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Social Work Intervention Strategies

Type:  Assignment

Subject:Social Work

Subject area: Nursing

Education Level: College

Length: 6  pages

Referencing style: APA

Preferred English: UK  English

Spacing Option: Double

Instructions: this is task-centered practice, crisis intervention, and system theory

Social Work Intervention Strategies

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

Course Number: Course Name


Date Due

Social Work Intervention Strategies

The social work process’s primary element is identifying appropriate intervention strategies informed by social work assessments, sociological and psychological theories. Social workers use their assessment and observation skills to assess and explain situations and select the most appropriate intervention methods based on the developed hypothesis about expected outcomes. However, implementing the chosen intervention methods requires various skills, like communication and knowledge in sustaining, maintaining, and building relationships. Similarly, critical analysis and reflection are required to appraise the intervention’s effectiveness.  Based on the case scenario, crisis intervention strategies and task centered practice will best address the client’s situation.

Case Scenario

David separated from his wife Sarah six months ago. David is experiencing financial problems but is expected to pay for the child’s maintenance.  David lost his job because of his organization’s recent cuts where he works as an independent agent.  As a result, David lost some key clients and experienced low demand.  The business is struggling, and David is stressed because he works for long hours with little returns. David has lots of temper with his wife and children and is withdrawn from them. However, no physical harm or aggression was reported by the wife. David’s mental state worsens as his wife announces separation. The consequences of wife separation include low mood, poor sleep, poor appetite, and low self-esteem. Depression diagnosed by GP. His condition has deteriorated, his mood worsened, poor self-care, and has suicidal thoughts. David wants to take overdose on non-prescription medication because his ex-wife told him that she was unwilling to let him have contact with his children as she felt he was mentally unstable.

Critically Examining Two Contrasting Social Work Intervention Strategies that Apply to David’s Scenario

The social work interventions that apply to David’s case are crisis intervention and Task centered intervention. The interventions are appropriate because they revolve around shared values of accountability and transparency when working with clients. Accordingly, the interventions concentrate on defined actions and positive outcomes. Accordingly, the interventions focus on the client’s priorities and experiences from their perspective. Thus, the service worker will help David resolve his crisis based on defined actions and specified outcomes using the interventions.

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Crisis Intervention

A crisis disrupts a person’s stable or normal state. A crisis emerges when a person experiences obstacles in meeting important life goals. Crises can either be maturational or situational. Situational crises are defined by unexpected events that are beyond one’s control. They include job loss, natural disasters, a family member’s death, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, and an assault. In contrast, maturational crises are characterized by an individuals’ inability to cope with the development process (Teater, 2014). These crises are prevalent during transitions, including retiring from a job, reaching adolescence, or mid-life crisis. As per the case scenario, David’s crisis is situational. He has become bankrupt and cannot pay for the child’s maintenance. Loss of key clients has caused him to have lots of temper with his wife and children, and he has withdrawn from them. As a result, the wife separates from him, a move that worsens his condition. Some of the symptoms he presents because of the separation and financial crisis include low mood, poor sleep, poor appetite, low self-esteem, poor self-care, and suicidal thoughts. Thus, Crisis Intervention is the appropriate intervention for David’s case because the intervention goals are to:

  •  Relieve David’s symptoms
  • Restore him to his previous functioning level
  • Identify factors that contributed to the crisis
  • Identify and apply remedial measures
  • Help David connect current stressors with previous life experiences
  • Help David design adaptive coping approaches that apply to the current and future situation

Therefore, crisis intervention is effective because it focuses on goals relevant to the crisis. Additionally, the intervention offers a crucial support system to overcome the crisis. The intervention focuses on solving the problem that resulted in the crisis. The intervention provides social workers with steps to follow to address a crisis. According to Roberts (2005), social workers should follow the seven steps when addressing a crisis. They include assessing safety needs and lethality, establishing rapport and communication, identifying major precipitating events, major problems, and old ineffective coping methods and dealing with feelings, and providing support. Other steps include exploring possible alternatives by examining past reactions, identifying more adaptive coping behaviors, formulating an action plan and providing follow-up. Despite these strengths, the model has limitations. For instance, it is challenging to implement the model with clients who are unwilling to get involved with social workers (Teater, 2010). The intervention does not solve all underlying problems, and social workers may be forced to undermine client’s rights.


