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Evaluation of Clients with Intellectual Disabilities

The purpose of this blog is to analyze potential challenges for evaluation and provide personal action plans that might be taken to address evaluation in the field education experience. Evaluation challenges might stem from the client’s unique needs or abilities and insufficient resources to assist in the change process.

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As an essential component of evidence-based practice (EBP) and planned change process, evaluation allows the social worker to understand the client’s progress. Applying evaluation findings may improve the effectiveness of social work practice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). One of the evaluation challenges is associated with measuring the outcomes of micro-level interventions in elderly clients with dementia and deteriorating intellectual abilities. Another challenge is evaluating the results and effectiveness of mezzo- and macro-level advocacy interventions. Resistant or unmotivated clients at Vatsalya may need time to accept the interventions and comply with the social worker’s recommendations, creating uncertainty about the termination of the client-provider relationship.

The action plan should include a clear and detailed specification of goals and objectives according to the selected level of intervention. The measure will allow the social worker to collect and document evidence suggesting progress or the lack of results, compare it against the objectives, and review/adapt goals to match the situation (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). Even when the progress is slow, the completion of goals and objectives can still confirm the effectiveness of the intervention in clients with severe intellectual disabilities. Moreover, research evidence may provide direction for future interventions (Wharton & Bolland, 2012). EBP should empower individuals and ecological perspective to the client’s problems and appropriate interventions (Thyer, 2013). The action plan needs to indicate the underlying reasons for non-compliance to determine whether there is enough support to address the client’s current needs (Garthwait, 2017). Thus, if the social worker decides to continue/terminate the program, ineffective interventions, the lack of resources, and the client’s feedback should be documented to create an opportunity to improve current/future interventions.

To sum up, measuring intervention outcomes in clients with intellectual disabilities might represent a major evaluation challenge. Additionally, resistant and unmotivated clients create evaluation obstacles in social work practice. The issues might be addressed in the action plan by clearly indicating the client’s goals and objectives and determining ineffective interventions subject to future changes.

References

Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Pearson.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Thyer, B. A. (2013). Evidence-based practice or evidence-guided practice: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet [Invited response to Gitterman & Knight’s “evidence-guided practice”]. Families in Society, 94(2), 79–84.

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Wharton, T. C., & Bolland, K. A. (2012). Practitioner perspectives of evidence-based practice. Families in Society, 93(3), 157–164.

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StudyCorgi. "Evaluation of Clients with Intellectual Disabilities." August 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/evaluation-of-clients-with-intellectual-disabilities/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Evaluation of Clients with Intellectual Disabilities." August 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/evaluation-of-clients-with-intellectual-disabilities/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Evaluation of Clients with Intellectual Disabilities'. 12 August.

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