The first step in helping a client is conducting a thorough assessment. The clinical social worker must explore multiple perspectives in order to develop a complete understanding of the situation. From this understanding, the social worker is able to recognize the client’s strengths and develop effective strategies for change.
For this Discussion, review the “Cortez Family” case history. http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/SOCW/MSWP/CH/mm/homepage/doc/msw_case_histories.pdf
By Day 3
Post your description of how micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of practice aid social workers in assessing families. Assess Paula Cortez’s situation using all three of these levels of practice, and identify two strengths and/or solutions in each of these levels.
Describe the value in strength-based solutions.
By Day 5
Respond to two colleagues who presented a different strength and/or solution in analyzing one of the levels of practice.
Colleague 1: Caneshia Wolobah
Micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of practice aid social workers in assessing families.
Per the NASW, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty (NASW 2017). While serving clients/patients as a social worker, one will interact at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. At the micro level, the social worker serves the patient/client individually to identify barriers needing to be addressed (Holosko et al., 2013). Once the barriers have been identified and addressed, a treatment plan will follow to resolve the presented barriers and needs. An example of working with a client/patient the micro level is a case worker assisting a family with housing assistance. The social worker identifies the problem such as housing, and the social worker connects the client/patient to the appropriate resources. At the mezzo level, social workers work with neighborhoods, organizations, or smaller groups within the community of the client/patent (Holosko et al., 2013). The usage of neighbors, organizations, or smaller groups is to promote support for the client/patient. An example of serving the patient/client at the mezzo level is a Support Group Counselor. In this setting the social worker connects clients/patients struggling with similar issues or experiencing similar problems for moral support. The macro level of practice addresses the societal problems to improve the quality of life at the systems-level (Holosko et al., 2013). Macro social workers do not provide individual counseling or direct client services. An example of macro social worker is a manger in social service organizations who administer programs.
Paula Cortez’s situation at micro, mezzo, and micro. and Identify strengths and/or solutions at each levels.
In Paula Cortez situation on the micro-level Paula demonstrates self-determination and resiliency. As the social worker I would use this as Paula’s strength in progressing towards a positive mental state. This will also lead to self-motivation. Paula has experienced oppositional medical factors. Paula was diagnosed with HIV and with bipolar disorder and has been in and out the hospital for 5 years (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen, 2013). At the Mezzo level, Paula was admitted to a skilled nursing facility due to experiencing paralysis on her right side but has made progress and was able to gain mobility on her right side (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen, 2013). As the social worker I will use the facility as support for Paula to continue to be self-reliant. In the mist of Paula’s situation, Paula has become pregnant. In addition, at the mezzo level Paula has requested 24/7 in home services to assistant her and the child. At the macro level, Paula is amongst those living with low income. She was able to apply for public assistance and use those resources to provide a stable environment for her daughter as well as use those resources to identify her health issues (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen, 2013). Strengths based solutions provide the client with solutions that they may have thought they were not able to complete.
Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English
Plummer, S-B., Makris S., &Brocksen, S. (Eds). (2013). Sessions histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Internation Universities Publishing.
Colleague 2: Denesha Duncan
Social Wokers aid from micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of Practice in Assessing Families
According to Holosko et al. (2013), relationships amongst the members in families are utilized within assessing families to gain insight of the social issue to be addressed. Micro level advises on the individual’s self-determination and perspective on family relations. Mezzo level provides an opportunity to gain insight on the engagement amongst families. Macro levels shed light on the social environmental effects which interfere with the family dynamics. All levels reveal any challenges, barriers, limitations and strengths which assist the social worker with treating all parties to identify and address related social issues (Holosko et al., 2013).
Paula’s relation to all three Levels of Practice along with Strengths and/or Solutions
Micro: Paula has many strengths such maintaining her sobriety. Her continuum of care and engagement with her social worker are strengths that aid in positive solutions. Paula’s fluent English and Spanish speaking aids against language barriers with treatment compliance as Smokowski et al. (2008) explained these barriers are common limitations with acculturation for immigrants assimilating within other cultures. She also maintains her sobriety.
Mezzo: Both her son and ex-husband maintain relationships with Paula despite her social isolation. The functional relationship with her son provides a strength to support Paula with caring for her baby. Paula has secured safety for her baby as Miguel also agreed to care for his sister, when Paula cannot. Disclosing the engagement with her baby’s father and resulting behaviors advised the social worker on treatment to address crisis situations.
Macro: Paula has a team of multiple practitioners who treat both physical and behavioral health issues. Paula has been provided treatments and programs which address social issues for herself along with her baby.
Value in Strength-based Solutions
Strength-based solutions can expose treatment outcomes and the effectiveness. This provides the social worker with data to evaluate, derived from teams sharing a common goal of care to ensure the continuity of care is effective. The social worker can develop advocacy efforts as the client’s needs and preferences can be considered in effort to acknowledge their self-determination and improve their quality of life (Holosko et al., 2013).