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This assignment describes and analyses my involvement with a 13-year-old client Joe Smith, who was temporarily supported under section 25 (voluntary) of the Children's (Scotland) Act 1995 to be Looked After and Accommodated by the Local Authority.

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Introduction

Introduction This assignment describes and analyses my involvement with a 13-year-old client Joe Smith, who was temporarily supported under section 25 (voluntary) of the Children's (Scotland) Act 1995 to be Looked After and Accommodated by the Local Authority. The process of intervention will be discussed from pre-engagement, assessment and gathering of information to client interaction and networking with other agencies. Using reflection, I will critically analyse how I planned and responded to the needs and risks in regard to Joe, and assess my role and the impact of my intervention. I shall also discuss my learning outcomes and the process of supervision. The theoretical knowledge gained and relevant legislation will be considered to demonstrate how I applied these in my practice. I acted in accordance with agency policies and procedures regarding the client's rights and confidentiality, by asking the family's permission to write about the case. I advised the family that the names would be changed to ensure confidentiality and that access to the assignment would be for course purposes only. (Social Worker Records Groups 1989) I also advised the family that they had a right to read my assignment in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and under section (2) of the Access to Personal Files (Social Work) (Scotland) Regulations 1989 (Mays, 2001, p379) I felt it important to inform and involve the family, as a form of empowerment and to protect the agency and myself and to ensure good practice. (Orme & Coulshed, 1998,p41) Context of Placement The Area Team is situated in the periphery of a large city, which suffers disproportionately from social exclusion, poverty, disadvantage and deprivation. (Townsend 1979 Golding 1986, Lister 1990, Oppenheim and Harker 1996 in Becker, date p23) Recent research shows that one child in three now lives in poverty and that poverty is disproportionately concentrated in certain types of areas such as "disadvantaged council estates". ...read more.

Middle

and Smale et al, (1998) suggest in the process of assessment the worker is not the expert in identifying need. They claim that "People are, and always will be the expert on themselves" on their own problems, relationships, wants and needs. Therefore the role of the professional is to work in partnership empowering the client and other people involved to exchange their views to identify problems and behaviours in relation to their current situation. (Smale and Tuson 2000, p14) Coulshed (1991) describes assessment "as a way of continuously collecting and synthesising available data, which includes thoughts and feelings, in order to formulate treatment plans" furthermore he explains that assessments are never complete but an ongoing process. (Coulshed 1991:27) This was true in Joe's situation due to his re-offending and behavioural problems. I chose the Exchange Model (Smale 2000) because of the complex situation with Joe and the family. This process of assessment, engagement and intervention necessitates networking and sharing information with the family and other agencies and professionals. It is about partnership and empowerment on an equal basis. On initial contact, I felt that it was inappropriate to fire a set of questions at the client(s), as this linear questioning model would only compound the "cause" and "effect" chain encouraging individual blame. (Cecchin, 1987) I decided a circular questioning approach would enable me to explore the family system, highlighting the relationships, behaviours and differences within the family and it's members (Burnham, 1986: Burnham and Harris, 1988) (Watzlawick, et al., 1974). I drew on the "Systems Theory" which recognises that if one person's behaviour changes it can impact on the whole family system. I also considered the larger system of friends, professionals and the community where structural influences such as poverty and unemployment may contribute to the crisis situation. (O'Hagan, 1986)(Lishman, 2001, p145) (Norton, 1978, p3) Initial Engagement Having not met Joe and the family I decided to make initial contact by letter, as it would appear more professional. ...read more.

Conclusion

I felt it appropriate to impose a boundary and to inform Joe I wasn't intimidated. However that morning I had received a telephone call from the Reporter asking for an update on Joe's current situation and whether he should attend another Hearing. I was uncomfortable making this decision, which caused conflict for me personally and professionally. I felt that Joe should attend the Hearing to learn to accept responsibility for his actions and understand that his behaviour was not acceptable legally or socially. By reflection and self-awareness I concluded that by my informing Joe of the Hearing was to relieve me of the guilt I felt. On hindsight I feel that I would have been better letting the Reporter notify Joe. I drew on the Cognitive-Behavioural approach, which can assist with anxiety (Beck and Emery, 1985), anger control and social skills. I considered Joe's interaction with his biological and social environment, which may have contributed to his behaviour. (Bandura, 1978) Such as drug abuse, the possibility of learned behaviour from observing a violent and aggressive father, this could explain why Joe exhibits aggression towards females. (Hollin, 1989,p 20, Lishman, 2001, p128, 174) 1 Section 3 (1)(b) Children's (Scotland) Act 1995 2 Section 11 of the Children's (Scotland) Act 1995 3 Section 54(b) of the C (S) A 1995. 4 Section 52 (2) (a) of the C (S) A 1995. 5 Section 25 (1)(c) (7)(b) of the C (S) a 1995. 6 Section 25 (voluntary) C (S) A 1995 Act. 7 Section 25 voluntary of the C (S) A 1995 to section 73 (4) of the C (S) A 1995 naming the Children's Unit as the place of residence on Joe's Supervision Order. (Looked After and Accommodated Children) 8 Section 17 (3)(a) C (S) A 1995 9 Section 17 (3) (d) s. 22 (1)(b) of the C (S) A 1995, section 30 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 10 Section 17 (3) (a) of the C (S) A 1995 11 Two counts of Breach of the Peace. Five counts of Assault involving two male and three female members of staff. 1 ...read more.

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