Social Work Practice Final Paper
NOTE: I have already completed the agency context portion. Part of that paper must be included into this final paper (attachment enclosed). Client information can be made-up. 12 pages in APA social work style.
- Agency context and background (about 3 pages): Conduct data gathering at your agency in order to address the following:
- In your own words, briefly describe the current mission of the agency or that of its social work department. Briefly comment on changes in location, major building expansions, changed target populations, and/or modifications in the agency mission during the past 5 years.
- Classify your field agency as a public, nonprofit, or for-profit agency. Describe primary funding sources for client services and discuss the effects of these sources on the relationship to clients – for example, who is served and who is not served, what is the duration of service, what client issues are focal and what are given less priority. (Use of Netting, chapter 1 is recommended)
- Describe the services provided. (Use of Wood and Tully is recommended). Describe the role of the student in the agency and the roles of other social workers in the agency. Briefly comment on the NASH mission statement and the extent of its congruence with the policies and procedures of the agency.
- Client system: Select a client system for beginning problem analysis. This can be an individual, couple, family, small treatment group, or community task group (Note: limited contact, i.e. 1-2 encounters with the client system, is acceptable and expected.)
- Client description and engagement process (about 2 pages)
- Briefly describe your client system and the engagement process. Include how your client system came to the attention of your agency or its social work unit. Identify the reason for the referral and/or the client system’s presenting problem.
- Choose one of the two issues below to further describe the context for engagement with the client:
- Evaluate the degree to which the agency’s mission, services, and policies helped or hindered the client system’s ability to use the agency or
- Examine concerns related to an ethical dilemma, diversity and/or societal/institutional oppression, which were relevant to the engagement process.
- Assessment (about 4 pages)
- Describe one problem-for-work (presenting problem) of your client system. (Note: there may be several problems on which to work; summarize the situation and problems generally, and then, focus on one for the purposes of this analysis.) Include an analysis of the problem as the client sees it, as defined by significant other systems, and as you see it.
- Provide at least 2 plausible hypotheses for the cause (etiology) or maintenance of the problem. Make sure that your hypotheses reflect at least two levels: interpersonal, interpersonal, or environmental. Refer to theory (cognitive behavioral, psycho dynamic, systems, etc.) to frame your perspective. Describe how you come to understand the cause or maintenance of the problem. In other words, develop your case theory based on theory and evidence.
- Discuss strengths and resources of the client, which became apparent in the process of problem identification and assessment. Describe how at least one of these strengths or resources could be pivotal in the development of an intervention plan.
- Contracting and Planning for Intervention (about 3 pages)
- Describe the process of moving from problem identification to contracting and goal setting with your client system. Illustrate how you and the client system participated in the contracting or goal-setting process. Provide short illustrative selections of dialogue from field process recording to demonstrate skills that you used, and the purposes of the communication. What interventions did you choose to facilitate the achievement of goals?
- How would you evaluate the status of your belief bonding (Binman, 1994)? How will you maintain (or if needed improve) it?
- Any missteps in contracting and goal-setting for intervention? If so, how did you recover?
- Specifically, describe the contract and goals that you a have developed or are developing to address the problem identified above (in question 5a). In particular, comment on the nature of the contract established (verbal, written, implicit, explicit) and the rationale for your choice. Evaluate the quality of your goals. Are they measurable? Were they mutually developed with the client? What interventions were implemented? (Use of Hep worth and Larsen is recommended).
- How will you and the client system know the goals are met?
- What was your experience of working with this client system? What ethical, cultural or values issues were present? In what ways did you use your ‘self’ in this relationship? What challenged you? In what way did you grow?
As a student, you will not be rated on the basis of what you did but on your level of understanding and analysis of your assessment and interventions. The presumption is that demonstrating insight will contribute to the development of your future competence.
Instructions: This assignment should be typed and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. It is to be no more than 12 pages, excluding references or appendices (such as sonograms) with a 12 point font size. (This is 12 point). Pages should be numbered and stapled in one corner; do not use binders or covers. The reference and citation style should follow that of the American Psychological Association (see the Publication Manual of the SPA in the library or on-line). Be sure to make a Xerox copy of your paper or retain an electronic version.
Grading is based on evidence of having understood and integrated the principles presented in class and course readings and your ability to analyze course principles in relation to the questions presented to you. You are expected to answer questions clearly and concisely, with attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary. Include references to relevant readings using correct citations. Excellent (A) papers address each of the points in the outline described above and are also very well-written, well-organized, demonstrate a masterful ability to integrate and apply concepts and practice techniques learned in class (and/or outside of class, if applicable), and show evidence of critical thinking.
Failure to intervene in an ethical way to protect clients in physical danger (e.g. abused or neglected child, suicidal client, domestic violence victim etc.) will result in an “F” grade on this paper.
Client confidentiality must be safeguarded. All identifying data concerning clients must be disguised — names, addresses, places of employment, etc. It is usually acceptable to use first names (unless these are very unusual) or to refer to clients by their actual last name initial, to name the town or area where clients live, to describe the type of employment unless very unusual, but not the specific companies where clients work. Give correct ages, race, etc. — delete or change only what might serve to identify clients. Do not give real names of “collateral” (teacher, probation officer, psychiatrist, etc.). Check with your field instructor so that you can conform to any additional confidentiality criteria required by your agency.
Students should feel welcome to share the assignment with their field instructors. Field instructors can be very helpful in recommending areas that you might target for your own practice growth. If you have concerns about how to describe your client system within the framework of the assignment, please bring this matter to my attention as soon as possible.
Your behavior is expected to conform to ethical standards described in University guidelines (School of Social Work Student Handbook) and the NASH Code of Ethics. Violations of the expectations will be brought to the attention of the University and may result in expulsion. Be sure to review the section on Academic Integrity on page 10 of the syllabus and be sure to carefully give credit to cited works.