Task Centered Intervention

Task centered intervention adheres to a problem-solving model. Therefore, David should show a willingness to solve his problems. However, the problems need to be manageable for him and the social worker. The primary objective of the intervention is to resolve David’s target problem and work with him to set tasks/ strategies and goals to achieve the stated objectives. The model is appropriate for David’s case because it outlines stages that the social worker should follow when addressing David’s situation. The stages are as described:

 Stage 1: Exploring problems and prioritizing them. 

As in the case scenario, the major problem is bankruptcy. As a result of this problem, David became short-tempered, resulting in his separation from the wife. The separation has caused him to become depressed.  Therefore, the priority is to address David’s depressive symptoms and then solve the bankruptcy issue.

Step 2: Setting goals and Setting time limits

As per the case study, David’s goal is to become financially stable and be with his wife and children because he experiences a role performance problem. Achieving these goals can take up to six to eight sessions.

Step 3: Developing Tasks

The social worker and the client brainstorms appropriate interventions to realize the stated goals. In David’s case, the interventions may include seeking treatment for his depressive symptoms and seeking alternative employment rather than depending on his agency. The tasks are then evaluated to find out if they addressed the problem.

 Therefore, task centered intervention is appropriate for David’s case because it focuses on problem-solving and engages the client in solving the problem. The intervention also focuses on David’s strengths and empowers him to resolve his problems (Garvin, Tolson,  & Reid, 2012). However, the intervention has its weaknesses. For instance, the strategy limits itself to solving issues identified by the client. Additionally, it depends on the client’s level of cognitive functioning that might undermine the intervention’s outcomes. In some cases, the problems might be overwhelming for the client, and the intervention ignores deep-rooted structural issues.

How Social Work Values and Anti-Discrimination Practice Have Informed the Intervention Methods and Outcomes

Social work core values enhance social work programs and activities’ effectiveness. The core values are six in number, and they include social justice, service, dignity and worth of the person, human relationships, competence, and integrity (The National Association of Social Workers, n.d). The service value addresses social ills and helps others. Social workers use their experience and education to help their clients. As per the case study, the social worker focused on helping David reunite with his family, devise coping strategies for the current and future situation, and address the problem causing the crisis.  Social justice value requires social workers to advocate on behalf of the voiceless and the oppressed. The focus is on issues like harassment, discrimination, homelessness, poverty, and other injustices. In this case, social workers provide their clients with help, information, and resources to those pursuing equality while educating those who have not experienced discrimination directly. David has an equal right to his children but is forbidden to see them because of his mental status. However, with the social workers’ help, David will return to his normal functioning and reunite with his family.

 Dignity and worth of the person maintain that people are different with distinct social and cultural values. Therefore, social workers should consider these differences and treat their clients with respect and dignity. They should also promote their clients’ opportunity and capacity to tackle their issues and improve their situations (The National Association of Social Workers, n.d). The interventions involved David in identifying a solution to his problems because he understands himself better. Social workers should connect their clients with individuals and organizations to offer them necessary assistance because it is an important aspect of human relationships. David’s major problem is bankruptcy and depression, and the solution is connecting him with an individual or organization that will enhance his employability and mental health status. Integrity requires social workers to behave responsibly and honestly and enhance the value of their clients. The social workers acted responsibly by working with David to set goals and tasks to improve his outcomes. The competence value requires social workers to have a master’s degree or undergraduate in social work. The handling of David’s case suggests that the social worker has experience in handling such clients.

Anti-discrimination practices focus on reducing, undermining, or eliminating oppression and discrimination. The practice also eliminates the barriers that undermine individual’s access to necessary services (Parrott, 2014).  In the case scenario, David’s wife discriminates against him because he considers him mentally unstable. As a result, she forbids him from seeing their children. However, the social worker removes these barriers by relieving David’s symptoms and restoring him to his previous functioning level.



“The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics”.(n.d). https://www.uaf.edu/socwork/student-information/checklist/(D)-NASW-Code-of-Ethics.pdf

Garvin, C. D., Tolson, E. R., & Reid, W. J. (2012.). Generalist practice: A task Centered Approach. Columbia: Columbia University Press.

Parrott, L. (2014). Values & ethics in social work practice. Los Angeles: SAGE/Learning Matters

Roberts, A.  (2005) Crisis intervention handbook: Assessment, treatment and research (3rd eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Teater, B. (2014). Applying social work theories and methods( 2nd ed). Berkshire: OU Press