It is essential to obtain a strong knowledge base on the relevant assessment tools used specifically with children. Assessment tools historically have been created and tested primarily on adults, more specifically Caucasian adult male subjects. Children, similar to people with disabilities or those from various ethnic backgrounds, are often ignored in research protocols. In turn, the assessment tools used with them tend to be mere replicas of those created and tested for adults. It has become clear in the social work profession as well as other disciplines that we have not paid close enough attention to the unique needs and experiences of children. It is imperative to recognize the importance of using evidence-based assessment tools that are tailored specifically for children. Children quickly develop emotionally, physically, and psychologically, and the assessment tools used with this population must be sensitive to their developmental process. Further, a child’s physical, emotional, personality, and psychological development is strongly impacted by his or her environment. Taking an ecological perspective, understanding a child’s experience within his or her home and surrounding environment, will help to identify the level of support and safety. This knowledge will help guide one’s treatment plan and intervention.
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Woolley, M. E. (2013). Assessment of children. In M. J. Holosko, C. N. Dulmus, & K. M. Sowers (Eds.), Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions (pp. 1–39). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Note: Depending on your concentration, you may not receive a case study book until a later term. Therefore, if you did not receive a copy of Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year in your previous course, use the linked PDF provided here. If you did receive the book referenced above, you may find the cases there or use the PDF.
Assessments are an integral part of the planned change process. During this part of the process you will accumulate, organize, and review the information you will need to begin the planning and intervention phases of treatment. Content and information are obtained from multiple sources (the child, family members, school personnel, etc.) and in various forms (interviews, records, and observation). It is essential to collect data in a comprehensive manner—understanding the presenting problem from an ecological model that seeks to gain insight into the concern on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. Focusing on a multilevel approach to a client’s concern and taking into account the environmental factors that contribute to the presenting problem distinguishes social work from other disciplines.
Post a description of the importance of using multiple evidence-based tools (including quantitative, open ended, and ecologically focused) to assess children. Explain how each complements the other in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the young client’s concerns and situation. Then, describe the use of an eco-map in assessment and explain the different systems you will account for in your assessment of a child.
Support your posts with specific references to this week’s resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Respond to at least two colleagues with your views on what makes this form of assessment specific to social work.
As with all areas of the social work process, cultural competence is essential when engaging and assessing a child’s concerns. Being culturally competent includes understanding the unique needs of your client and asking how those needs can be fulfilled. Using an empowerment perspective treating clients as experts on their lives and their needs is essential. Not only does this establish your commitment to being culturally sensitive and aware, but it will enhance the therapeutic relationship. While it is essential to learn and master social work skills and techniques to be a successful practitioner, another significant indicator of a successful intervention is the relationship a social worker builds with his or her client. Some research suggests that the quality of the therapeutic relationship will account for 30% of the clinical outcome of the treatment (Miller, Duncan, and Hubble, 2005, as stated in Walsh, 2010, p. 7). Exhibiting a dedication to learning about a client’s culture, history, and current environmental factors exemplifies a social worker’s desire to build that client–worker bond.
For this Assignment, read the case study for Claudia and find two to three scholarly articles on social issues surrounding immigrant families.
In a 2- to 4-page paper, explain how the literature informs you about Claudia and her family when assessing her situation.
Support your Assignment with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Working With Children and Adolescents: The Case of Claudia Claudia is a 6-year-old, Hispanic female residing with her biological mother and father in an urban area. Claudia was born in the United States 6 months after her mother and father moved to the country from Nicaragua. There is currently no extended family living in the area, but Claudia’s parents have made friends in the neighborhood. Claudia’s family struggles economically and has also struggled to obtain legal residency in this country. Her father inconsistently finds work in manual labor, and her mother recently began working three nights a week at a nail salon. While Claudia is bilingual in Spanish and English, Spanish is the sole language spoken in her household. She is currently enrolled in a large public school, attending kindergarten. Claudia’s family lives in an impoverished urban neighborhood with a rising crime rate. After Claudia witnessed a mugging in her neighborhood, her mother reported that she became very anxious and “needy.” She cried frequently and refused to be in a room alone without a parent. Claudia made her parents lock the doors after returning home and would ask her parents to check the locks repeatedly. When walking in the neighborhood, Claudia would ask her parents if people passing are “bad” or if an approaching person is going to hurt them. Claudia had difficulty going to bed on nights when her mother worked, often crying when her mother left. Although she was frequently nervous, Claudia was comforted by her parents and has a good relationship with them. Claudia’s nervousness was exhibited throughout the school day as well. She asked her teachers to lock doors and spoke with staff and peers about potential intruders on a daily basis. Claudia’s mother, Paula, was initially hesitant to seek therapy services for her daughter due to the family’s undocumented status in the country. I met with Claudia’s mother and utilized the initial meeting to explain the nature of services offered at the agency, as well as the policies of confidentiality. Prior to the
meeting, I translated all relevant forms to Spanish to increase Paula’s comfort. Within several minutes of talking, Paula noticeably relaxed, openly sharing the family’s history and her concerns regarding Claudia’s “nervousness.” Goals set for Claudia included increasing Claudia’s ability to cope with anxiety and increasing her ability to maintain attention throughout her school day. Using child-centered and directed play therapy approaches, I began working with Claudia to explore her world. Claudia was intrigued by the sand tray in my office and selected a variety of figures, informing me that each figure was either “good” or “bad.” She would then construct scenes in the sand tray in which she would create protective barriers around the good figures, protecting them from the bad. I reflected upon this theme of good versus bad, and Claudia developed the ability to verbalize her desire to protect good people. I continued meeting with Claudia once a week, and Claudia continued exploring the theme of good versus bad in the sand tray for 2 months. Utilizing a daily feelings check-in, Claudia developed the ability to engage in affect identification, verbalizing her feelings and often sharing relevant stories. Claudia slowly began asking me questions about people in the building and office, inquiring if they were bad or good, and I supported Claudia in exploring these inquiries. Claudia would frequently discuss her fears about school with me, asking why security guards were present at schools. We would discuss the purpose of security guards in detail, allowing her to ask questions repeatedly, as needed. Claudia and I also practiced a calming song to sing when she experienced fear or anxiety during the school day. During this time, I regularly met with Paula to track Claudia’s progress through parent reporting. I also utilized psychoeducational techniques during these meetings to review appropriate methods Paula could use to discuss personal safety with Claudia without creating additional anxiety. By the third month of treatment, Claudia began determining that more and more people in the environment were good. This was reflected in her sand tray scenes as well: the protection of good figures decreased, and Claudia began placing good and bad figures next to one another, stating, “They’re okay now.” Paula reported that Claudia no longer questioned her about each individual that passed them on the street. Claudia began telling her friends in school about good security guards and stopped asking teachers to lock doors during the day. At home, Claudia became more comfortable staying in her bedroom alone, and she significantly decreased the frequency of asking for doors to be locked.
