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Sociology Assignment Sample on Psycho-Social Assessment and Intervention Plan

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Sociology Assignment Question

Make a social work assessment and intervention plan to help in making the decision of when Mrs. Yamamoto will be moved to a palliative care unit to spend her last days.

Sociology Assignment Solution on Psycho-Social Assessment and Intervention Plan


The case details are: Mrs. Yamomoto, aged 52, diagnosed with cancer. Doctors have given her 6 months to live and sent her home to be with her family. Her family consists of three children, a special girl child (May 22 years old) living in a care home and two teenage children; Ken, aged 20, studying engineering at university and Emi aged 14, in high school and a maternal grandmother Mrs. Robertson 78, and divorced husband Ryoma Yamamoto, 54, living in Japan. Mrs Yamomoto's medical condition will involve an ever increasing pain in a few weeks time and she will need palliative care to deal with the pain.
The social work assessment and intervention plan has to help in making the decision of when Mrs. Yamamoto will be moved to a palliative care unit to spend her last days. There are various decisions related to the care of her teenage children and aged mother that need to be made in designing the social work intervention plan. This assessment is based on the services involving palliative care norms required in case of Mrs. Yamimoto…

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Factors Implicating on Grief Reactions

Mrs. Yamomoto's case was referred to the current team by the community health nurse and is therefore one of an involuntary client (Trotter, 2006). She did not apply for this specific service. She is not a legally mandated client. Therefore the assessment and the intervention plan need to be designed in consultation with the client, since the client needs to own and engage willingly with the assessment as well as the intervention plan that is made.
Following are the risk factors, along with factors enhancing resilience in the case of Mrs. Yamomoto.

Risk Factors

Mrs. Yamomoto's medical condition is expected to deteriorate and she is expected to have more respiratory problems and require palliate care in the final stages. She could be moved immediately to a palliative care unit, but she wants to be with her family and settle the care of her three teenage children and mother and spend as much time with them as possible.
The community health nurse is in favor of immediately transferring her to a palliative care unit, irrespective of her home situation and the OT is in favor of her living at home for some time. Mrs. Yamomoto and her family are upset with the community health nurse for being insensitive to their emotional need to be together as a family for as long as possible. The Medical Director will make a decision on this based on the current assessment and intervention plan devised here…

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Factors Enhancing Resilience

The potential factors proving to be a hindrance to Mrs. Yamimoto for being transferred to palliative care unit are following:

• May, the special child already in care, has been informed of her mother's condition and is distressed with the situation and showing signs of emotional disturbance and aggressive behaviors.
• Emi, the high school student, is emotionally disturbed with both the prospect of losing her mother as well as the prospect of having to relocate to Japan to live with her father, who she believes has abandoned them earlier. She complains of being sick and does not attend school, but the social workers in this case do not see any signs of physical illness although she has convinced her mother that she is unwell.
• Ken, the older son, claims to be able to take care of the family as the man of the house as expected in a Japanese family, but he has many academic and professional demands on his time and seems uncomfortable with taking so much responsibility, as he refuses to make eye contact when discussions take place.
• Mrs. Robertson, mother of Mrs. Yamomoto, is still mentally agile and able to deal with some amount of responsibility for the children at present; however, she is distressed with her daughter having to die before her children…

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Bereavement support standards for palliative care services

In this section, we now perform the assessment on the basis of recommended standards to be provided as the minimum bereavement support level of through specialized palliative care services.

Standard 1: Access

The primary decision –whether or not Mrs. Yamomoto is to leave her home and go into palliative care has to be made first. My recommendation is that Mrs. Yamomoto be allowed to stay with her family for as long as possible. It seems to be in the best interest of her own mental wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of her children and elderly mother. Besides, I think this will aid in developing my own relationship with the client, which is viewed as the vehicle of social work practices (Bisman, 1994). I feel this single decision made in empathy with the sentiments of the family will establish my own relationship with them and aid in my supporting the family through subsequent difficult decisions that need to be made.

