Your task in the intervention phase is to enable your client to make needed or wanted changes. The situation in Brickville presents a multi-faceted challenge due to the varied interests of the many relevant institutions and individuals involved. As a social worker, you need to develop a plan for the steps that you and others will take to empower client systems at both the micro (family) and meso (community) levels.
Clients, including communities, often require assistance in completing tasks that help them move forward in a more informed manner. For example, communities may benefit from using the most current Census data, data from their business enterprises, and information gathered by social service agencies, to plan their intervention approaches. However, individuals knowledgeable about how to acquire such information, or how to analyze or interpret data may not be available. You could either find the information that they need, develop the information, engage others to gather and analyze information, or provide an appropriate referral. You can also ensure that communities’ wisdom is correctly considered valid and valuable information in the assessment and intervention planning processes.
One type of information that can be helpful is a community strengths and needs assessment. Community strengths and needs assessment is part of the overall assessment process and provides additional information on which an intervention can be based. These efforts can involve the use of one source of data (such as a survey), or multiple sources of data that are analyzed and integrated. Attending to strengths/assets as well as identified needs honors communities’ reservoirs of resilience and can help to empower community members to move toward solutions that draw on these capacities.
Seeking goods or services needed by the client system is a common social work role. Resources may come from either formal systems (e.g. federal, state, regional, or municipal institutions) or informal systems (e.g. family, friends, religious organizations, or neighborhood collectives). At the family system level, informal resources are preferred over formal resources, due to the prospect of long-term sustainability and mutuality of these exchanges.
Advocacy efforts involve working with or on behalf of client systems to acquire resources that would otherwise not be accessible. Social workers engage in advocacy to help one individual (case advocacy) or an entire population of clients (class advocacy). Often, helping one client can result in assistance for others in a similar situation. For example, helping one client to determine how to obtain a title to her house after a relative died without a will could help others in the community by showing people how to navigate that process or by forcing changes to the legal system that reduced the barriers involved.
Clients are most likely to work toward change when they have support in the process and are instilled with hope along the way that positive change is possible. Social workers can provide support when the challenges of change efforts seem overwhelming to clients. To maintain optimism about future prospects, the worker must be encouraging and able to frame setbacks as an inevitable part of the change process.
Review your dual assessments and consider the policies and programs that help or hinder clients in achieving their goals. Outline potential policy practice strategies that could address policy and program-related barriers.
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).