The problems are then placed in order of importance to the family and by agreeing on manageable tasks, usually no more than three tasks, goals are made to achieve on each task together. This can be agreed in the form of a written or oral agreement. The tasks may be by the family themselves to achieve, by the social worker or by involvement of other agencies and all these decisions are made jointly with all parties.
There are time limits set for each step or task and there will be regular reviews to encourage, praise the family on how they are progressing and achievements they are making for themselves or there may have to be changes made and re-negotiate the tasks as the family’s needs may change and also some flexibility on the agreed time limits.
One possible task that they may decide of importance is encouraging Jameela’s independence and social inclusion which could be achieved by setting up a community based day care centre, in conjunction with other professionals, for elderly Punjabi residents to attend for social networking and possible daily respite care which in turn will give Farah a break from caring, which could also be a priority that the family decides upon.
Task centred practice promotes partnership working and the independence of service users.
It promotes them to learn and improve skills by building on their own strengths and also helps them to reflect on the reality of their lives and relationships. It does not look for causes or apportion blame on any family member for their problems but empowers them by giving them the opportunity for change and gives them choices on information on services and resources that are available for their family needs.
It looks at their strengths as individual people and their social networks and promotes their involvement in the community. Healy(2005)
(c) Values and oppression An ethical dilemma in this scenario is the conflicting needs of Jameela, who holds the most power which is having a negative effect on Farah, who has the least power. The British Association of Social Workers,( BASW,2002,4,1,3) code of ethics says that we should promote a persons autonomy providing it doesn’t conflict with the rights of others. So there is a need to empower Farah by giving her informed choices on her rights as a carer and participation in the overall decision making process and what she would like to happen.
There is the possibility of a further imbalance of power assuming the social worker will be white and as the service users are Punjabi, an ethnic minority in Britain, this in turn may have the effect of oppressing them in our society as they may be at a disadvantage by not being able to know how to access support services due to communication difficulties, their own cultural norms and values may prevent them too and cause embarrassment for them to seek help with family problems. As a social worker it is important for us to practice in an anti-oppressive way and to not discriminate.
Using Thompsons(2006) Personal, Cultural and Structural(PCS) model at the personal level: the social worker needs an awareness of her own values and beliefs, to hold these in check, so they do not lead to assumptions about the family’s beliefs and values and influence the treatment of this family or allow subconscious discrimination against them. This requires the social worker to be non-judgemental, to be respectful and not allow our own personal values to cause discrimination and prejudice against any person.
At the Cultural level: It is important to be aware of the cultural values, beliefs and customs of this family and to not impose westernised values on this family also the language and communication difficulties need to be addressed. At the structural level: to change and possibly challenge society to provide more equality for this family, to provide services for them as in a day care centre and to inform them of the availability of the services or their use.
It is extremely important that the social worker values the difference and cultural identity of this family empowering them by accepting them, giving them equality and the opportunity for them to have choices in their lives.
References Beckett, C. , 2006. Essential Theory for Social Work Practice. London. Sage Doel, M. , 2006. Across to divide. (Online)(Updated 8 June 2006) Available at: http//www. communitycare. co. uk/Articles/2006/06/08/54389/across-to-divide. htmlAccessed 14 December 2008. Healy, K. , 2005. Social Work Theories in Context: creating frameworks for practice.
Basingstoke. Macmillan press. Parker, J, Bradley, G. , 2007. Social work Practice: Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Review. 2nd Ed. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd. Payne, M. , 1997. Modern Social work Theory. 3rd Ed. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan. Thompson, N. , 2005. Understanding Social Work: Preparing for Practice. 2nd Ed. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan. Thompson, N. , Anti-discriminatory practice. 4th Ed. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan. Warren, J. , Service User and Carer Participation in Social Work. Exeter. Learning Matters.
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