Phase 2

Assess the Client System

Assess the town of Riverton using a variety of social work techniques such as the community sociogram, Biopsychosocial Perspectives, and considering your values.

An assessment is a multidimensional examination of the client system. Different problems and different theoretical perspectives call for different assessment strategies. Generally, during the assessment phase, a social worker should:

1. Assess the strengths that a system possesses as well as the problems.

It is the strengths that are ultimately called into play to remove barriers to achieving the goals.

2. Assess the environmental context.

Assessment should include not only the focal client, but also the context, including the formal and informal resources found in the community. Leave room for modification, in recognition of the reality that situations change and assessments must be equally fluid.

3. Strive for transparency.

Both the client system and the worker should be “on the same page” when it comes to the purpose of the social work encounter, the system goals, and the means of attainment.

4. Develop a plan for changing that which requires changing.

The assessment should set the stage for intervention planning, including both short-and long-term goals.

My Assess Tasks

Task 1

Consider the different forces converging to contribute to the problems experienced by Alvadora. What will you focus on first—the affordable housing challenges, the presence of problem drinking behavior, the incidence of littering, the community’s disagreements about how to handle people’s needs? What other information—about substance use, homelessness, community change—do you need to acquire, to inform your assessment?

Task 2

Review the BioPsychoSocial Perspectives tool, which examines the case from the multiple systems and multiple dimensions involved. Your consideration of these questions will help to guide your work with the Riverton case; further, using a biopsychosocial approach to examine this case will sharpen your skills and build your capacity to do so with other cases you encounter in practice.

Task 3

Ground your preparation for working with the Riverton case in our NASW Code of Ethics. What ethical dilemmas do you anticipate encountering in Riverton? What contributes to these conflicts? How can you resolve those dilemmas?

Mapping The Case

Review and take notes on the ecological model of drinking behavior

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