Crisis intervention in social case work

 What is Crisis Intervention in Social Casework?

Gerald Caplan (1964) describes a crisis situation as involving a “relatively short period of psychological disequilibrium in a person who confronts a hazardous situation that for him constitutes an important problem which he can for the time being neither escape nor solve with his customary problem-solving resources”. Casework interventions that address such instances and individuals are known as crisis intervention casework.

Crisis Intervention Case Work is relevant in situations such as the following: 

·         Accident 

·         Death of a loved one 

·         Natural disaster like Tsunami/ Floods/Volcanic eruption/ Famine/ cyclone/rain /fire 

·         Serious Health related issues /illness 

·         Financial crisis  6. Unemployment 

·         Unexpected pregnancy  

Strategy of application: Interventions consist of helping the individual or the family in solving the current problem by learning better and hopefully healthier ways of coping with the hazardous circumstance. Crisis intervention therefore focuses on the immediate problem situation, not on long-standing disorders or well-established character patterns. In the crisis intervention model, the caseworker involves in enhancing the ability of the person to cope with the current problem of living. Intervention is for the specific problems of interpersonal conflict, role dysfunction, and provisions for life. Conflicts that are either conscious or akin to conscious are worked upon. Transference is recognized and handled. Assessment is focused on the client’s position in the family and in the community.

Essentials of Crisis-Intervention Model:

 In crisis situations, social workers need to work very fast in responding to the needs of the client involving quick decision-making. Often, the caseworker takes up the role of an advocate and activist. 

Preventive Case Work

Preventive Case Work is largely focused on working with clients to prevent the occurrence of an undesirable behavior or consequence. The word „preventive‟ denotes the direction of the casework practice. The caseworker is actively involved in providing information, creating awareness, enabling clarified thinking and empowered decision-making among the clients to effectively avoid disruptive modes of operation. The target population usually involves vulnerable clients who are at risk (women, children, aged, disabled, marginalized people). These clients are helped to avoid social degradation, thereby preventing any future problems.    

Preventive Case Work practice is concerned with persons addicted to unhealthy habits like

·         Substance abuse

·         Binge Drinking

·         Smoking 

·         Suffering from problems due to Unhealthy relationship,

·         Psychological distress, and  - Domestic Violence

Essentials of Preventive Casework: Preventive Casework can be either long-term method or a short-term method depending on the problem but the ultimate goal is to prevent the problem. Environmental modification is important to increase or decrease the existing situation of the client both positively and negatively. Environmental modification is a good technique to solve the problem faced by the client but it takes a lot of time and sufficient follow-ups.

Implementation of the Intervention Plan  The caseworker needs the support of the family members in helping the client. This will help the client to function normally in society.   


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