Module 4 Assignment

Module 4 Assignment: Client Description and Intake Interview
Tameka Foster
November 18, 2018
HUS4321: Case Management and Problem Solving
Fall 2018
One of the many aspects of case management involve the intake interview process. The intake interview is one of the critical factors that help make the case management process to be effective and efficient. Its purpose is to help case managers and potential clients to identify the problems and the type of services needed to overcome those problems. It’s also used as an opportunity for case managers and applicants to build a great working relationship. For the intake interview process to be effective, it’s important for case managers to have great interviewing, listening, and questioning skills as well as being able to avoid leading the interview to potential pitfalls.

Karen is a 35-year old African-American woman seeking help in overcoming her struggles with alcohol and depression. She’s a single parent to two young girls ages 10 and 7. She works full-time as a bank teller and has been working for her current employer for over 10 years. As a young child, Karen grew up in a hostile environment. Her mother was an alcoholic, and her father was verbally and physically abusive towards her mother. Karen and her older siblings had to endure living in this toxic environment until they were old enough to financially support themselves and live on their own. Karen begin drinking and battling with depression after divorcing from her husband. It’s starting to affect her performance at work and hindering her from being a loving, supportive mother to her children. She wants to get help but doesn’t know how until her friend recommended for her to contact the local substance abuse and mental health services facility for help and support.

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As Karen’s case manager, it’s my responsibility to help her identify the problem as well establish the severity of the problem and assess Karen’s strength. By having her to complete an intake interview, I’ll be able to achieve those objectives. After introducing myself to Karen and explaining my role to her what type of services our agency provides and its guidelines pertaining to confidentiality, I will ask Karen several questions to help me identify and establish the severity of the problem as well as the areas that Karen is most competent in by asking the following questions:
Identifying the Problem
How may I help you?
Do you believe you have a drinking problem?
Do you know what is triggering you to drink?
How did your mother’s drinking problem affect you as a child and as an adult?
How did your father’s abusive treatment towards your mother affected you as a child?
Do you feel depress after drinking?
Do you get some kind of support from your ex-husband?
How is your relationship with your parents today?
How are you able to balance your work and personal life?
Do you get support from family and friends?
Establishing Problem Severity
How is your overall physical health? Do you take medication or supplements? Do you smoke?
How often do you drink?
How has your drinking affected your relationship with your children?
How has your drinking affected your job performance?
Have any of your family and friends noticed a change in your behavior?
How often do you find yourself in a depressive state?
Do you always have difficulty controlling your urges to drink?
What type of coping mechanisms do you use to handle stressful situations?
Have you had any thoughts of suicide?
Assessing Strengths
What are your greatest strengths?
What inspires you?
What do you value about yourself?
What would your family and friends say you were good at doing?
Do you know of other resources that could be beneficial for you?
What do you enjoy doing?
What do you want to achieve in life?
How have you overcome the challenges you previously had?
What would make you feel you’re contributing?
How have you been able to meet your needs?
As Karen’s case manager, it’s very important that I treat her as an unique individual who have her own special needs and desires in lieu of categorizing her as a member of a certain group. I also need to be mindful that this could possibly be her first-time seeking help and may not be completely willing to open up to me during our initial contact. Therefore, I may need to follow her pace until she feels more comfortable talking to me. While Karen is speaking, I will need to actively listen to her and take mental notes of her body language as well being mindful of my own non-verbal communication. For example, I will always maintain eye contact with her and keep an open posture to make Karen feel that she’s being heard and understood. While questioning Karen, it’s important that I don’t make her feel that she’s being interrogated. Therefore, I will be mindful of my tone and facial expressions and not respond to her in a judgmental manner. By being a case manager, it’s also critical that I don’t rush through the interview process by suggesting a solution to the problem without completely identifying the root cause of the problem, for it’s quite possible that it could lead into further problems and cause my client not to reach her self-determination. Therefore, I must take the time to identify the problem and determine what appropriate steps need to be taken to overcome it. I also need to make sure to avoid giving advice to Karen when trying to help solve her problems for it may backfire. For example, it may Karen the impression that I’m not interested in her problems and may very well also hinder her from taking ownership and responsibility as well as being a participant in the problem-solving process. Therefore, I will allow Karen to make the choice as to how she wants to solve her problem and just help guide her along the way. It’s also important that I avoid using too many closed-ended questions, for it may cause Karen to become defensive and be unwilling to share information that I would need to know to properly help her. Therefore, I will make sure to use a mixture of closed-ended and open-ended questions to help me to get a holistic view of Karen’s situation. I would also make sure to not rush to fill any silence that may take place while interviewing Karen. Instead of considering it as being a negative, I will take Karen’s silence as the opportunity for her to process her thoughts and feelings, for the interview process could be emotionally challenging for her (Woodside, 2018). By taking these actions, I would be able to avoid leading my interview with Karen into potential pitfalls.

Woodside, M. R. (2018). Generalist Case Management: A Method of Human Service Delivery, 5th Edition. BryteWave. Retrieved from