Discussion 1: Qualitative Findings and Social Work Interventions

Evidence-based social work practice calls for the use of research data to guide the development of social work interventions on the micro, mezzo and/or macro-levels. Kearney (2001) described ways qualitative research findings can inform practice. Qualitative findings can help social workers understand the clients’ experiences and “what it may feel like” (Kearney, 2001). Therefore, social workers can develop clinical interventions that take into account the experiences of their clients. Qualitative findings can also help social workers monitor their clients. For example, if after reading a qualitative study on how domestic violence survivors respond to stress, they can monitor for specific stress behaviors and symptoms (Kearney, 2001). In addition, they can educate their client what stress behaviors to look for and teach them specific interventions to reduce stress (Kearney, 2001)

Given the increasing diversity that characterizes the landscape in the United States, social workers need to take into account culture when formulating interventions. Social workers can utilize qualitative findings to plan interventions in a culturally meaningful manner for the client.

To prepare for this Discussion, read Knight et al.’s (2014) study from this week’s required resources. Carefully review the findings, the photographs, and how the researchers wrote up the findings. Finally, review the specific macro-, meso-, and micro-oriented recommendations.

Then read Marsigilia and Booth’s article about how to adapt interventions so that they are culturally relevant and sensitive to the population the intervention is designed for. Finally, review the chapter written by Lee et al. on conducting research in racial and ethnic minority communities.

Kearney, M. (2001). Levels and applications of qualitative research evidence. Research in Nursing and Health, 24, 145–153.

Post the following:

1. Using one of the direct quotes and/or photos from Knight et al.’s study, analyze it by drawing up a tentative meaning. Discuss how this would specifically inform one intervention recommendation you would make for social work practice with the homeless. This recommendation can be on the micro, meso, or macro level.

2. Next, explain how you would adapt the above practice recommendation that you identified so that it is culturally sensitive and relevant for African Americans, Hispanics, or Asian immigrants. (Select only 1 group). Apply one of the cultural adaptations that Marsigilia and Booth reviewed (i.e., content adaption to include surface and/or deep culture, cognitive adaptations, affective-motivational adaptations, etc.)(pp. 424-426). Be as specific as you can, using citations to support your ideas.

References (use 3 or more)

Knight, K. R., Lopez, A. M., Comfort, M., Shumway, M., Cohen, J., & Riley, E. D. (2014). Single room occupancy (SRO) hotels as mental health risk environments among impoverished women: The intersection of policy, drug use, trauma, and urban space. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25(3), 556-561.

Document: Lee, M. Y, Wang, X., Cao, Y., Liu, C., & Zaharlick, A. (2016). Creating a culturally competent research agenda. In A. Carten, A. Siskind, & M. P. Greene (Eds.), Strategies for deconstructing racism in the health and human services (pp. 51-65). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (PDF)

Copyright 2016 by Oxford University Press. Used with permission of Oxford University Press via the Copyright Clearance Center. 

Marsiglia, F.F. & Booth, J.M. (2015). Cultural adaptations of interventions in real practice settings. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(4), 423-432.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Vaismoradi, M., Turunen, H., & Bondas, T. (2013). Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing & Health Sciences, 15(3), 398-405.

Discussion 2: Addressing Change

What does a leader do when things do not go as planned? How can a leader help to restore or improve an organization’s operations when a situation stalls or interferes with its functions? Although taking a proactive approach to planning is desired, change may occur suddenly and unexpectedly causing immediate consequences. A skilled leader must be able to assess a situation in order to prioritize the steps necessary to stabilize the organization. This process must focus on a short-term strategy to address immediate concerns and include strategic decisions that will affect the long-term sustainability of the organization.

For this Discussion, you address the Southeast Planning Group (SPG) case study in the Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year text.

· Post an analysis of the change that took place in the SPG. 

· Furthermore, suggest one strategy that might improve the organizational climate and return the organization to optimal functioning. 

· Provide support for your suggested strategy, explaining why it would be effective.

References (use 3 or more)

Lauffer, A. (2011). Understanding your social agency (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.

Finley, D. S., Rogers, G., Napier, M., & Wyatt, J. (2011). From needs-based segmentation to program realignment: Transformation of YWCA of Calgary. Administration in Social Work, 35(3), 299–323.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing [Vital Source e-reader].

“Social Work Supervision, Leadership, and Administration: The Southeast Planning Group” (pp. 85–86)

Working With Organizations: The Southeast Planning Group

The Southeast Planning Group (SPG) is an organization that was created in 2000 to facilitate the Office of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care planning process. The key elements of the approach were strategic planning, data collection systems, and an inclusive process that involved clients and service providers. The fundamental components of the system are 1) outreach, intake, and assessment; 2) emergency shelter; 3) transitional housing; and 4) permanent housing and permanent supportive housing. The outreach, intake, and assessment component identifies an individual’s or family’s needs in order to connect them with the appropriate resources. Emergency shelter provides a safe alternative to living on the streets. Transitional housing provides supportive services such as recovery services and life skills training to help clients develop the skills necessary for permanent housing. The final component, permanent housing, works with clients to obtain long-term affordable housing.

SPG works with the local government; service providers; the faith, academic, and business communities; homeless and formerly homeless individuals; and concerned citizens in the designated service area. During the first 5 years of its existence, SPG was staffed by one part-time and four full-time staff members and oversight was provided by a 21-member board. SPG’s founding director was well respected and liked in the community. She was noted for her ability to bring stakeholders together across sectors and focus on the single mission of ending homelessness.

After serving 5 years as the executive director, she abruptly resigned amidst rumors that she was forced out by the board. Although she had been effective in bringing people together, there were concerns that the goals and objectives had not been met, and there was a lack of confidence in her ability to grow the organization. Approximately one month after her resignation, a new executive director was hired.

One of the new director’s first priorities was to reconfigure the structure of the organization in order to increase efficiency. As a result of the restructuring, two positions were eliminated. The people who were let go had been with the organization since it was created, and similar to the previous director, they had strong ties to the community. Once the community and SPG’s partners learned about the changes, there was suspicion about the new leadership and the direction they wanted to take the organization. Stakeholders were split in their views of the changes—some agreed that they were necessary in order to advance the goals of the organization, while others felt the new leadership was “taking over” with a hidden agenda to promote its own self-interest.

I worked with the group as an evaluation consultant to assess the SPG partnership during this period of transition. In order to assess how these changes were perceived by the stakeholders, I conducted key informant interviews with various stakeholders, both internal and external to the organization. The partners shared many insights about how the month without consistent leadership contributed to the uncertainty about SPG’s purpose and strategy, and it was generally agreed that the leadership transition was not handled well. The results from the evaluation were used to help SPG identify strategies to improve communication with stakeholders and utilize the director’s leadership role to build upon the organization’s past successes while preparing for future growth.

(Plummer 51-52)

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