Assume that you have moved from early into mid-career and are now responsible for direct client care. It is your responsibility to assess your clientâ€™s problems in relation to their struggles in their environment (e.g., lack of food) and in their minds (e.g., angry about losing a job). In this scenario, you are a substance abuse/mental health screener for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program at a local One Stop office. In this office are human service professionals who handle case management, employment training, mental health/substance abuse screenings, and public housing assistance. There are also General Education Development (GED) teachers on-site. The purpose of your One Stop office is to provide many services clients might need, allowing them to make only one trip to an office rather than many trips to several offices. Your primary task is to conduct mental health and substance abuse screening using the forms required by TANF. Clients cannot receive any assistance from the government until their screening is complete. Unfortunately, many of these clients appear in your office in a state of anxiety, anger, and/or fear.
Scenario: Mental Health/Substance Abuse Screening for TANF
Mental Health/Substance Abuse Screening for TANF
You listen to the clock tick on your desk â€“ two more hours and you are free for the weekend. It has been a slow Friday because the weather is nice and it is the middle of the month (no government checks are due out this week). You rifle through the files on your desk as you recheck your paperwork for each client when a mother appears at your door with her six children in tow. She tells you that her name is Teresa and introduces you to her children one at a time, but they are wiggling too much for you to connect any names to their faces. During her assessment, her children sit on your lap, pull books off of your bookshelf, cry, and demand their motherâ€™s attention. She reveals that she is a single parent and has been evicted from her home. Everything that she could get out of the house is in her van in the parking lot. She tried to get into a homeless shelter but discovered that there was a limit on the number of children allowed per parent and she has too many children. Then she asks you if you have any food in your office; she and her children are hungry because they have not eaten for two days. As you move her children from your lap, desk, and bookshelves, you ask her other questions to help you to determine what resources that she might have overlooked.
Using your townâ€™s or cityâ€™s resources (do some research), assigned readings and web resources, respond to the following questions:
1. List all of the other potential problems that the client might have besides being homeless.
2. What other questions would you ask her to determine what resources she might have to help you and her to solve her homeless problem?
3. Using your areaâ€™s resources, what services might you add (list the agencies if you can) to her intervention plan to help her to become self-sufficient?
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