socw6121 family assessment response to 2 students wk2

Respond to two colleagues who presented a different strength and/or solution in analyzing one of the levels of practice. (Please be detailed in response, use 2 peer reviewed references and ask a question to the student to further the conversation)

Response to Chelsie

Save your time - order a paper!

Get your paper written from scratch within the tight deadline. Our service is a reliable solution to all your troubles. Place an order on any task and we will take care of it. You won’t have to worry about the quality and deadlines

Order Paper Now

Your description of how micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of practice aid social workers in assessing families.

Assessing families stems from research and evidence-based practices based on the information gathered from individuals, families, and observation from outside resources. Assessment is diverse, in such a way that is comes from multiple sources and a wide range of settings to be effective. According to Holosko, (2013) “assessment strategies depend on which approach to social work is taken”. This approach can be on the micro, mezzo or macro level depending on the presenting case. The client must be an active participant in each level for the assessment to be effective. This expands into the micro level of assessing families, whereby the family is involve and then social workers explores further into the “family systems and it’s networks”(Holosko, 2013). The mezzo level then includes other organizations, communities, and neighborhoods that will help in the assessment process, and finally, the macro level takes into account the polices in place that affect the family life.

Assess Paula Cortez’s situation using all three of these levels of practice, and identify two strengths and/or solutions in each of these levels.

Paula’s situation can still be viewed by assessing her family history despite the fact that she now lives alone in an apartment. Paula’s history includes an individual who came from an abusive home and got married to drug addicted husband (Plummer, 2013). Currently she does not have any family network since her parents, and siblings are still in her country of origin. Paula is divorced from her husband David, and since her health debilitating she is now unemployed and on SSI and Medicaid. On the micro level of practice, Paula lacked a family network that can assist with her care, but she was occasionally active in providing information for the social worker to allocate resources that can help her situation. On the mezzo level, the social worker in the case identified the presenting problems and utilized the interdisciplinary team to cater for the several illnesses and disabilities that she has to endure. As Paula was still under evaluation and treatment, she announced that she was pregnant, and with not family network available, the social worker used State policies on the Macro level such as WIC program for her pregnancy, legal assistance for protection through the AIDS Law Project from the baby’s father, and continued public assistance because of her condition and the baby.

Describe the value in strength-based solutions.

Throughout the Paula’s situations, she still possessed some level of strength. She rallied the professionals around her on the mezzo and macro levels to recover and gained some strength for the newborn. She knew she did not have any family except for her son Miguel who came to help sometimes, but focused on the fact that she was able to raise Miguel when she had no one and survived all the ordeals. Paula’s determination and survival tactics enabled the social worker to locate resources and services for her.


Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families:

Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Plummer, S. B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (2013). Sessions case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate

International Universities Publishing. The Cortez Family


Response to Chelsie,

Description of how micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of practice aid social workers in assessing families:

Assessing families can be a challenging process due to the different dynamics that make up the family system. When a social worker is assessing families on a micro-level, they are gaining knowledge on the contribution and placement that each member has in the family. According to Holosko, Dulmus, & Sowers (2013) when a social worker is assessing each member they need to keep in mind that communication strategies with a child are going to greatly differ compared to communication strategies with the parent of that child. Although changing communication strategies may present as a challenge, it can actually aid social workers during their assessment because it encourages social workers to seek creative solutions that benefit every member of the family system. Additionally, assessing each member individually provides a deeper understanding of the social support among the family and what intervention would benefit each member individually and as a whole.

Assessing families on a mezzo level assesses the family as a unit. When a social worker is working with the whole family, they learning “about the construct of the official story” (Holosko, Dulmus, Sowers, 2013, p. 242) on how the family came to be. By learning about the construct, social workers learn about each members role in the family and the needs and resources. Additionally, assessing on a mezzo level also aids social workers by educating on the key values of the whole family and the communication style (Holosko, Dulmus, & Sowers, 2013). For example, is the family loud and rambunctious or are they quite and more reserved? is the man the head of the household or does each member hold an equal amount of weight? By answering these questions, social workers can grow their competence of the family and work in a way where each member feels both valued and understood.

Lastly, macro assessment is beneficial among families because it provides information regarding the families participation in community agencies. Macro assessment can inform the social worker on the families religious involvement, social support, and activity level (is the family constantly busy or always home). Recognizing community involvement also informs social workers of the opportunities available to the family (Holosko, Dulmus, & Sowers, 2013). For example, families that are highly involved in church may find success in utilizing prayer and worship to solve family complications. Families that do not have much community involvement may feel a lack of support from individuals aside from family members. Additionally, macro assessment aids social workers in understanding the policies that may be impacting the family. Understanding the impact of policies gives social workers knowledge on how policies will be “resourced and delivered” among each member of the family (Holosko, Dulmus, & Sowers, 2013, p. 258).

Assess Paula Cortez’s situation using all three of these levels of practice, and identify two strengths and/or solutions in each of these levels:

Paula is an older HIV-positive Columbian woman with a limited support system. Paula has minimal contact with her family in Columbia and does not speak with many members in her neighborhood. Paula does however have some contact with her 20 year old son, Miguel, and his father David. Paula experienced abuse when she was younger at the hands of her mother and father which resulted in her running away at a young age. As a possible result of her trouble childhood experiences, Paula became a drug user which led her to met David and have his child. Once pregnant, Paula decided to improve her life by attending a fashion institute and was committed to her journey before health complications took over. Paula lives off of SSI and Medicaid and struggles daily with mental health such as bipolar disorder and depression. Paula often does not utilize her medication as prescribed which leads to further complications. Additionally, Paula is pregnant with a child from a man that she barely knows. Paula has decided to keep the child however is engaging in some risky behavior such as smoking and suicidal ideation. From my assessment, it appears that Paula is a woman with a troubled past. Due to her troubled past, Paula feels alone and engages in risky behavior in hopes to possibly fill a void. Additionally, Paula’s mental health diagnoses are causing her to experience constant highs and lows. When Paula is in her manic stage, she quites taking her medication due to feeling normal and well. As a result of Paula’s troubled past and present, I would highly focus on helping Paula address the positive aspects of her current life and the future. Paula has a passion for art and is currently expecting a child. When Paula has the child, she has the chance to completely start over and give the baby the life she was unable to giver her son Miguel.

When completing a macro assessment, it appears that Paula has minimal social support or family connections. Paula has a strained relationship with her family due to the physical abuse she experienced from both her mother and her father. Additionally, Paula experienced a failed marriage with David due to his continuous drug use after her pregnancy. Lastly, Paula gave up custody of her son after an incident where Paula feared she was going to die. When completing an assessment, it appears that utilizing family as an intervention tool would not be beneficial for Paula due to the fact that family is not seen as a positive thing for her. Although Paula does not have a positive familial support system, a mezzo assessment suggests there is a possible support system in the art community. When Paula was healthy she found enjoyment in art and her paintings. To assist Paula in not feeling so alone, I would encourage Paula to continue following her passion and engage in groups with similar interests. By participating in an art group, Paula not only gets to pursue what she loves but build a support system for herself.

Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.