors related to diversity in terms of race, identity, sexual orientation and other cultural variables are relevant to this system?  How have societal and institutional processes of racism, discrimination and oppression impacted the client system’s development and functioning over time?  What human rights and social, economic, and environmental issues have affected the client system?  Discuss the ways in which you have addressed cultural, ethnic, racial, social class, and other psychosocial and physical aspects of the situation.  If you have not addressed these issues, discuss how and why you would do so in direct practice with the client system?    Part 8: Ethical and Value Issues What ethical and value considerations have been central in working with this client system? Explain the differing sides of the value perspectives and ethical dilemmas. How did (or would) you use professional and ethical strategies to address these issues?  Describe your rationale for the strategies you used and/or the choices you made.   Part 9: Final Summary Include an assessment summary at the end of your paper (a brief but clear overview of the client system’s situation, including areas you will work on and your understanding of the contract with the client). This section should “wrap up” the paper. It provides also an opportunity for you to integrate your knowledge of the literature with your assessment. Include anything you would do differently now with the client system, given what you have learned in classes.

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