Social workers apply the generalist intervention model in their daily practice to help clients get over their conflicts. A generalist intervention approach encompasses several phases designed to enhance the service user capacity to deal with difficulties they are facing. The generalist perspective can be used to solve conflicts at micro, macro, and mezzo level. The generalist practice is underpinned by four principle premises. Firstly, that human behavior is intrinsically connected to the social and physical environment. Secondly, the chances of enhancing the functionality of an individual reside in changing the human system itself, making modifications on the interactions established between one and the environment, and changing other systems within the environment. Thirdly, work with any human system at an individual or societal level applies similar social work processes. Lastly, generalist social workers bear the duty beyond direct practice to work to achieve just social policies, conduct, and use research effectively.
During my time with client CB, I extensively applied the generalist intervention model that comprises of seven steps. The most significant steps of the generalist approach include appointment, assessment, organization, application, evaluation, dissolution, and follow-up. Below are four critical stages in the generalist model and their application in the intervention process.
The engagement period of social work practice begins when the service provider and the service user interact for the first time. This moment lasted approximately two hours as the client took me through his experiences. In this stage, it is essential that the social worker recognize the need to be friendly and open with the client. The engagement phase is necessary as it allows the service provider to establish an environment built on trust. Besides, it is vital to practice excellent listening and questioning skills. Appropriate communication skills will enable the service provider to grasp and dig for crucial information about the nature of the presenting problem. The skills I found useful during the engagement process include maintaining eye contact, note taking, active listening, asking open-ended questions, and empathy. Besides, I was very keen to take note of CB’s feelings and thoughts. While engagingCB, I made use of the “all about me” assessment to derive information about his family, favorite and least liked subjects, and future aspirations.
During the assessment stage, the social worker together with the service user review the information captured in the initial engagement session to come up with a practical strategy to offer solutions for the problematic situation. In the social worker’s capacity, I used my abilities to reiterate information from the first meeting to gain clarification from the client. During assessment, the social worker should identify and recognize the client’s strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing the clients strengths enhance self-confidence among service users while pointing out enables them to focus on improving the weak areas. During this stage, it is crucial for the social worker to point out the systems that hinder the clients from attaining fulfilment in their lives. The social worker also seeks clarification, and the client and facilitator will determine missing information to inform the action plan. During the assessment stage, we agreed with CB on the most appropriate program to help him overcome his challenges within the next six meetings.
The intervention stage includes both the planning and implementation of various tasks to help the client to resolve the conflict. In the planning stage, the service provider initiates the working plan and schedules the order of activities with the stipulated deadlines to achieve particular objectives. Specific objectives and actions are activated to attain intended goals. During the intervention phase, drafting a contract between the service user and provider is necessary because it acts as the point of reference to facilitate clear, concise, and mutual understanding between the parties. Implementation mainly involves executing the contract. Each party in the agreement pursues the targets set to ensure the contract is fulfilled. If need arises, both parties revisit the contract terms to facilitate goal attainment. The client works on specific services while implementing the objectives of the contract. The service provider must monitor the progress and obtain crucial information that may be helpful to the client as he/she pursues his/her targets. In this particular case, a contract was signed with CB that will help him overcome anxiety and becoming extremely angry quickly without warning to lead a more pleasant life. We agreed that if he manages to overcome the challenges, especially on anxiety, Iwould reward him with an opportunity to watch two of his most favorite films at the theatre in the neighborhood.
Evaluation is carried out throughout the intervention phase. It is essential as it allows the service user and service provider to determine the progress towards goal attainment. Evaluation mostly occurs through a questionnaire, one-on-one meeting with the service user to obtain feedback about the intervention process, or through a goal attainment scale, which is provided for the client to mark out to help the service provider to analyze the effectiveness of the process. By the end of the day, everyone hopes that the goals are achieved and the service user feels more positive about the changes in his/her life. The most important thing is to help clients to take steps independently that will help them to continue working on their challenging issues. Evaluation is also crucial to help service providers to determine the overall success rate of the intervention process. If the service users identify that specific questionswere not adequately addressed, they may prescribe the need to begin the assessment and intervention stages all over again with particular attention to the missed goals.