PROCESS OF SOCIAL CASE WORK
I. Intake (First Interview)
Client comes to an agency for professional help through a Case worker.
Relationship between two persons of unequal positions and power is developed.
Accept client as a person in a stressful situation
Respect the client’s personality and help him resolve.
The areas for probing are:
1. The stage of the problem at which the person, through whom, and the reasons because of which, comes to this agency.
2. The nature of request and its relation to his problem, and the cause of his problem, as the client sees.
3. Does the request relate directly to his needs/ problems.
4. His adjustment to his social functions in job, family, etc.
5. The state of his physical and mental health.
6. His appearance including dress, etc. in his first meeting.
7. His personal and social resources including material and financial position.
8. Appropriateness and intensity of feelings.
9. Nature of defense mechanisms he frequently uses.
10. Level of motivation, how quickly he wants to get rid of his problems.
11. Nature of family, its status, values, relationship pattern within the family, etc.
12. Reactions to the worker and seeking help from the agency and sex of caseworker who will be suitable to help the person.
II. Psycho-Social study ( Exploration / Investigation):“Psycho – Social study is the initial assessment of client’s current, relevant past and possible future modes of adaptation to stressful situations and normal living situations.”
Perlman has given the following contents of the case work study:
1. The nature of the presenting problem
2. The significance of the problem.
3. The cause(s), onset and precipitants of the problem.
4. The efforts made to cope with problem-solving.
5. The nature of the solution or ends sought from the case work agency.
6. The actual nature of the agency and its problem solving means in relation to the client and his problem.
The tools used by the case worker for collecting the relevant information are:
1. Interview guide and schedule.
2. Life chart.
3. Video recording of family interaction.
4. Tape recorded interview.
The Format of Interview Schedule:
1. History of the problem.
2. Personal history.
3. Family history.
4. Problematic areas.
5. Treatment Plan.
III. Psycho - Social diagnosis ( Assessment) :
Perlman (1957) – “Diagnosis helps in determining the focus of treatment, further collection of facts and deciding the best course of action to solve the problem.”
“Social diagnosis is the attempt to arrive at an exact definition as possible of the social situation and personality of a given client.”
“Diagnosis is concerned with understanding both the psychological or personality factors which bear a causal relation to the client’s difficulty and the social or environmental factors which tend to sustain it.”
“Diagnosis may be viewed as the fluid, constantly changing assessment of the client, their problems, life situations and important relationships.”
Content of the Social Diagnosis:
1. The nature of the problem brought and the goals sought by the client, in their relationship to.
2. The nature of the person who bears the problem and who seeks or needs help with the problem, in relation to.
3. The nature and purpose of the agency and the kind of help it can offer and/ or make available.
Process of making diagnosis:
(a) Shifting the relevant from irrelevant data
(b) Organizing the facts and getting them into relatedness
(c) Grasping the way in which the factors fit together
(d) Preparing the meaning as a whole.
Types of diagnosis:
- The person is described by the nature of the illness. E.g. schizophrenia, psychopath, typhoid, etc.
- Used in medical practice.
- Use is minimum is case work practice. - Importance in medical and psychiatry.
- Tries to delineate the causes and development of presenting difficulty.
- History of person.
- Limitation - doesn’t look into present.
- Proper evaluation of the client’s current problem as he is experiencing it now.
- Role of psychological, biological, social and environmental factors in the causation of the problem.
- No attempt to dig life history.
- Case worker and client engage in appropriate corrective action or treatment.
- These developments may lead to modifications in the goals for treatment.
Data for Diagnosis:
2. Checklist and Inventories
3. Direct Observation
Steps in Diagnosis:
1. The worker begins to focus on problematic behaviors. Both functional and dysfunctional behaviors in the client’s environment are surveyed. The client’s personal strength as well as of his environment are evaluated.
2. He specifies the target behaviors. Break down complex behaviors into clear and precise component parts.
3. Baseline data are collected to specify those events that appear to be currently controlling the problematic behaviors.
4. The collected information is summarized in an attempt to anticipate any major problem in treatment and as a way of beginning to establish objectives for treatment.
5. Selecting priorities for treatment is the final step of the diagnosis.
IV. Intervention / Treatment (Problem-solving process):
The objectives of social case work treatment are:
1. To prevent social breakdown.
2. To conserve client’s strength.
3. To restore social functioning.
4. To provide happy experiences to the client.
5. To create opportunities for growth and development.
6. To compensate psychological damage.
7. To increase capacity for self-direction.
8. To increase his social contribution.
Methods of Social treatment:
1. Administration of concrete and practical services. E.g. money, medical care, scholarships, legal aid, etc.
2. Indirect treatment (modification of environment, both physical and social). E.g. camps, group experience activities, training programmes, etc.
3. Direct treatment:
(a) Counselling – marriage, occupational, family, school, etc.
(b) Therapeutic Interviewing – family and marital therapy.
(d) Interpretation and Insight
(e) Psychological support.
(f) Resource utilization
(g) Environment modification.
V. Monitoring and Evaluation:Monitoring provides crucial feedback to case worker and the client regarding
1. Whether the treatment programme is succeeding as desired,
2. Whether established goals have been achieved,
3. Whether modifications in the programme are necessary and
4. Whether the client is being helped in real sense.The purpose of Evaluation is to see if the efforts of the case worker are yielding any result or not, if the techniques used are serving the purpose, and if the goals are being achieved.
Evaluation is the process of attaching a value to the social work practice. It is the method of knowing what the outcomes are.
It is a continuous process.
Evaluation of the approach used and result should be taken up with the client so that the efforts are meaningfully utilized.
Evaluation will further strengthen the relationship between the caseworker and client and motivate the client to work towards his goal.
Casework practices need to be evaluated from time to time. The subject needs to be tested and researched and most importantly needs ongoing validation. They need to be proved to the public that they are effective and beneficial to the clients.
Casework practice should be subjected to critical review. Workers need to be held accountable for what they do and for their social work competence. Workers need to win approval for their programmes.
They may sometimes have to be told that their services are overlapping and ineffective.
Workers have to enhance their own image and also of the agency to develop public relations. The clients need to give a feedback on the effectiveness of the services.
VI. Follow-up and Termination:At the end, i.e. termination, the worker should discuss the original as well as revised goals and objectives, achievements during the helping period, factors helpful or obstructive in achieving the objectives, and the efforts needed to maintain the level of achievement and the feelings aroused by disengagement.
It is neither wise nor necessary for the termination to be an abrupt one.
It is best to discuss termination and its ramifications (implications) several times before the final interview.
The frequency and amount of contacts should be gradually decreased.
Termination of the helping process brings up in both the case worker and client(s) many feelings – both positive and negative – which must be verbalized and discussed.
Follow-up is done to help client maintain the improvement.
During follow-up, the client is helped to discuss the problems he faces in maintaining the improvement.
Work is done with the people significant for his improved social functioning.
If required, he is referred to the proper source for needed services and help.
The follow-up should be planned on a diminishing basis – after two weeks, then a month, then three months, six months and a year following the termination of the formal programme.