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Support Worker Project Worker Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 1505 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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I am a support worker/project worker in a supported housing unit in Nottingham for thirteen female young people between the ages of 16 -25 years who are usually referred from Housing Aid. The service users are homeless, some with a background of domestic breakdown and some have come out of the care system. The basic needs of the service users were addressed in an interview.

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After referral from Housing Aid an initial assessment of need is undertaken, which covers several needs: physical and wellbeing, such as any medication or health concerns? The young person may smoke or even have drug or alcohol issues and these will be on the referral form. The young person’s mental health will then be examined and occasionally there may be additional reports from social workers or schools. High risk service users such as ex-offenders can be referred and these cases may involve probation workers.

Mary is 18 years old with Portuguese parents who are separated. Mary’s father lives in the West Midlands and her mother lives in Nottingham. Mary lived with her mother and father for a while and then decided to live with her father. On school holidays Mary stayed with her mother. Mary was assaulted by her father at the early age of 10 years old; he hit her with a belt and with a metal bar, which resulted in Mary being placed in care after police and social services involvement. Her friend who lives in Wales is her closest contact but does not see her regularly. She does have other friends; however she avoids them because of their criminal behaviour (Appendix 1).

The needs of young women arriving at the project are further assessed through another informal interview and young women are welcomed. The care package offered to young women who arrive at the hostel involves signing a tenancy agreement giving them their accommodation in the project. Each young woman has a self-contained flat within the project with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Most accommodation costs are met through housing benefits. If the young person is working they pay part of the service after assessment. Mary came to the UK with her family when she was young. They applied for British citizenship but did not pass it over to Mary. As she is an EU citizen, be able to be eligible for housing (Appendix1)

The educational needs of the young person are examined. Basic needs in numeracy and literacy are assessed. Personal, social development and health are also taken into account and the young person’s ability to budget their money. QUOTE .Without project intervention, many young people would be homeless and at great risk of exploitation and/or bad health.

An important skill for this type of intervention is listening or active listening Verbal and non-verbal skills are needed in order to establish a rapport and good relationship between worker and service user. A person centred approach using listening skills and asking questions helps the service users clarify own thoughts, avoiding authoritarian language, and treating people as equal encourages them to think and act for themselves. The importance of engaging young people is to build relationships of trust and developing strategies to work towards change. It is also important to be empathic when engaging with the young person to encourage conversation. All personal feelings are left outside the workplace in order to be professional and maintain boundaries.

QUOTE Rogers here

Values are used in everyday language to refer to religion, moral, political or ideological principles, beliefs or attitudes (Banks, 2001). Harrison et al (2010) states youth work is informed by a set of beliefs and helps young people to develop their own set of values.


The NAOMIE framework is used to identify the needs of the young people Ingram et al, 2001). This tool is used to identify the young people’s need and works well. This has identified some of the barriers in anti -discriminatory practice on working together on issues of inequality, discrimination and oppression (Thompson, 1994).

Mary attended weekly support sessions, however, at the time of the first key session, Mary had missed four appointments with Access College which raised concern about her behaviour. I learnt Mary had doubts about being able to apply herself to her educational needs, which affected her Job seekers allowance (JSA). Her service charges were paid by direct deductions from her benefits. Mary will need support in budgeting and has agreed to set up a budgeting plan with her next payment. I agreed to meet with her for a one to one session. In order to probe further into the reasons for not attending I identified motivational interviewing as the best method for Mary (Appendix 2).

As a support worker I identified links within the project to refer to external agencies, such as social services and welfare agencies. I was informed from staff that her Keyworker had contact the department of working pensions (DWP) about her JSA payment s has stopped. This was due to poor attendances in college she has missed a couple of appointments. In terms of theory I used communication skills with empathy by getting to know Mary’s situation at using listening skills about what is say I engaged in the conversation “How is your day?” which I offer refreshments which is an informal way to build a rapport relationship(Egan,2002).

I used listening skills

I do to develop the relationship with Mary?

Why did I choose a particular intervention wit Mary? Cooking activity

What is the effect of this on practice?

The intervention’s application in practice is confidentiality

Equal opportunity

The theoretical underpinning of the intervention I used the PCS Model by Thompson (0000) demonstrates on how oppression looks at society through institutions are supported by cultural norms and personal beliefs. Being a support worker supporting her with learning tools that challenge oppression. By engaging using wider policy objectives it is a person centred base; will openly discuss within a safe environment amongst their peers and focus on building one’s confidence; reassurance within a group, as well as maintaining the learner’s concentration.

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In terms of Personal: Young person 18years old was placed in care after police and social services involvement. Mary came to the UK with her family when she was young. There was no communication between her families and she has left school with low attainment s and poor attendances. In terms of Cultural: Being homeless within the community she is sharing her thoughts and feelings with different groups. Mary has friends whom she avoids now as they are getting into criminal behaviour and friends who are not into trouble. In relations of Structural: a network of divisions such as Connexions, Social Services, Health, and Local Authority. Barriers relates to ethical practice to identify form to anti-discriminatory practice to work together on issues of inequality, discrimination and oppression (Thompson, 1994). Mary is referred to floating support has continuing support from social services. Mary has a leaving care worker, called Susie who visits her from time to time (Appendix1).

In terms of social policy, the housing project, as an intervention, is in some ways effective Current social policy is underpinned by legislation to protect and uphold rights and responsibilities around the vulnerable service users at the project. Acts like Welfare Reform Act DATE, Housing/Homelessness Act DATE, Equal Opps legislation, Race Relations Act DATE, Disability Discrimination Act DATE. This legislation which forms social policy is outworked through the project’s policies and procedures.

In terms of Mary’s experience at the project she has been mainly served well. She was homeless and had experienced sexual assault by a close male relative. This caused her to be brought under the care of the local authority and …list how

ANY OTHER THEORISTS THAT NEED MENTIONING HERE? In terms of anti-oppressive practise Mary has had a positive experience by going through the project. I have identified List how

In reflecting on the experiences Mary had at the project, I believe her experiences have been largely positive and effective for her on her cultural background Explain how

Be Critical explains the limitations to the intervention and the positive aspects to the intervention.

What worked?

What didn’t?

What should be changed?

In terms of practice in relation to risk, resilience, Social and cultural aspects and government policy…………………………

The environment has an impact………………………

Young people engaging with their communities are important aspect of resilience and keeping young people safe.

Future action


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