Took me about an hour or two to write it. 10 out of 10 points. Imagine if I actually spent some time on these things, and went through and really edited them and tightened them up! "Human Service Manager Exercise Reinforce, Refer, and Release Interviewing and communication skills that are used on human service clients can also be used by human service managers upon their staff. This can occur when a manager needs to evaluate a staff member, assess a situation involving a staff person, or help that staff person to grow - or leave employment. Human conditions are universal regardless of whether one is dealing with clients or staff members (employees) and so the same sort of techniques and strategies work across the board, and can be used effectively on co-workers and staff as well as clients. Reinforce, Refer and Release Following are recommendations and strategies for three case study situations. Each subject will be evaluated and a recommendation to reinforce, refer or release will be made. Additionally, an explanation will be provided which explains the appropriateness of the recommendation and what strategies were applied. 1. Reinforce includes additional supervisory support, staff development and increased responsibilities. 2. Refer includes supervisory support and monitoring, re-training, a corrective plan of assistance, and/or a referral for outside assistance. 3. Release includes legal and ethical considerations, instituting a corrective plan of assistance, possible probation, or termination. Scenario #1 Family Support Services Center Staff Member: Tom Martin. Demographics - Age: 32, male, divorced, Caucasian, with the agency four years. Staff Member History and Current Assessment Mr. Martin is employed as an individual counselor for adult clients. Hes considered an adequate but not outstanding counselor. There have been two previous client complaints that could not be substantiated, but a review of Toms previous case files shows four female clients who terminated counseling with no explanation. A female client of Tom has informed supervisor that he had made inappropriate sexual comments, bought her presents, had one out-of-office date, and implied that he could help get custody of her children back from protective service with a favorable treatment report. a. Tom initially denied these accusations when they were presented to him but does admit that he is attracted to client. Gathering information from a person who doesnt want to reveal any information about himself or has denied there is any problem can be problematic. The gathering of information is considerably harder; the patient doesn't perceive a problem (at the conscious level) so will be less forthcoming (Russell, 1994, n.p.). But the charges are serious and have legal and ethical repercussions, so whether Mr. Martin wants to discuss it or not, some action must be taken. While sexual attractions do occur in the intimacy of the clinical relationship, according to Murphy & Dillon (2003), sexual interaction between client and clinician is strictly forbidden by the ethical codes of all of the helping professions, and it is a criminal offense in a number of states (p. 267). Therefore it is necessary to immediately remove Mr. Martin (release) from the situation until a determination is made. Strategies for determination of whether release should be the final and only action taken should include interviews of clients and Mr. Martin. There may be legal proceedings, in which case Mr. Martin should continue only in a limited capacity (if at all) until such time as a legal determination is made. Mr. Martin should also be referred to appropriate counseling, or at least given the opportunity to obtain such counseling. There may be a degree of oversight involved, if he is to continue working, where he must agree to having his cases reviewed and perhaps only seeing male clients until such time as a determination is made regarding the veracity of the charge. Scenario #2 Family Support Services Center Staff Member: Janice Wellington Demographics Ms. Wellington is 28, female, single, Hispanic and has been with the agency for an unknown number of years. Staff Member History and Current Assessment Ms. Wellington is a child and family counselor. She displays good therapeutic skills and is well liked by her clients. Her client case logs are not always complete or submitted timely. She states that she doesnt feel confident and knowledgeable with some of the situations she is exposed to, and has said she is more comfortable working with children instead of with entire families during counseling sessions. Reinforcement would be appropriate with this client, as it appears she suffers from a lack of confidence. Strategies could include creating a work calendar that will provide her with time to complete her paperwork each day, providing her with lots of positive feedback to build her confidence. Focused awareness interview technique could be appropriate for Ms. Wellington. According to Jack (1999), it requires a focused awareness that involves attending as closely to the speaker's words as possible, taking none of her meanings for granted, and asking her to explain key words or phrases (n.p.). Jack goes on to say that this process helps avoid the mistake of lazy listening, where one simply appropriates what a woman is saying to my existing ideas or to existing theories (1999, n.p.). This would be appropriate to use when interviewing Ms. Wellington, as she may inadvertently provide the key to why she feels inadequate with adult clients and families, when they seem to be impressed by her. If she is interested in continuing with families but simply doesnt feel confident, arrange a time frame for her to continue with some support, then re-evaluate at the end of six months. Scenario 3 Family Support Services Center: Michael Thompson. Demographics Mr. Thompson is 44, male, married, African American and has been with the agency 16 years. Staff member history and current assessment Mr. Thompson is