Word count: 2986
“This assignment is my own work. It has not been and will not be presented for assessment of any other module or piece of work which accrues credit for the award for which I am currently studying”
This essay will discuss the case of Josie, a single parent of four children between the ages of 3 and 14. A referral has been made to social work by a health visitor on various grounds which include Josie’s physical and mental well-being, she suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a disabling disease, and experiences depression. It was reported she may be using cannabis. Her son Delboy, who is 14, has poor attendance at school and is displaying aggressive behaviour there. Her 12 year old daughter Elaine has taken on a large proportion of caring duties for her younger siblings, 7 year old Milly and 3 year old Sandra. Her elderly mother has been frequently travelling long distance to support them. This raises a variety of issues in relation to welfare. I will explore; statutory law and options available in this case, the roles, responsibilities and rights of those involved and outline social policy which will inform practice.
Initially I would aim to carry out an assessment of the family’s situation. Thompson (2009, p72) recommends that this should be a holistic approach, gathering information on the needs of and risks posed to the family, as well as identifying strengths. I would hope to work in partnership with Josie, on a voluntary basis, which according to Thompson (2009, p142) means, “Working with clients, rather than doing things to or for them”. This would promote inclusion for the most positive outcomes as they would have ownership of any services planned. I will later discuss the assessment model to be used.
I would remain transparent with Josie and define my role and what responsibilities are delegated to me by my employer. By being honest I would be upholding the second principle in the Scottish Social Service Councils (SSSC) code of practice, “As a social service worker, you must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers.” (SSSC, 2009). The 21st Century Social Work Review document outlines what my roles are, for example, “assessing and determining eligibility for publicly funded services,” (Scottish Government, 2006,) Josie may be entitled to financial support which will be explored later.
During the process of assessment I would work in partnership with Josie’s hospital social worker as well as other health care professionals. I would seek to determine if Josie’s health visitor is making assumptions about her using cannabis as it is possible Josie’s medications have similar side effects to those of the illegal drug. However it is possible she is using cannabis to self-medicate for her condition. I would make Josie aware I would be contacting the hospital and by doing so I would uphold the aforementioned second principle of the SSSC‘s code of practice. The reason why this information is important will be discussed later.
My primary concern in the case is the children’s, however working with Josie to enhance her well-being will have positive outcomes for the family as a whole therefore is of comparable importance. I would refer to the National Risk Framework (2012) to assist me in assessing the needs and risks posed to the children. I would use the National Practice model; Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), advised in the framework, and refer to the SHANARRI indicators of well-being, standing for; safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included. This would allow me to identify if the children were safe from neglect, for example, or achieving in their learning. Following risk assessment procedure ensures that the 4th principal within SSSC’s codes of practice is being met, “As a social worker, you must respect the rights of service users while seeking to ensure that their behaviour