Standard 2: Coordination of bereavement services

Mr. Yamomoto is expected to arrive to be with the family in a couple of weeks. Currently the children have some negative emotions regarding Mr. Yamomoto's absence from their lives and I perceive a need for counseling as well as some time together with their father to overcome this. I plan, facilitate the family in having family meetings and making decisions for the children's future to suit to set of circumstances based on the children' acceptance or non acceptance of Mr. Yamomoto's presence in their lives. I will call the two plans Plan A – with an active role for Mr. Yamomoto in the children's lives and Plan B – with the children's lives continuing as a family without a father. Such types of nonlinear circumstances are based on the principle of multifinality – which the same kind of circumstances can lead to different outcomes. (Hepworth, 2009)

Standard 3: Training and support

The problem that is most easily addressed is the clarification of the financial affairs of the family. Mrs. Yamomoto is to be encouraged to contact the superannuation company and get the full details of her financial affairs. Since I am allowed only ten visits by my agency for the settling of this case, I would like to facilitate a family meeting on my next visit, involving all the family members. Mrs. Yamomoto should contact the superannuation company and consult with her lawyers in order to be prepared to present a clear picture of the family finances to her children. The family meeting will primarily discuss the financial arrangements for the future, but will also lightly touch upon the areas of a) the mother's funeral arrangements b) the children's continued support of the elder daughter after the mother's death by her two siblings. My first family meeting will involve supporting the family to come to a consensus about these first two issues as they involve the least amount of conflict and seem easily resolvable.

Standard 4: Screening and assessment

I will be contacting the school of Emi to see that she visits a school counselor everyday to address both her academic problems with the school and her emotional problems regarding her mother's impending demise and a possible relocation to Japan. If Emi is reluctant to attend school, citing illness and medical reasons, the school counselor could be encouraged to visit their home and speak to the children in the presence of the mother. Emi's academic problems at school need to be addressed prior to her father's visit to be with the family so a clear picture emerges of the decision of the school regarding Emi's continued enrollment in the school, which is now in jeopardy.

Standard 5: Bereavement support strategies

I will be offering counseling sessions to Ken; the elder son who I find is going through psychological ambivalence – a contradictory state of holding positive and negative emotions about family relations (Connidis, 2010), and needs to be supported to work through what he can feasibly contribute towards his family situation without affecting his studies. I will need to read up on Japanese culture and the role of the male in Japanese families in order to understand Ken's dilemma and use skills developed in cross cultural communication (Kagawa-Singer, 2001), in my interactions with Ken.

Standard 6: Clinical handover and referral to specialist services

Mr. Yamomoto visit to be with the family and his impact on the situation will be closely monitored during my home visits. In case it is found that Mr. Yamomoto possesses a personality that is acceptable to the children, he will be encouraged to find information regarding the school system and life in Japan and discuss these with Emi and Ken in his time together with them, in a manner that does not distress them. If everything goes fine, then Mrs. Yamimoto would be referred to the palliative care unit with immediate effect.

Standard 7: Community education and health promotion

A second family conference to decide on the academic future as well as possible relocation of Emi to Japan to be with her father until she completes her school education will be facilitated around my fifth home visit to Mrs. Yamomoto's family. Emi is by now expected to be in a position to decide if she is willing to relocate to Japan to be with her father to complete her education…

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The key issues addressed while formulating this intervention plan was to address the lack of communication and clarity within the family with regard to future plans, including financial plans. I have tried to keep away from a homogenized view of ethnic family life and keep in my mind that Yamomoto family is bicultural (Man Keung Ho, 2003) and used the interactive-communicative model developed by Satir (Karen M. Sowers, 2008), which I felt was more suitable for this case. The idea is to engage the whole family in the process of decision making and secure their willing participation so that they are able to overcome the sense of helplessness they feel about losing their mother and help them to come to terms with their situation through counseling support so they are able to plan for the future.

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