What local, state, or federal policies could (or did) affect this case? Chase had an international adoption but it was filed within a specific state, which allowed him and his family to receive services so he could remain with his adopted family. In addition, state laws related to education affected Chase and aided his parents in requesting testing and special education services. Lastly, state laws related to child abandonment could have affected this family if they chose to relinquish custody to the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). 8. How would you advocate for social change to positively affect this case? Advocacy within the school system for early identification and testing of children like Chase would be helpful. 9. Were there any legal or ethical issues present in the case? If so, what were they and how were they addressed? There was a possibility of legal/ethical issues related to the family’s frustration with Chase. If his parents had resorted to physical abuse, a CPS report would need to be filed. In addition, with a possible relinquishment of Chase, DFCS could decide to look at the children still in the home (Chase’s adopted siblings) and consider removing them as well. Working With Children and Adolescents: The Case of Claudia 1. What specific intervention strategies (skills, knowledge, etc.) did you use to address this client situation? Specific intervention skills used were positive verbal support and encouragement, validation and reflection, and affect identification and exploration. Knowledge of child anxieties/ fear and psychoeducation for the client and her mother were also utilized. Child-centered play therapy was utilized along with sand tray therapy to provide a safe environment for Claudia.
Britney Fallen RE: Discussion – Week 3COLLAPSE
Proper assessment of children is more than necessary as it could literally be a matter between life and death (Wooley, 2019). According to the Assessment of Children, it can be difficult due to the child’s age and cognitive ability as well as the adults observed perception (2013). To reduce the limitations the social worker must use quantitative, open ended, and ecologically focused assessments. Each of these components work together to help the social worker establish a foundation for evaluation of the young child’s concerns. For the social worker to be able to build an eco-map and genogram we can begin to see where the client may be challenged or struggling. Quantitative assessment allows the social worker to gather all the necessary data. Including but not limited to the child’s cognitive ability as well as adult figures perceptions. The social worker can then start dialoging open ended questions to the child and adults regarding the data that was collected.
An eco-map identifies how different family members, relatives, coaches, teachers impact an individual’s life. The map shows an ecosystem of a specific individual and how they interact. The lines connecting these people to the individual’s ecosystem are demonstrated by either solid lines representing a strong relationship, a dotted line demonstrating questionable relationship, and a line with hash marks interesting identifies a stressful relationship. Arrows are also drawn among the lines to indicate the input and output of the relationship. That being said when I am assessing a child I need a lot of information to have a strong hold on what’s happening in this individual’s life. I need to identify the macrosystem, microsystems, and mezzosystems that surround and directly impact this family. Microsystems account for the environmental setting that directly influences the child. Mezzosystems account for the nature and relationship which would be the lines on the ecomap. Macrosystems account for the larger social system (Wooley, 2013).
Wooley, M.E. (2013). Assessment of children. In M. J. Holosko, C.N. Dulmus, & K. M. Sowers (Eds.), Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions (pp.1-39).
Nakesha Morgan RE: Discussion – Week 3COLLAPSE
Assessments are used to describe an assortment of activities within the processes of human services. This could involve gathering information about a client while utilizing multiple evidence based tools when assessing in social work. Utilizing quantitative assessing it involves statistics in order to come up with exact information. Quantitative assessment allows social workers to gather all the necessary data that they may need for individuals.
Open ended questions allows clients/children to elaborate more with the answers they are providing. A social worker will be able to find out more information about their clients. Social workers will have opportunity t learn about the client extended family, their values and cultural beliefs. The open-ended questions are utilized to answer questions using one’s own knowledge. It is ecologically designed to find the reaction of childhood and genetics (McCormick, Stricken & Rous, 2008).
Eco-Maps have been used in multiple ways. It shows personal and social relationships of ones environment. The child being centered and all other things surrounding. Their are lines drawn between the center area of the child with the shadow line being the weaken connections. The eco-map represents the family within the context of the significant relationships with the individuals (Horton & Bucy, 2000).
Utilizing all these tools together help the social worker to identify and establish a stable foundation for the evaluation of the child to better help meet the needs. The different tools will help to focus on trouble areas and main focuses to help obtain better outcomes.
McCormick, K.M., Stricklin, S., Norwak, T.M, & Rous, B. (2008). Using eco-mapping to understand family strengths and resources. Young Exceptional Children, 11(2), 17-28.
Holosko, J., M, Dulmus, N.C, Dowers, M,K. (12/2012). Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families: Evidence-Informed Assessments and Interventions, 1st Edition [MBS Direct]. Retrieved form https://mbsdirectvitalsource.com/#/books/9781114193591/
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