You are on page 1of 8

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE SW 3010 12/05/12 Student Id: 004238502

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE

Introduction As a social worker it is imperative to understand and make use of the three levels of practice when assessing and assisting clients. Through the role play demonstrated in class, we can see how all three levels of practice overlap and how one at a micro level must identify change needed at a mezzo/macro level. Using the P.I.E( Person In Environment) classification chart to assess a client helps when discovering a clients strengths and weaknesses and further discover changes one may see fit at all three levels of practice. Three Levels of Practice As a generalist practitioner, awareness and education in all three levels of practice is necessary and imperative in your effectiveness as a social worker. The three levels of practice are Micro, Mezzo and Macro. The skills used in each level are very similar in nature, yet distinctive in outcome. As mentioned later, the role play assessed in class demonstrates how all three levels of practice are intertwined and how one working at a micro level must uncover change needed at all three levels to effectively assist or help a client and their needs. At the micro level, a social worker is working with an individual and their skills are primarily used when interviewing and communicating. Example of those being helped at a micro level would include a person seeing a social worker regarding addiction, homelessness, and disabilities and as seen in the role play, one who lost their children and income. At the mezzo level, a social worker may work primarily with groups of all different natures. Examples of groups one may work with at a mezzo level include medical treatment groups, those with psychological disorders or those within schools or group homes. At a macro level, a social

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE worker uses the skills acquired through both micro and mezzo levels to implement change in large systems. Examples of macro level practice may include changing laws and policies, advocating for a large group of individuals or a community or changing policy within a particular institution or system. P.I.E. Classification Chart When assessing a client at a micro level, the Person in Environment Assessment Form is very useful. Using Appendix A was most effective when assessing the individual during our classroom role play. Within the P.I.E. Assessment Form there are ten categories used to address not only ones problems, but also their strengths. These categories is numerical order according to the assessment form include social functioning( familial roles, other interpersonal roles, occupational roles and special life situation roles), economic basic needs, education and training, judicial and legal, health, safety and social services, voluntary association and affectional support. Using the P.I.E Assessment Form for the individual from our role play will help to address which levels of practice may be utilized when helping the individual and identifying their needs. Attached is the assessment form which will help guide the needs of the client and change which needs to be implemented in her environment on all three levels. The Client As stated, the client has lost custody of her children when at the hospital. She had found her daughter socializing with some of the neighborhood people around the corner from her house and was trying to get her to realize that she would feel the heat if socializing with these people. When trying to teach her daughter a lesson, she placed her hand above the lit stove to show her how she can feel the heat without touching the fire. Her daughter moved her hand away into the

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE fire and was ultimately burned. When bringing the daughter into the hospital, her children were taken away in hope to protect them from an unsafe environment. To get her children back, the client was sent to the social worker. Through micro level practice, the social worker was able to uncover that the client will no longer receive her welfare checks and consequently will lose her home. She knows that without a home, she will not get her children back and is scared and upset at the thought. The social worker was also able to identify some of the environmental factors which play a role in her lifestyle. The client has no transportation, an unsafe neighborhood and is solely dependent on governmental agencies for life necessities. Her support system is scarce because her family disowned her at the age of sixteen when she was pregnant with the first of three children. The only friend mentioned was one in which they brought their children together to a safe playground in Sterling Heights by bus because the ones around their neighborhood are filled with glass and unsafe. The client has a sophomore level high school education and has no way of getting her GED and watching her children. Because of her level of stress and recent losses, the client seems unable to rationalize the situation and come up with any solutions on her own. She has no responsibilities besides taking care of her children and her home. With the loss of her children, she only has her home which she will soon be evicted from because she no longer receives welfare checks. Micro Level Practice (Role Play) Through the role play in class, we can see the importance of micro level practice. Throughout the initial assessment the social worker was able to build a rapport with the client and uncover her needs through communication. We were able to see how the client who has

