Msc. social work course
Msc. social work course
Before understanding the concept of social work assessment, it is essential to acknowledge the act that was and is behind the assessments of mental health patients, on adults and children. The National Health Service and Community Care Act was established in 1990 and is a component of legislation that governs social care and health care in the United Kingdom (Cheshire East Council 1). The Act establishes how National Health Service should provide and assess patients depending on their requirements, needs, and circumstances. The act developed an internal market into the provision of health care services, therefore, making the nation an enabler instead of a supplier of social and health care provision (The National Archives 1). The Act holds that it is a responsibility of local authority to evaluate or assess people for social support and care (Weber 1000). This is aimed at ensuring that individuals who require community care services or other forms of support get them as they are entitled to. Patients have their circumstances and needs assessed, and the outcome determines whether or not social care or services will be provided (Taylor 223). In addition, it also ensures that the people providing the care services have particular rules referred to as the care value base. Resources of the local authority can be taken into consideration in the assessment process, but if services are necessary then they must be provided by law. It is essential to note that services cannot be withdrawn at a later stage if resources are insufficient (Sayal et al. 45).
The National Health Service and Community Care Act of the 1990 split the health and local authorities’ role by altering their internal structure in order for the departments of local authority to appraise requirements and needs of the local population so that they can buy the required services from providers (Mitchell et al 45). In order to become providers, health organizations became trusts of NHS and competed with each other. Community care is established to ensure that individuals who require long-term care are able to reside in their own homes and have sufficient support or live in a residential home setting. Specifically, the aim of the act is to assist individuals to live safely in society (Harris 712). Social services and workers evaluate the needs and requirements of individuals and prepare for the social care services provision in order to meet these needs. Other essential responsibilities and roles include procedures for receiving complaints and comments, inspection and registration procedures, and the person’s ability to contribute (Guada et al. 250).
Assessment has different definitions. In the context of social work, it refers to a process that takes place between the client and the practitioner, in which relevant information is collected, evaluated, and synthesized to offer a concise image of the client’s strengths and needs. Social workers apply various techniques and methods in making assessments (Grady 360). This might involve the application of interviews, surveys, referrals, or standardized questionnaire. Assessments are undertaken as they provide an opportunity to collect in-depth information, reframe or interpret it, and synthesize the information in order to explain the social issue being studied such as the development of a child, learning, behavior, as well as, the child’s functioning in a useful way (Chrisman 115). The entire assessment procedure offers the commencing stage for establishing a basis for the interpreting sessions by including observations and comments form parties being interviewed or questioned. In carrying out an assessment, a social worker is required to apply extensive skills and knowledge about the numerous systems and the client. These systems include interpersonal, legal, economic, medical, religious, social, and educational systems, and impinge upon the client system. Assessing an individual’s functioning involves evaluating the individual’s various aspects of functioning (Bowl 300). For instance, some of the essential things to consider include emotional, cultural, cognitive, behavioral, biophysical, and motivational subsystems aspects of an individual, as well as, the relationships of these aspects. Patterns of interaction and communication are essential in conducting assessments.
There exist different types of assessments that social workers consider when dealing with patients of mental health. These assessments are described by the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. The community care assessments is an example of assessments that describes the process when health or social care professional or social worker looks at the person’s needs of someone with a disability or illness and evaluates what community care services are necessary to meet the needs. For instance, care in the home or a Day Centre place. A majority of social workers use a single process of assessment for the mentally ill persons and services offered by social and health care professionals (Anderson et al. 54). A financial assessment is another type of assessments. Local authorities may charge for services offered after the community care assessment. However, this varies depending on where one lives and is subject to a method tested financial assessment. Most programs and policies have a maximum and minimum weekly charge. The individual receiving the services may be asked to fill in the financial assessment forms, or the social worker may complete them. This is essential to prevent the prevention of maximum charge. Depending on the amount of services needed and the level of income, this might be less expensive than paying for care privately (Amowitz 579).
