Module 02 Written Assignment – Using Strength
Consider the following scenario:
Johnny is a 15-year old boy who is demonstrating oppositional behavior in school. He skips class, gets into physical altercations and is rude and disrespectful to adults. He enjoys music and is talented in drawing/art. He also has a knack for automotive skills. He used to attend a local church youth group once a week but no longer participates. His parents recently divorced. His older brother is away at college. He is close to his older brother. He has a few good friends from school.
Imagine that you are the human service worker assigned to work with Johnny. Using a strength-based approach, how might you help this client? What strengths can you specifically draw on to help this client? Be specific. Provide examples.
Before You Begin
1. As you develop your response, consider some examples of strength-based approaches:
1. A mother is struggling with depression and has a large family support system. She also plays the piano.
From a strength-based approach, a human service worker could utilize her family to help support her and help her manager her depression. A worker might also consider encouraging the client to reconnect with the piano and play for 20 minutes a day in an effort to build self-confidence and increase concentration.
2. A retired factor worker sits at home and drinks excessively. When employed the client played golf and was an active member of his local church. He has several grandchildren to whom he is close, but more recently his two adult children moved to another town.
From a strength-based approach, a worker would first have to address the drinking through support groups and other treatment, however, in evaluating the client, the worker will look for potential strengths that could be useful in helping the client function without alcohol. The worker might encourage the client to become more involved in church activities. The client might consider visiting his grandchildren and set aside a specific time each week/month to visit with them. The client might be encouraged to form a local golf league or be involved in teaching youth how to play golf.
In each of the above examples the human service worker is essentially drawing upon potential strengths and looking for skills, abilities, support systems and/or resources that the client can utilize in resolving the problem(s).
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