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Phase 3: Create and Implement an Intervention

Select a client below to begin creating an intervention plan.

Consider the long-term goals you set for your client system in the Assess phase, as well as the short-term goals that will lead to accomplishment of those long-term goals. You also listed the tasks that you and your client system would undertake in the service of those goals.

In this section you will describe specifically how you might accomplish those goals. For example, if one of the tasks you listed was to help Mrs. Sanchez learn English, how precisely could you make that happen? Could you help her enroll in a night class at the local high school? Could you find a bilingual person in the neighborhood who would give her lessons in exchange for baby-sitting? Could your agency provide English classes for all interested persons in the neighborhood? All of these possibilities are embedded in the case materials you have assembled. It is up to you to use your imagination and the resources available to turn these goals into real possibilities.

Some of the intervention activities that you can engage in with, or on behalf of, your client, include the following:

  • Information gathering and sharing

    Clients often require assistance in the activities that will move them toward their goal. For example, clients may want a job but not know how to go about getting one or how to acquire the skills needed for specific jobs. They might not know their legal rights—in which case, you could either find the information that they need or find an appropriate referral (in other words, help a client acquire a legal resource).

  • Resource mobilization or acquisition

    The most common of all intervention activities is to seek goods or services needed by the client system. Resources may come from either formal systems (state, federal, or municipal programs, whose reason for being is to provide those resources) or informal systems (for example, family, friends, religious organization, or neighborhood entities). Generally speaking, the use of informal systems is preferred, because usually formal systems are likely to give only limited help; thus, formal systems should be a last resort.

  • Advocacy

    Related to resource acquisition is the process of working with or on behalf of the client system to acquire resources that would otherwise not be accessible. Often, in helping one client, the worker helps many who are in the same situation. For example, suppose that a client both needs and wants to work but the public transportation routes do not reach her neighborhood. If a worker worked with the system to modify the route so that public transportation became a viable option for the client, then the client would benefit—as would everyone else who lived in that neighborhood who had no other means of transportation.

  • Support

    Clients are most likely to work toward change when they perceive a payoff at the end of the process. To maintain that optimism, the worker must be supportive and encouraging and be able to frame setbacks as an inevitable part of the process. The message should always be that clients will be successful, with perseverance.

My Intervene Tasks

Go back to the town map (see the Engage phase). List the community’s resources in your resource file, so that you will have a ready reference when you work with other clients in the community. Also, there may be informal resources in the environment that are not listed as such but could be important for the Sanchez family. List those as well.

List out all of the goals your client(s) hope(s) to accomplish. Then, develop a cohesive plan of action, using the "Tasks for client" and "Tasks for worker" tabs. You might begin with the biggest goal first, and the interim goals needed to accomplish it.

Our knowledge of systems theory informs us of the inevitability of changes to other systems when one system undergoes a shift. Think about the likely outcome of successful intervention beyond this client system. What are some of the possibilities?