This assignment will allow students to practice and discuss concepts that are covered in class and related to individuals and families. In this assignment, students will demonstrate competencies of working with diverse groups, engagement, assessment, theory, intervention and evaluation. To accomplish this, students will use a case they are working with at their current internship field placement. If the student is not currently attending an internship, the student may use a client at their current place of employment if their place of employment is social work related. The professor will provide case vignettes for students if needed.
Outline/structure of paper should be as follows:
2) Abstract (1/2 page)
a. Abstracts are typically written last and are a general summary of your
assignment. It is included after your title page, before your introduction. Your
abstract should be a single paragraph, written in 150-250 words and double
3) Problem statement (1 page or less)
a. Provide an introduction including a discussion of the clients presenting
problem and any relevant information to help understand the nature of this
problem. This may include the reason why the client has come to treatment,
why they were referred, or why they need social work services.
4) Diversity (2 pages)
a. Discuss how diversity and difference has shaped the life experiences of this
b. Discuss how oppression, poverty, marginalization and/or privilege and power
has influenced this clients life experiences and presenting problem.
c. Discuss any similarities or differences between the clients culture and the
dominant culture (if different) and how these have impacted the clients
social, economic and political experiences.
d. Discuss how the answers above helped confirm or changed the way you
understood the clients presenting problem.
5) Engagement (1 page)
a. What were your initial reaction when first working with this client? Identify
verbal and non-verbal behaviors your client communicated in response to
your initial reaction(s).
b. Discuss how your thoughts, feelings and emotions changed when working
with this client over time? Discuss what skills or strategies were needed to for
you to manage your feelings?
c. What verbal and non-verbal communication strategies did you use to promote
engagement with this client?
d. Discuss how you demonstrated to this client you value human relationships
6) Assessment (2 pages)
a. Complete an assessment tool and attach this as an appendix. You may be
allowed to use an assessment tool used by your agency with professor
b. Explain why this assessment tool is appropriate for this client or case and
briefly summarize the main findings from your assessment.
c. Following the assessment, discuss what have you learned over the course of
your work with the client that is different than what was initially apparent?
Identify an example of why the assessment must always be an ongoing part
of the treatment or service.
d. Think back to your answer you provided about your feelings about engaging
with this client. How do your feelings and personal experiences relate to your
conclusions about what causes or maintains the problems impacting this
client? How did you, and how will you continue to, manage the potential
impact of your feelings and experiences on your professional judgment?
7) Goals or case plan (1 page or less)
a. Based on information gathered from the presenting problem, engagement
and assessment, discuss the goals you and your client have agreed upon. If
there is disagreement with the goals, discuss why and what you did or will do
to resolve this dilemma.
b. Explain how these goals are related to the clients presenting problem and
8) Intervention (1 page)
a. Discuss evidence that was made available to you that led you to select the
final intervention? How did you evaluate or compare that evidence when
selecting an intervention for the client?
b. Discuss any evidence that was found to guide the implementation of the
intervention that you selected or are considering?
c. Discuss how your thinking about the most appropriate intervention for this
client has changed over time.
9) Evaluation (1 page)
a. Based on the goals selected for treatment or services, discuss how you did or
will evaluate the success of your work with this client?
b. Describe both quantitative and qualitative methods that could be utilized to
evaluate the success of your work with this client.
c. What are the implications of this evaluation(s) on your client?
d. Discuss why must evaluation be a continual part of the therapeutic process
and not just an end process.
10) Theory (1-2 pages)
a. Identify one or more social work or psychological theories.
b. Explain how this theory might suggest you engage or communicate with your
c. Given the assessment data, discuss how this theory explains why the clients
problem was caused or sustained
d. Explain how this theory-guided, or will guide, you to select which intervention
to use when working with your client
e. How might this theory inform your decision making about when treatment is
complete or successful and termination is appropriate?
11) Teamwork and interdisciplinary approach (1-2 pages)
a. Identify ways in which other professionals might engage with this client prior
to you seeing them. How might this influence the initial communication
between you and the client?
b. How has an inter-disciplinary teamwork and communication approach
supported your engagement with this client? If teamwork was not present,
discuss how an inter-disciplinary approach could support your work with this
c. Discuss ways in which other professionals contributed to your assessment of
d. Discuss ways in which other professionals agreed or disagreed with the
selection of the intervention. Why did this occur?
12) Summary (1 page or less)
a. Provide a short summary of the main points of the paper
a. Following APA 6th edition, make sure that you have all of the in-text citations
accounted for in this references section. 2.
Hi Everyone! I wanted to answer a few questions I’ve gotten about the generalist paper which is due Week 7. This paper integrates many aspects we have studied by applying concepts to a single individual. The guidelines on the paper are very detailed, but I wanted to add some clarifications based on questions I’ve been getting. None of this varies from the syllabus and original paper guidelines – it is just an attempt to answer questions in detail.
Individual from Internship, Job, or Movie
For the generalist paper, you are encouraged to use a person you’ve worked with or are working with in a social-work related position or internship. If you do not have one of these, you could write the paper based on someone you know (changing the names) or someone from a movie. Movie suggestions include: Good Will Hunting, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars, Precious, P.S. I Love You, Silver Linings Playbook, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, or any other movie that has a character that lends itself to social work assessment and intervention.
