Essential Skills for Social Work Practice

Social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, and related behavioral health professionals develop treatment plans for clients for effective treatment. The presence of a precise treatment plan helps them stay organized, track progress, keep treatment records, and adjust treatment where necessary. All patients require an individually tailored treatment. Therefore, the presence of a comprehensive treatment plan designed to meet the needs of the patient gives them a direction towards growth and faster healing. Moreover, it promotes excellent communication and help in providing the documentation necessary for billing as all the services rendered are documented.

The Client

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The Bargas family is experiencing a hard time, to a point where Mrs. Bargas decided to consult a pastor for help concerning the family problems. The visit to the pastors helped, as she was directed to a social services agency for help. At the agency, a few minutes of interaction with Linda (the social worker) changed her life, as she got solutions for some of her problems. In this case, Mrs. Bargas might get a job that will help her settle bills and pay rent, and Mr. Bargas and Amy will also get help through the agency. As a result, Mrs. Bargas leaves the agency delighted. In this case, Linda is left with one major task to help the Bargas family overcome their challenges: talking to Amy. Amy is the eldest child in the Bargas family, and the challenges the family has been through seems to affect her mentally and physically. Talking to her will reduce Mrs. Bargas worries and concentrate on providing for the family. 

Amy’s Problems

The current state of the family has made Amy be a sociopath. Her mother tells Linda that she is worried about her daughter’s behavior. Amy is afraid of going to school making her miss classes, which has affected her scores; she is failing courses. Moreover, she loses her temper easily and locks herself in her room, pushing her family away from her. To Mrs. Bargas, Amy is the firstborn of the family, and thus, she should be a good example to her siblings. Therefore, this is a bad image to her juniors beside the state the family is in, and it might negatively affect them as it has to Amy.

Helping Amy to Identify and Prioritize her Problems

The adolescent can be vulnerable to mental health issues due to multiple emotional, physical, and social changes such as exposure to poverty, violence, or abuse (Bergman et al., 2018). Though it is not clear, Amy is probably an adolescent based on some of her behaviors. In this case, behavior change in Amy could be a result of poverty; no insurance to carter for her father’s health and probably fear of being thrown out of their home. As a social worker, I would engage Amy in a conversation about her life. According to Bergman et al. (2018), during the conversation, various social, health, economic, and other needs are likely to come up, which will help her identify her problems. When it comes to prioritizing her problems, I would first address her temper and antisocial behavior. The two are the reason for not going to school and isolating herself from the rest of the family. 

Identifying Related Needs Based on Amy’s Problems

As a social worker, I would advise Amy to write a journal as it a good idea for prioritizing problems concerns and fears. The approach will help her manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with life (Macleod et al., 2017). I would also help her develop coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills and learn how to manage her emotions. Besides, I would recommend a supportive home and school environment. Macleod et al. (2017) claim that the recommendations are crucial, as the adolescent is in the stage for development and maintenance of emotional and social habits necessary for mental well-being.

Selecting an intervention strategy based on Amy’s Strengths

Although Amy is antisocial and secretive, her mother and the pastor believes she might be willing to share her worries to another person for help. Therefore, since she can talk to someone, it means she might also talk about her problems, which is the first step of helping her with the problems (Macleod et al., 2017). It would also ease the process and bring forth the best solution for the problems. 

Treatment Plan Goals for Amy

According to Mrs. Bargas, the state of the family could be the cause of Amy’s problems: afraid of going to school and being temperamental. In the case of Amy, I would have two main goals: to help her resume her regular school routine and manage her temper. Addressing the two seems to solve most of Amy’s problems. For instance, when Amy learns to control her temper, she will not lock herself in her room, and she will be able to speak to others from and out of the family. Consequently, resuming her regular school routine will help her improve her scores.

Measurable Objectives for the Goals

I would advise Amy to try and resume her regular school routine. Schooling will help her find her major, gain knowledge, develop a network and social skills, or even help her identify and develop her talent. I would also advise Mrs. Bargas to be patient with Amy and encourage her. As a result, this might change her mindset and make her love school. For the case of her temper, I would still advise Mrs. Bargas to be patient and encourage Amy. For Amy, I would take her through self-awareness and self-control measures to help her manage her temper. 

Actions toward Achieving the Objectives

I would encourage Amy to participate in social activities at school and home, always have positive thoughts, exercise regularly, eat healthy, and relax and meditate every day. Besides, I would recommend journaling to Amy. Journaling would enable her to confess her fears and struggles without punishment and judgment (Yampolskaya et al., 2017). The strategy would help her control her emotions and temper and improve mental health. 

Evidence Supporting the Intervention

Participating in social activities, having positive thoughts, exercising regularly, healthy diet, meditation, and journaling is one of the strategies for a healthy lifestyle. Besides, they have helped people manage mental health conditions, anxiety, stress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. 

Documenting Amy’s Treatment Plan

Amy’s treatment plan will have her information, diagnostic summary, problems and goals, and signatures of Amy and the social worker. The treatment plan will show her progress and might lead to adjustments to better the outcome.

Conclusion

Mental health problems in adolescents are significant problems and relatively common, though amenable to intervention or treatment. Amy has developed strange behaviors making her mother worried about her. For the love of her daughter, Mrs. Bargas seeks intervention for her daughter to help her resume her normal life. Amy requires a behavioral health professional like a social worker to help her overcome her fears and struggles like temper and antisocial behavior. Such interventions need a treatment plan to help achieve goals and objectives fast and easily.

References

Bergman, H., Kornør, H., Nikolakopoulou, A., Hanssen-Bauer, K., Soares-Weiser, K., Tollefsen, T. K., & Bjørndal, A. (August 20, 2018). Client feedback in psychological therapy for children and adolescents with mental health problems. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8.)

Macleod, E., Woolford, J., Hobbs, L., Gross, J., Hayne, H., & Patterson, T. (January 01, 2017). Interviews with children about their mental health problems: The congruence and validity of information that children report. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22, 2, 229-244.Yampolskaya, S., Sharrock, P. J., Clark, C., & Hanson, A. (October 01, 2017). Utilization of Mental Health Services and Mental Health Status Among Children Placed in Out-of-Home Care: A Parallel Process Latent Growth Modeling Approach. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 48, 5, 728-740.

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