Hello Professor Smith and Classmates,
The two cases I will be using for the purpose of this discussion post are the Marta Ramirez case study and the getting back to Shakopee case video.
For Marta Ramirez, she was referred to social services because her children had missed seven days of school which in her state constitutes as educational neglect. I chose the Beck Depression Inventory because the social worker had identified the possibility of Marta possibly having depression, and additionally I would choose a test similar to OARS for (but more age appropriate for Marta) assessing her strengths and social networking. “Other tools can be applied to a range of client populations to measure variables such as social functioning, caregiver burden, well-being, mental health, and social networks,” (Hepworth, D. H., Rooney, R. H., Rooney, G. D., & Strom-Gottfried, K., 2017)
For Valerie, her issues are specific to intrapersonal communication issues in the workplace, low self-esteem, and depression. I would choose the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) in conjunction with the CAGE mnemonic device in order to gauge her level of alcohol dependency because it is already established in the video that she struggles with alcoholism. I would also possibly use the Beck Depression Inventory to determine if depression could be another factor in Valerie’s situation because during the course of her interview with the social worker she had little to no affect, emotion, or appropriate change in tone when speaking to the social worker and had indicated that she may be struggling with depression.
Possible engagement skills and questioning techniques I would use with Valerie are asking her questions about her own perception of what her strengths are. I believe this would give me an idea in regards to her self-esteem where she is, and may also help her identify her own set of strengths that we would be able to utilize in her treatment. Additionally, I would want to ask questions about the particular situation that led Valerie to seek social services. In the video she explains her boss said she has poor intrapersonal communication skills among her coworkers. In order to get a better understanding of the situation, I would want to ask Valerie questions surrounding the behaviors of herself and others in the situation. “Antecedents often give valuable clues about the behavior of one participant that may provoke or offend another participant, thereby triggering a negative reaction, followed by a counter negative reaction, thus setting the reciprocal interaction in motion. In addition to finding out about the circumstances preceding troubling episodes, it is important to learn about the consequences or outcomes associated with problematic behaviors. These results may shed light on factors that perpetuate or reinforce the client’s difficulties.” (Hepworth, et al, 2017) In the video, the social worker uses this technique and discovers that Valerie was under stress from a tight deadline when her coworker threw additional work on her desk and demanded that she put that work as priority over what she was struggling to complete. Additionally, prior to this event, Valerie had expressed to the social worker that her coworkers had been isolating her and making her feel excluded from them for lunch outings and work get togethers. Using this technique allows you to let Valerie process the events and gives you more information on Valerie’s motivations and reasons for her behavior that extend beyond just her having poor communication skills with her coworkers.
Class, what are your thoughts?
Hepworth, D. H., Rooney, R. H., Rooney, G. D., & Strom-Gottfried, K. (2017). Assessment: Exploring and Understanding Problems and Strengths. Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.