Chapter Six: Planning in Generalist Practice


Steps in the Planning Process:


Step 1: Work with Your Client(s)


Step 2: Prioritize Problems: Which Problem Should You Work On First?


Step 3: Translate Problems into Needs


Step 4: Evaluate Levels of Intervention: Select a Strategy:  “You can develop a strategy by doing the following: 1. Focus on the need you’ve selected with your client to work on first.  2. Review the need and consider identifying micro, mezzo, and macro alternative strategies to arrive at a solution. 3. Emphasize your client’s strengths when establishing strategies.  4. Evaluate the pros and cons of each strategy you’ve considered with your client. 5. Select and pursue the strategy that appears to be most efficient and effective” (p. 194).


Step 5: Establish Primary Goals


Step 6: Specify Objectives: “Establishing objectives involves specifying the steps that are necessary in order to achieve those objectives…who will do what by when” (p. 200).  Objectives should be measurable.


Step 7: Formalize a Contract: “A contract is an agreement between a client and worker about what will occur in the intervention process. It can include goals, objectives, time frames, and responsibilities of people involved” (p. 207).


Chapter Seven: Intervention Applications


The authors present the Philosophy of the Child at Risk Field System (CARF) (pp. 228-241).  Using your critical thinking skills and the knowledge you have already developed from the first part of this textbook, critique this intervention application.  What are its strengths?  What are its limitations and weaknesses?



Crisis Intervention:


1.        “The primary goal of crisis intervention is to help the client return at least to the pre-crisis level of functioning.”


2.        “Crisis interventions relatively short term.”


3.        “Specific, observable difficulties become the target of the intervention.”


4.        “When doing crisis intervention, it should be considered the treatment of choice and not simply a second-best strategy.”


5.        “The practitioner in crisis intervention must be willing to take an active role in the intervention, which is often more directive than that assumed in other approaches to generalist practice” (pp. 242-3).


Steps in Crisis Intervention:


Step 1: Assessment


“The art in crisis intervention is to focus on the specific precipitating event that brought the client to you.  Only clearly related aspects of the client’s situation should be addressed…First, you must determine why the person called you or came in to see you TODAY…A second line of questioning should involve how your client views the crisis situation and precipitating event…The third relevant line of questioning involves whether your client has access to support from others…The fourth area of information to pursue concerns your client’s history in solving similar problems…A final and very critical area of information to solicit involves the extent to which your client is either suicidal or homicidal” (pp. 243-4)


Step 2: Planning


“During this step, you must evaluate the extent to which the crisis has interfered with your client’s ability to function.  Which daily activities will she be able to resume?…how are others close to your client reacting to the crisis?…The second primary aspect of planning is to review potential alternatives, evaluate the pros and cons, and determine the course of action to pursue.  It is important during this phase to review strategies which have worked in the past and decide whether they might not be useful again” (p. 244).


Step 3: The Intervention


a.        Help the client gain an intellectual understanding of the crisis.

b.       Help the client bring into the open his or her present feelings to which they may not have access.

c.        Explore the client’s coping mechanisms.

d.       Help the client reopen the social world.


Step 4: Anticipatory Planning


“Anticipatory planning helps clients prepare for future crises.  The final phase in crisis intervention focuses on articulating and summarizing what clients have learned during the crisis-intervention process…Follow-up, of course, is the last phase of the problem-solving process” (p. 249).


Chapter Eight:


The first section of this chapter deals with Evaluation and it is assumed that you have covered this material in your Social Work Research Course.




“The tasks of termination are similar whether we are working with an individual, a family or a group, a community, or an organization” 292).


Tasks of Termination:  (although this is for a group, most of it is relevant for any termination process)


1.        Maintaining and generalizing change efforts. 

2.        Reducing group attraction and promoting the independent functioning of individual members.

3.        Helping members with their feelings about ending.

4.        Planning for the future.

5.        Making referrals.

6.        Evaluating the work of the group.