The referral is of Jameela, who is the service user, however it is impossible to ignore the needs of the whole family and of Farah, the carer. It would be necessary to work with all the adult family members and if there were any concerns regarding the children to refer them to the children’s team. The family are opposed to Jameela being placed in a care home, which the GP suggested.
The primary role of the social worker in this case in the elderly person’s team would be that of a direct change agent to communicate and work with the service user and family as a mediator to help improve family relationships and to work along with them to promote change and find solutions to the current situation. Secondly, in the executive role as lead worker heading the multidisciplinary team, of other professionals, who the family will be referred to in order to assist with their needs. This role would be to co-ordinate the family’s needs with the other agencies to plan actions and services together with the family.
The social worker needs to establish an open, honest and trusting relationship with members of this family. The social worker needs awareness of cultural factors and possible communication barriers. Knowledge of assessments and our duties regarding community care assessments under section47, National Health Service and Community Care Act (1995);The Single Assessment Process ,Department of Health,(2002); Carers recognition and Services Act (1995) which gives Farah rights to her own assessment as Jameela’s carer and involvement in the assessment and planning of Jameela’s care.
The Carers and Disabled Children Act (2000) gives Farah entitlement to payments for her services and the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act (2004) gives her the right to have her own independent life recognised and the possibility of being given a break from caring, respite care. These assessments would be used as a starting point for planning services and a care plan is produced under the SAP guidelines which details services of all involved agencies in Jameela’s daily community care.
The family will need to be fully informed about the assessment process, helped to understand, be actively involved in the sharing of information and to know why it is necessary and the reasons for it. Parker and Bradley (2007) show an example of the levels of assessment and a funnel approach to which shows how information is refined and reduced down to focus on the key elements. This starts with : ‘broad and fluid social, environmental and ecological assessment’, to ‘family wide assessment -issue finding’, leading to ‘prioritising of issues lastly to ‘focus’.
This would be used to provide a broad based assessment; taking into account all aspects of the families situation and lifestyle, then to narrow them down and to prioritise the main issues and to focus on them. (b)(‘Theory’ The task centred approach, a step by step approach that could be used with effect to achieve the main issues that the assessment has shown to focus on. This approach would put the family at the centre and help them to learn the skills to bring about positive change for themselves in their own lives.
It involves the family at all stages in reaching agreements and decisions together with the social worker. It is a short term practice technique which has aimed to stop the dependency of service users of the more long term psychodynamic approach in social work. It has drawn on the theoretical approaches of behaviour therapy, social learning theory, crisis intervention theory and systems theory. Reid and Epstein (1972) gave seven typical types of problems for which task-centred practice may be effective:
‘Interpersonal conflict; dissatisfaction in social relations; relations with formal organisations; role performance; social transition; reactive emotional distress; inadequate resources’. As quoted in Parker and Bradley (2007). These relate to the majority of the problems which may be identified by this family. They will be encouraged to describe and identify for themselves their own interpretations of their problems or issues in collaboration with the social worker.
Possible problems may be the conflict between Majid, Jameela and their expectations of Farah, Farah’s own dissatisfaction and inability to have a voice, role performance and expectations of each family member of the other, the social transition of Jameela accepting her life stage, the reactive emotional distress of Farah as she has internalised her feelings which has probably contributed to her depression, the possible cultural limitations that are affecting the relationship with formal organisations.