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Analyse an intervention that took place on your first practice placement

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Introduction

'The Social Work profession promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work' (International Association of Schools of Social Work, 2001) The aim of this piece of work is to analyse a work that I undertook with a service user and her family whilst on my 80 day practice placement. I am going to look at the way in which I practised my role and reflect on the method that I chose to use. I am going to discuss the effectiveness of the method I used, which was Systems Theory, and look at if I would change the way I practise in the future if I were to be faced with a similar piece of work. I am going to look at the history of Systems Theory and why I felt this method would be the most appropriate. I am going to critically explore my social work value base and demonstrate how I worked within the framework of the social work process using the ASPIRE model which links assessment, planning, intervention, review and evaluation (Parker and Bradley, 2003). The International Association of Schools of Social Work (2001) herald that 'social work values are embodied in the professions national and international codes of ethics' I spoke to the family under discussion before commencing this piece of work. I asked them for their permission to write about the work I undertook with them and they were happy for me to do so. I assured them that the piece of work would be completely confidential, and that their names would be anonymised. Biesteck (1961, cited in Dominelli, 2002) says that confidentiality has been accepted as a characteristic of the social work profession alongside respect and self-determination. ...read more.

Middle

The family feel a great deal of frustration as they have not yet been given a correct diagnosis of Samantha's decision and are concerned that she is not getting enough medical help as a result of this. The issue that the family had with Samantha's disability is that although the family manage very well and meet all of her needs they feel excluded from their extended families as they don't get invited to family events because they are scared of Samantha having seizures. It is important that as a social worker you recognise the needs of a person with disability as their developmental milestones may be 'Significantly different to those associated with non-disabled people' (Adams et al, 2002, p297). When working with carers of disabled people in it important not to encourage them in a role that could result in dependency, and to encourage them to allowed the disabled person to a person first (Thompson, 2001). A further issue that was identified was that Rita and Paul dreamt of setting up their own business in the form of a sandwich shop but could not envisage their dream as a reality. At the time Rita and Paul were full time carers for Samantha but I recognised that if I could empower and enable them to achieve their dream and by doing so not only would it create a positive future for them but that it would also provide financial security for the rest of the family (Thompson, 2005). Rita's depression was the final issue that was identified by the family in the initial assessment. Rita has suffered from depression for many years and is medicated by the doctor. Because of this I decided that Systems theory would be the most appropriate to use. Although the whole family are suffering because of their issues it is Rita who is the most heavily affected by the networks around her, due to her depression (Healy, 2005). ...read more.

Conclusion

Using Systems Theory also allowed me to use other methods of intervention where it was appropriate, for example, person-centred to build up the relationship and advocacy to help gain entry to College for Shane. Although Systems Theory allowed me to look at the family in their environment it is still very difficult to identify a 'system' and where its boundaries lie (Healy, 2005). Banks (2001) notes that 'It is difficult to reconcile the respect for users as persons with the 'client as system'' (p74). Another obstacle that I was faced with when using this theory was the distinct lack of both theoretical and empirical justification of the theory in practice situations (Healy, 2005). Although I found this theory to be the most appropriate methodology it is concerning that it draws heavily on discourses that bear little relevance to social work, for example biology, maths and physics (Healy, 2005). Alongside this comes my final critique of systems Theory in that allow the theory allows me to observe person-in-environment is does not allow me to break this down into smaller pieces for further analysis (Healy, 2005). I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Bloggs family and found the results of the intervention very fulfilling. When I first started working the family I was unsure as to how I would deal with their complex issues, or if I was capable of helping them at all. My time-management and organisational skills were essential in facilitating my role and helping me to achieve positive results with the family. My intervention with the Bloggs family also highlighted my weaknesses and I am much more aware of how my practice needs to improve in the future. I have helped the Bloggs family to fulfil the criteria of the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters together, which was very challenging yet extremely satisfying at the same time. Seeing the Bloggs family achieve positive change and create themselves positive futures has been very gratifying and has made me even more sure that Social Work is the field to which I want to dedicate my life to. ...read more.

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