While we are all regularly influenced by our environments, the Stone family has been particularly affected by the events in their community. First, the family's perception of the lack of adequate response by law enforcement to the arson that killed multiple family members and now, the redevelopment of the neighborhood has created lack of trust in public entities. Exacerbated by the current family issues regarding care of Winifred, ownership of the family home, the future of the memorial park, and ongoing concerns about a family member with serious mental illness and her two children, this is a family experiencing multiple crises. The Stone family also evidences considerable strengths, including close relationships among several members, strong connection to the community, and commitment to care for each other. A supportive community context could amplify these strengths. Of critical importance in implementing a social work intervention, then, is the need to consider the way in which the community impacts the family and, conversely, the way in which the family impacts the neighborhood and community. Some of the individual, family, and client-oriented group intervention activities that you can engage in with, or on behalf of, your client, include the following:
Building on the assessment and planning phase, outline in detail the intervention steps to be implemented for Virginia Stone and her family.
Upon reviewing the following vignettes, provide strategies for conducting a planned change intervention. Outline goals and intervention methods for the three scenarios below.
An unprecedented family group conference is held with Virginia and her two siblings. Virginia's goal for the family meeting is that both siblings agree to share responsibility for caring for their mother. During the meeting, the siblings vent their feelings about the future loss of the family home due to the redevelopment, and they grieve the loss of their family members during the fire. During the meeting, the siblings demonstrate conflict over the playground, in particular. Virginia's siblings have emotionally distanced themselves from the fire and feel that the playground is unsafe and should be torn down, but Virginia still feels tied to the playground and its upkeep. The threat of losing the family home has moved Virginia's siblings to re-involve themselves with the family and neighborhood, but there are clearly issues that need to be resolved for the family to move forward together.
After talking to your colleagues and discovering that many clients are experiencing unresolved grief—related to the history of the devastating fire, the COVID-19 pandemic, other individual tragedies, and the perceived loss of their community identity, you approach your supervisor for permission to form a psychosocial group about grief, loss, and change. You invite Virginia to help identify others in the community who might benefit from the group. All the participants have experienced a serious loss, some quite recently, and some years ago.
Virginia accepts a neighbor’s invitation to go to the next meeting of residents concerned about the proposed redevelopment process. The meeting is focused on planning for the upcoming City Council session, where policymakers will decide if they will grant the public financing the developer has requested for sewer and electrical upgrades for the proposed redevelopment. Virginia has to decide if she will share her family’s story, the ways her family has already been affected by the changes brought by the redevelopment, and her concerns about what the future holds.
Consider interventions supported by evidence-based practice, on both the individual/family and community levels.
Create your intervention plans. List the goal(s) you hope to accomplish, in specific, measurable terms, and develop a plan for meeting those goals that includes specific steps to take in the process. How will you ensure that clients’ goals are centered in this intervention planning?
Examine new issues or concerns that arise during the intervention process and monitor any unintended consequences of your intervention(s).