The paper guidelines state that you should fill out an assessment tool and attach it. As stated in the syllabus, you may use a form from your agency or you may fill out a general brief biopsychosocial history form. Here is one that is easy to use:
Other assessment tools you might use include a genogram, an ecomap, a SWOT analysis, or a different assessment tool, but using the biopsychosocial assessment is most important. This link has some helpful tools for additional assessment tools: https://creately.com/blog/diagrams/social-work-assessment-tools-templates/
1.) Goals should be SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
2.) Goals should involve REAL changes in attitude, mood, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, skills, or a situation. For example, “In the next 3 months, client will improve mood by 20%, as measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale short form.” Attending counseling is not a goal!
3.) Goals should NOT be tasks (e.g. “client will write in a journal” or “client will call two friends each week” or “client will get a dog”). Tasks are objectives that will help the client achieve their goal. For example, writing in a journal could be the task/objective, but the goal of this would be to decrease anxiety. Getting a dog could be a task/objective, but the goal would be to improve the client’s mood.
4.) Whenever possible, goals should be framed in the positive (e.g. “Within the next 8 weeks, client will use “I messages to communicate feelings with his spouse, as measured by observation in sessions” rather than the negative (e.g. “Client will avoid criticizing his/her spouse”).
5.) Specify how goals will be measured. They may be measured by:
a.) A self-anchored likert scale, which is simply asking someone, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how XYZ?” and then asking them again later, after the treatment. For example, “In 6 weeks, the client will feel 20% less anxious in new social situations as measured by a self-anchored likert scale.” (If the client said he/she was a “10” anxious in social situations, then attended counseling and felt like it went to a 6, that would be a 40% improvement.)
b.) A standardized scale. Standardized scales can be expensive. Here is a great resource for free, brief standardized scale for mental health settings with few resources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310476/ Here’s another great list of standardized tools for different issues: https://www.psychologytools.com/download-scales-and-measures/
c.) Self-report (e.g. report how many times you go for a walk, put your child in time-out, etc.)
d.) Observation (e.g. observe a child in a classroom, observe a parenting situation, observe social skills in a social skills group, observe a couple practicing communication skills in session)
e.) Other (e.g. goal attainment (got a job, got a GED, moved to a safer neighborhood, clean drug screen, etc.)
6.) Goals usually have 2-3 objectives, which help a client reach their goal. These are more like tasks. For example,
GOAL: “In the next 3 months, client and her partner will strengthen their sense of connection by 20%, as measured by a self-anchored Likert scale.”
OBJECTIVE #1: Client and her partner will go on a biweekly date night.
OBJECTIVE #2: Client and her partner will spend 10 focused minutes talking at the end of each night.
OBJECTIVE #3: Client and her partner will practice communicating with “I messages” when raising an issue between them.
7.) I know we are writing sample goals in this class “for the client,” but in a real setting, you would partner with the client to ask them what their goals are and to help them choose objectives that make sense and are highly do-able. They would be co-collaborators in the goal-writing process.
8.) Goals should be written in professional language and not slang.
9.) Address ONE thing when writing a goal. (Make sure it is not double-bound.) You may be working on many things in therapy, but only one or two of these should be your goal(s).
Note specific interventions that could help the client achieve his or her goals.
These should not just say “the client will attend counseling,” but rather they should also detail some of the things that may be done within counseling sessions (e.g. “client will start monitoring his/her degree of social anxiety on a 1-10 scale in sessions,” “client will learn deep breathing techniques,” “client will complete homework about XYZ”).
The intervention section will also include a discussion of which specific counseling technique (such as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused brief therapy, task-centered therapy, psychodynamic therapy, existentialist therapy, narrative therapy, family systems therapy, etc.) will be the best fit for this client and why.
They should also include interventions to help the client connect to supports outside of counseling sessions (e.g. “client will attend AA meetings once per week” or “client will call a friend on the phone once per week” or “client will complete a psychiatric evaluation” or “client will get a physical from her primary care doctor” or “client will call her parents to tell them how she is feeling” or “client will attend a yoga class” or “client will attend a job fair”).
At least one of these change strategies/interventions should be constructional (building on the clients’ strengths and resiliency) rather than remedial (a step to directly address his/her problem).
Writing, Grammar, and APA
Please consider using the FREE tutor.com resource to review your document ahead of time, especially if you have had issues with grammar or APA before. Your paper should be professionally written, double-spaced, and include 12 point font, 1 inch margins, etc. Please edit your paper for typos and grammar and use spell check. Submit the paper directly into Via by Watermark.
Please avoid jargon, judgment, negativity, labels, blaming, and subjective terms (such as her work is marginal). Be as factual, descriptive, and professional as you can be. This should read like a professional report and should not include phrases like “she slept around” or “he hung out with a bad crowd.”
A Note Regarding Client Strengths
I strongly believe that strengths should be a huge part of every social work assessment and discussion – not only to give a balanced picture of the person’s life (and reiterate that people are more than their problems), but also because strengths provide the best clues about how to help people meet their goals.
While you need to detail the issue(s) at hand, do not focus solely on deficits. Strengths, resources, talents, skills, and supports should be included throughout the discussion. While sometimes strengths may be obvious or stated outright, more likely they will be subtle and you will need to identify them by:
asking the right questions,
noticing what the client is not saying (e.g. client grew up homeless but still got herself to school on time every day; is a single mom but still manages to spend special time with her kids),
probing for positives (e.g. wow, what factors helped you attend college when your family was experiencing such immense challenges?), or
bringing positive parts of the clients story to light” (e.g. “she got her homework done even though she had no adult supervision at home” or “he was able to stay sober despite little family support”).
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