employed as a substance abuse counselor. He is a recovering addict with 18 years of sobriety. He states he is under a lot of stress at home and concerning financial obligations. He has a good work record except for periods of repeated absence from work and periods of depression. He is suffering doubts about his ability to relate to clients addiction issues. Co-workers are concerned and suspicious that Michael has relapsed or is contemplating drug use. The agency has an Employee Assistance Program and Policy. The recommendation for this situation depends upon the drug policies of the employer. It is likely that Mr. Thompson signed an agreement that he would not use during his employment, since he is working in addictions and this is often required from addiction counselors. In this case, an appropriate recommendation would be that Mr.Thompson be referred to appropriate professionals and support networks to help him work through this difficult time. His manager should have an interview with him in which she presents him with the concerns of his co-workers, and give him a chance to respond. At this same interview, he should be referred to the employee assistance program and policy, It would also be appropriate to reinforce his behavior of continuing to work despite his depression and stress issues, by acknowledging that his stressors are indeed valid, and praising the fact that he is continuing to work. Self Disclosure For the first two scenarios, there is no real indication that self-disclosure is needed except on the most basic level. If a manager specializes or has some particular skill or training in sexual harassment, it might be appropriate to disclose that to Mr. Martin; likewise if a manager has also felt the intimidation and uncertainty of Ms. Wellington, it could be appropriate to share that. More self disclosure could be justified for the third scenario, where you have a long-term employee who is teetering on the edge of relapse (or may have already). Addictions counseling works largely through sharing; counselors and professionals in the field are often recovering addicts themselves. The nature of addictions counseling is to get everything in the open and face it, to admit to the problem and own it. So an addictions counselor who is having issues not only should be anticipated and planned for in the company policy, but it should be dealt with on a very personal level to provide the best chance of salvaging a career. It is appropriate in this case to share with a recovering addict ones own struggles with similar issues that can interfere with work, to a certain extent. Such self-disclosure should be carefully mitred so interviews are not about the manager, so it would be best to plan out an interview strategy and topics before embarking upon it. Tasks of Endings and Transitions Since all three scenarios have the potential of ending in termination of employment (not necessarily a fault termination, in the case of 2 and 3) it is appropriate to consider tasks of endings and transitions. There are seven tasks of endings and transitions, according to Murphy & Dillon (2003), which can help clinician and client (or manager and staff) to navigate the end of a relationship (p.282). For Mr. Martin, announcing the process (Now we are ending) is appropriate. At first it might be now your job description is changing until we have address the legal side of this situation. But there is no time to ease into this situation, its a situation that must be addressed quickly and in a straight-forward manner, to protect the clients, to protect Mr. Martin from egregious allegations, and to protect the company. Ms. Wellington would be an appropriate person to ask Where were you when we began? at the end of her evaluation period of 6 months, or upon her decision to move to a different field. A discussion of goals and accomplishments could help her to gain confidence in her abilities, or at least bring a certain amount of pleasure to her, upon her final decision regarding her profession. Mr. Thompson is an appropriate candidate for foreshadowing the future: Where are you heading? This requires the client and manager to review potential pitfalls and challenges he might face in the future, whether he remains with the company or not. It is a good tool with which to determine a course of action and identify future stressors, as well as provide the staff member with a framework to support and maintain growth. Conclusion People at work have the same issues as people who come in for clinical assessment and treatment. That is why it is logical that human services managers can use the same strategies and face the same issues in their staff members as clinicians do in their clients. In many ways the manager/staffer relationship is much like the clinician/client relationship, with one person holding a certain amount of power, and the other trying to navigate through different issues, either personal or professional. In addition, human service workers work with intense caseloads. They often do so because they relate and empathize with the population they serve; and if they do, it is reasonable to suppose they may have many of the same issues either on their own, or through repeated and prolonged contact with the fallout of those issues. And these issues will come to work with them and affect their work, which in turn will result in management seeking answers, and subsequently, employing the interview techniques which are also used on clients. References Jack, D. (1999). Ways of listening to depressed women in qualitative research: Interview techniques and analyses. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 40(2), 91-101. doi:10.1037/h0086829 Murphy, B. C., & Dillon, C., (2003). Interviewing in action: Relationship, process, and change. (2nd ed). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Russell, W. (1994). The Homeopathic Interview. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 87(4), 228. Retrieved from Alt HealthWatch database."