Linda Ray reports:
"Children and adults in crises rely on social workers to help them solve problems and cope with everyday living situations. Social workers create a case for each new client and develop a plan of services needed by the client. Case management duties fall to social workers in a variety of settings ranging from healthcare facilities and schools to government agencies. An effective service plan is a critical component of case management and can make a significant difference in the lives of your clients...The more information you can get from your clients, the more in-depth your service plan can be. You’ll understand the needs of your client[s] best when you uncover your clients' strengths and weaknesses, get a complete history and learn the details of the current situation. Your clients should participate in the service plan creation, and being open and forthcoming in the initial interviews plays a significant role in that involvement...An effective service plan works backward in that you first write the goals of the plan and then fill in the services that will allow your client to reach those goals...As you strive to fulfill the final goal, you’ll fill in the plan with other steps such as attaining job training and employment or setting up your client on a waiting list for public housing...Along with solving the immediate problem and building steps to achieve the goals you’ve created, you should be aware of concurrent themes that must be addressed in the service plan...A thorough service plan is built of many steps that you and your client have identified as vital to success. Write each step in the plan and engage the client in the implementation of each step with timelines and results recorded for each step...Your service plan may provide a week for the client to obtain and turn in those forms. Appointments must be made and kept, all duly noted in the service plan. Include instructions for the client in the plan as well as which steps you will assist in completing."
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