Your task in the intervention phase is to enable your client to make needed or wanted changes. This is challenging in Riverton, where there are so many competing interests. What do you need to do, and what does the client system need to do? Think about this before proceeding to the next steps.
Clients often require assistance in the activities that will move them toward their goal. Here, for example, people in Riverton may not know all the potential options for addressing community homelessness, or they may need information about promising models for supporting people struggling with alcohol use disorder. Your efforts to gather and share information about how communities can come together to address difficult challenges can be an important contribution to Riverton.
The most common of all intervention activities is to seek goods or services needed by the client system. Resources may come from either formal systems (public or private programs whose reason for being is to provide those resources) or informal systems (family, friends, other groups). While the use of informal systems is preferred, because usually formal systems are likely to give only limited help, it is also important to ensure that formal systems are contributing what they uniquely can—and should. Here, the social worker’s efforts could mobilize resources to provide additional affordable housing options, create community safety structures, and/or facilitate recovery groups for those grappling with addiction.
Related to resource acquisition is the process of working with or on behalf of the client system to acquire resources that would otherwise not be accessible. Here, there is a clear need for advocacy to ensure that the local, state, and federal governments are addressing the underlying conditions that contribute to the problems experienced in Alvadora. This might include working with the state to expand affordable housing options, securing federal funding for supportive housing for people with mental illness, or winning city investments in community clean-ups.
Clients are most likely to work toward change when they perceive a payoff for their efforts. To maintain that optimism, the worker must be supportive and encouraging and be able to frame setbacks as an inevitable part of the process. The message should always be that clients will be successful, with perseverance.
Answer the following questions as they pertain to yours and your community’s goals and the tasks you will have to carry out in order to accomplish them.
Consider the different options you have for addressing the problems in Alvadora. Where might you begin, so that your identified client can experience some success and maintain momentum?
Following the process outlined in this phase, create your intervention plan. List the goal(s) you hope to accomplish, in specific, measurable terms, and craft a plan for meeting that goal that includes the steps in the process.
Our knowledge of systems theory informs us of the inevitability of changes to other systems when one system undergoes a shift. Think about the likely outcome of successful intervention beyond this client system. How will others experience this change? What should come next?