You are a social worker at an out-patient mental health facility. Your new client presents with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and noncompliance with her medications. To deal with the mood swings, she has been abusing painkillers and alcohol daily. Currently homeless, she has been sleeping on her friends’ couches. Her boyfriend is emotionally and verbally abusive and has just taken her last twenty dollars. She works at a local gas station, but she has to depend on friends for rides to work. As a result, she missed several work shifts. Her boss, who was understanding until now, recently told her she could not miss any more days, due to a lack of transportation. There are many short, intermediate, and long-term problems the client could address in this scenario. How do you choose which problem to tackle first?
One trap for social workers is thinking that they know which problem or concern should take priority and what is best for the client. Rather, what the client feels is the priority is what should take precedence. In this scenario, how would you start the GIM planning process with the client? As her social worker, you might feel that going into drug and alcohol rehab is a priority. However, she might feel that keeping her job, and therefore getting a car, is much more of a priority. If you disregard her goals and instead refer her to an inpatient rehab program, how successful will she be at completing that goal?
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Select either the course-specific case study for John or Debra and consider how the social worker applied the GIM in the case study. Also, think about any cultural competence techniques the social worker might have explicitly or implicitly used in the case. Then reflect on why working collaboratively with that client is vital to the treatment planning process. Then, select three of the eight planning steps discussed in the course text and think about how you might utilize those planning steps to foster empowerment during that process. Finally, reflect on the skills you might use to ensure the treatment planning process is mutually agreed upon by you and the client and consider how the treatment planning process affects implementation of treatment.
Post a 300 word description of how the social worker in the course-specific case study you selected applied the GIM. Include in your post an explanation of any cultural competence techniques the social worker might have explicitly or implicitly used in the case. Explain why working collaboratively with the client is vital to the treatment planning process. Then, describe the three planning steps you selected and explain how you might utilize those planning steps to foster empowerment during that process. Finally, explain one practice behavior skill you might use to ensure the treatment planning process is mutually agreed upon for you and the client and further explain how use of that skill might affect implementation of treatment.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
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