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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the task-centred and crisis intervention approaches for anti-discriminatory, social work practice, and identify one or more situations from your own experience where the use of either approach may have been h...

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Introduction

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the task-centred and crisis intervention approaches for anti-discriminatory, social work practice, and identify one or more situations from your own experience where the use of either approach may have been helpful. Both task-centred and crisis intervention approaches are popular and widely used methods of social work practice. Although these two approaches have different origins they have some common features. In order to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of task-centred and crisis intervention approaches for anti-discriminatory practice, I intend to look at the key features of each approach. Discrimination occurs when individuals or groups of people receive unequal or unfair treatment on account of prejudice. There are many forms of discrimination which include racism, sexism and ageism. Almost by definition, a large proportion of people seeking help from, or referred to, social services (or similar organisations ) belong to groups which are frequently discriminated against in our society e.g. people with disabilities and older people. As Thompson states- "We live in a society characterised by various forms of inequality. As a result of this, certain groups in society have less access to resources, fewer opportunities or 'life-chances', less power and influence, poorer health and so on."(2000 p141) Many of the people who are social work clients or users of social services are subject to multiple discrimination and oppression.

Middle

The focus of the crisis intervention approach is on the individual client's presentation, that is their response or reaction, rather than a specific event (which may or may not have led to the current crisis). The client is likely to be displaying 'symptoms' such as poor sleep, restlessness and agitation. This crisis state is the point at which the worker needs to be available to the client. The main objective for the worker is to help the client regain their "sense of balance" The first stage of the work is enabling the client to make sense of what has happened to them. This may involve telling the story repeatedly. This helps the client to begin to understand it and thus to feel a bit more in control. Effective communication is obviously crucial and issues around language and understanding need to be considered. It is often helpful to encourage the expression of emotions, the worker must be able to remain calm, and not get caught up in the emotional confusion that may be going on. Once trust has been established the client can be helped to make connections with past events. Crises are generally resolved in 6-8 weeks and "intervention in crisis is more successful than at other times". (Payne 1997 p101) However it is whilst the client is in a state of crisis, that they are particularly vulnerable, and workers need to be very aware at

Conclusion

that using the task-centred approach in a clear and focussed way would have been helpful not only to Tina, but also to me. In retrospect I can see where my own assumptions about Tina, as a person with a learning disability led me to allow myself and others make decisions on her behalf. Many of the tasks that I and other people undertook in order to meet Tina's needs, she could have managed herself. One example of this was getting a prospectus from the local college, in order to find appropriate courses. Eventually Tina got her own flat in a supported housing scheme, and started some college courses. This all took some time and it is quite possible that Tina's priorities would have been different for example Tina may have considered that making friends and increasing her social contact would be her priority ahead of housing. Although the greater part of the work with Tina was intended to maximise her independence, following the clear process of the task-centred approach (assessment, intervention, review, termination and evaluation) would have given Tina some control over her life, it would also have given her opportunities to enhance her decision making and other skills which would have potentially improved her perception of herself as an independent adult, and would also may have affected how her family viewed her maybe allowing people to see Tina as a person who may need some support rather than someone that needs looking after. Candidate no.958497 1

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