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.
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.
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
Begin your intervention by defining Carla Washburn’s goals and needs in the order of their importance and the speed with which they can be accomplished (it is important to your work with Ms. Washburn that you meet with at least one success early in the process. Empowerment theory suggests that this will propel her to accomplish the more difficult goals)
Develop a cohesive plan of action for this client using the “Tasks for Client” and “Tasks for Social Worker” tabs.
A critical piece of your work is the mobilization of people, places, and resources that will help Ms. Washburn reach the goals you have defined together. Using the ecomap tool and symbols, diagram these new coalitions.