The care programme approach assessment (CPA) involves the national service framework for mental health. The 6th Standard holds that where a care giver cares for a patient based on this approach, the needs and requirements of the care giver should also be evaluated. In this case, a written plan needs to be compiled and reviewed at least yearly. The family assessment involves disabled children with special needs and the assessment should view the family as a whole unit when taking into consideration proper services for the child, as well as, support to carers or parents. The young carer’s assessment involves young individuals under the age of 18 who offer care to adult families who are entitled to an assessment of their requirements (Zastrow 101). There is the occupational therapy assessment that looks at the needs of the individual being provided care for, in their environment. This may lead to the provision of assistance making life easier. Health assessments involves professional of health such as physiotherapists and nurses who undertake their own assessment before treatment is started.
Human problems including those that seem simple frequently entail a complicated interaction of numerous factors. In very rare cases do problem sources reside only within an individual and within his or her environment (O’Connor 124). Instead, reciprocal interaction takes place between an individual and the external world. The individual acts upon and responds to this external world. The quality of the individual’s actions affects the reactions of the external world. Mental health problems represents one of the multidimensionality of human problems that is a result of the fact that individuals are social beings and depend on other human beings and complex social institutions in society to achieve their needs and wants. Fundamental needs including medical care, food, and housing requires sufficient economic means and the availability of essential goods and services (Kirst-Ashman and Karen 118). On the other hand, meeting social, recreational, and educational needs requires interactions with social institutions in society. Mental problems require satisfactory social relationships. This is because such problems require building of a strong self-esteem that depends on particular psychological factors within individuals.
The social worker has a significant role to play in the assessment process of an individual suffering from schizophrenia mental disorder. The social worker may be a member of a clinical team in schools, mental heath (the case of the essay), correctional, and medical settings. The assessment process may be the combined effort of a social worker, nurse, teacher, psychiatrist, psychologists, or other members from other disciplines. In these settings, the social worker has a role of typically compiling a social history and assists in adding knowledge associated with family and interpersonal dynamics (Kirst-Ashman et al. 205). The process of assessment may take a longer time because of the time needed for all members of the team to accomplish their personal assessments and to reach a joint assessment during a team meeting. There are a number of challenges faced by co-workers and care givers during the assessment process. These have to do with a number of psychological aspects of the client that are mentioned above, which the social worker may have difficulties in dealing with (Greene 396). This is because the patient may exhibit behaviors related to the schizophrenia disorder that might not be easily handled by the care giver. The care giver may lack adequate funding (financial resources) to facilitate the assessment process. In addition, time factor might be limiting to the entire process in case the social worker does not dedicate adequate time for the assessment procedure. These are some of the obstacles that may pose significant challenges to the social worker, as well as, the assessment process (De et al. 189). There are challenges that have to do with statutory or legal factors and requirements, which will be discussed further.
There are some regulatory factors that may obstruct the entire process. Failure by the state to provide sufficient resources and services may negatively influence the process and pose great challenges to the social workers. The concerns of social workers are not addressed and this de-motivates them in carrying on with their duties. These are some of the barriers and current issues facing social workers. They require training on how to deal with new issues as they arise and require financial resources, as well (Ambrosino 411).
There are a number of ethical concerns that arise during the process of assessment. These issues have to do with the fact that most of human problems involve ethical concerns because of their nature (Anastas 155). Psychological issues such as schizophrenia disorder require that social workers understand the main concerns related to this in order to develop ways of dealing with these. This being the case, therefore, it is essential for social workers to understand behavior and values of members of a community in order to be able to develop ways of relating with individuals involved (Cournoyer 578). Another challenge has to do with the framework of the organizations being applied in the assessment process by the social worker. If this does not provide clear guidelines on this then the entire process might be affected as the social worker may not gather in depth information on whatever issue under study (Connor et al 612). These together with environmental and personal factors might hinder the success of an assessment of a social worker.
There are a number of risks that arise when assessments are not carried out as required. The process of assessment although beneficial is not an easy one. Some factors need to be present failure to which might lead to some risks (Austin 214). These include the system in the organization concerned being seen as ineffective in its operations, people might see the state as a failure, and the policies and programs might also be seen as obsolete. This brings out a number of concerns that may affect the careers of professionals involved (Hepworth 289). When assessments are not properly carried out then matters of ethics, might be affected leading to conflicts among members due to dissimilar values and morals (Corcoran 520).
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