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE recently lost custody of her children when bringing her daughter to the hospital for burn wounds is coping with her recent loss and how it has impacted her life. Through furthering and empathic responses the social worker was able to connect with the single mother and gain her trust in assisting her and addressing her needs. By paraphrasing and summarizing, the social worker was able to gain clarification of the problem in order to fully assess the situation which is needed to implement change and help the individual come up with a solution to her problems. Mezzo Level Practice (Role Play) At a mezzo level the social worker in this situation may want to address the environment in which the client is in. The community that she lives in seems to appear unsafe for her and her children. Because of the drug dealers within her neighborhood, it may be possible to contact the police and see if there is anything they could do to make the neighborhood safer and stop the drug dealing from happening. Other options would be to start a neighborhood watch within the community in which the client lives in. Because of her concern for her and her childrens safety, there may be others in the community who has similar thoughts. Other changes that could be maid pertaining to safety would include that of the playground or park near her house. The client mentioned glass in the playground and it could be possible to start a clean-up crew for the surrounding neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Other addressed concerns pertaining to the clients environment is regarding transportation and cost of bus transportation. Like many other counties in Michigan, there may be a program already in place to address the financial concerns of those who use public transportation. If there is a program in place already, it would be easy to sign her up and alleviate some of the worries she has financially. With the financial burden alleviated, the client will take

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE advantage of transportation and has the potential to move or continue visiting other areas and parks free of charge. Because the client believes she has to play games with her children to keep them occupied, this will give them another form of entertainment which cost little to nothing. Seeing the client has little to no support groups, it may in her best interest to find one which she feels part of. At the present time she has no family to emotionally connect with and only one friend which she mentioned. Having a group to belong to may be the support she needs and could give her a sense of belonging. It may also be in her best interest to reconnect her with her family. Although she seems to think they want nothing to do with her, it may be a possibility. People change more often than not, the parents and the client may be scared to make amends and this could give her the opportunity she has been looking and longing for. Another opportunity for change on a mezzo level would pertain to education and employment. Finding educational and work opportunities may give the client a stronger sense of self and a better family life for her and her children. Day care seems to be a conflicting component when trying to continue her education and employment and the opportunity seems to appeal to the client if found. Finding daycare which is free or affordable for the client and those in her community may increase the odds of utilizing programs for continuing education and employment. Macro Level Practice (Role Play) Practice on a macro level can be evaluated after exploring change on a micro and mezzo level particularly for the client. Implementing change on this level may be difficult, yet possible. An obstacle the client is experiencing that could need to be addressed is that of her welfare checks. One way to change the system on a macro level would be to change the policy pertaining

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE to welfare checks being taken away when the possibility of getting custody of your children back is there. The fact that her welfare check was taken away when she could regain custody of her children is horrible. By taking her income away, the chances of getting her children back is slim especially if she became homeless. Other issues that may be addressed on a macro level would pertain to policies regarding childcare, education, workforce training and transportation. If systems are not offering assistance with these obstacles the client is faced with, it may be in the social workers best interest to change the way these issues are dealt with. Offering free childcare, education, workforce training and transportation to individuals who cannot afford it, may positively affect the client and those who are in similar situations. Interrelationship of the Three Levels if Practice As seen through the role-play in class and throughout history, all three levels of practice are intertwined. The client in this instance is affected at all three levels and change within the three levels is needed for her and her family. Although time is needed to implement change, the community will ultimately benefit from the work accomplished by the social worker who is an effective general practitioner. Like the P.I.E. assessment form, many different components make up a community and ultimately affect the person who lives within it. By using this assessment form and having the skills to implement change, social workers can positively influence the social welfare of all. Role Play Summation As seen throughout the role play, the client as a female mother values her children and their safety. Although ethical dilemmas arouse within her environment and specifically with her

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE LEVELS OF PRACTICE daughter, she relied on her strength as a mother to shelter her children from the obstacles they have faced in their environment. Although she did not take into consideration the effect putting her daughters hand over a fire might have, the reasons for doing so was valid. Although her children were taken away, a social worker may use their skills at all three levels of practice to help the mother get them back and improve their quality of life moving forward. Although the reason for the client coming in to see the social worker was mandated, it ultimately was the best thing for the client and the wellbeing of her and her children. Conclusion As a social worker on a micro level, it is imperative to obtain the skills to also work on a mezzo and macro level. Because of the overlapping of all three levels of practice affecting each person within the environment, it is necessary to have the skills and ability to implement change when needed. As a general practitioner, using the P.I.E. Assessment form is very helpful when identifying ones strengths and weaknesses and using those to fully understand the situation the client is faced with and help them in resolving their issues.