DIVISION NUMBER: 778 COURSE NUMBER: 625 CREDIT HOURS: 3 PREREQUISITES: Advanced Interpersonal Practice Methods Course

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1 Social Work Interpersonal Practice With Children and Youth Fall, 2010 Office Hours: Wednesdays 12-1, and by appointment Douglas Davies, M.S.W., Ph.D. Office: 3740 Social Work Building Phones: (SSW) (Home) COURSE TITLE: Interpersonal Practice with Children and Youth DIVISION NUMBER: 778 COURSE NUMBER: 625 CREDIT HOURS: 3 PREREQUISITES: SW521 LOCATION: Advanced Interpersonal Practice Methods Course 1. Course Description: This course will examine practice theories and techniques for working directly with children, adolescents, and their caretakers. This course will emphasize evidence-based interventions that address diverse groups of children or adolescents within their social contexts (e.g., peer group, school, family, neighborhood). Special attention will be given to issues of diversity as it relates to building therapeutic relationships and intervening with children, adolescents and their families. The interaction between environmental risk factors, protective factors, promotive and developmental factors as they contribute to coping, resiliency, and disorder, as well as how these might vary by child or adolescent diversity factors, such as race, ethnicity, disadvantage, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity and culture will also be covered. 2. Course Content: This course will present prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation models appropriate to interpersonal practice with children, youth and their families in a variety of contexts. Content will focus on the early phases of intervention, including barriers to engagement that may result from client-worker differences, involuntary participation on the part of the child, youth, or family, and factors external to the client-worker relationship, such as policy or institutional decisions that may influence or shape the therapeutic relationship. Since the intervention strategies taught in this course rely significantly on the social worker as a critical component of the change process, attention will be paid to the Page 1

2 understanding of self as an instrument in the change process. A variety of evidencebased interventions for engaging children, youth, and their families (or other caretaking adults such as foster parents) will be presented. Assessment content will emphasize client and caretaker strengths and resources as well as risks to child or youth well-being that may result from internal or external vulnerabilities caused by trauma, deprivation, discrimination, separation and loss, developmental disability, and physical and mental illness. Particular attention will be paid to cultural, social, and economic factors that influence client functioning or the worker s ability to accurately assess the child, youth, or family. These assessments include attention to life-threatening problems such as addictions, suicidal ideation, and interpersonal violence. Content on intervention planning will assist students in selecting interventions which are matched with client problems across diverse populations, cultural backgrounds, sociopolitical contexts, and available resources. These interventions will be based on a thorough assessment, appropriate to the child s or adolescent s situation, and sensitive to and compatible with the child/adolescent s and family s expressed needs, goals, circumstances, values, and beliefs. Summary descriptions of developmental stages (i.e. infancy, toddlerhood, preschool age, school age, and adolescence) will be presented in terms of developmental characteristics and milestones, salient developmental challenges, and themes such as self-esteem and the development of peer relationships. Helping parents or other caretaking adults to understand the child s or youth s issues or behavior in developmental terms will also be discussed. A range of evidence-based intervention approaches will be presented such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, and parent management training. Promising practices for children and adolescents across child serving settings will also be reviewed. The use of play therapy in working with young children and children who have been traumatized will be explored. Since work with children and youth almost always requires multiple intervention modalities, attention will be given to creating effective intervention plans through the integration of different modalities. Those intervention methods that have been empirically demonstrated to be effective will be given particular emphasis. Methods for monitoring and evaluating interventions will also be discussed and demonstrated in this course. 3. Course Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: 1. Understand and address the impact of diversity (including ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation) of children, adolescents and their families and the social worker on practice process and outcomes. Page 2

3 2. Describe and apply a number of assessment procedures (e.g. direct observation of or interviews with the client, parent or caretaker, and collateral contacts with teachers, caseworkers, or other professionals) that identify internal and external risk protective and promotive factors that may affect children and adolescents. 3. Describe the primary developmental tasks and characteristics of childhood and adolescence as they relate to the selection and implementation of developmentally and culturally appropriate techniques for engaging and treating children and adolescents. 4. Identify the ways in which continuity or disruption in primary care relationships may impact children, adolescents, and the therapeutic relationship. 5. Engage in an assessment process that includes gathering information on the risk, protective and promotive factors at the intrapersonal, family, peer group, school and neighborhood levels in order to formulate and understanding of the child/adolescent s presenting problems and circumstances. 6. Implement evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies (e.g. cognitive behavioral interventions, parent management training) that are compatible with child/adolescent and family or caretaker goals, needs, circumstances, culture, and values. 7. Develop advanced intervention skills in working with children, adolescents and their families. 8. Monitor and evaluate interventions with regard to: effectiveness, sensitivity to diversity factors; impact of child/adolescent and families social identities on their experience of power and privilege; and appropriateness of the intervention to specific child/adolescent needs resulting from conditions such as maltreatment, deprivation, disability, and substance abuse. 4. Course Design: The instructor will select required and recommended readings. Class format will include lecture, discussion, case analysis, skills development sessions and viewing of videotapes. Written assignments will integrate theory, evidence-based research, and case analysis, and when possible, the student s practicum work. 5. Relationship of the Course to Four Curricular Themes: Multiculturalism and Diversity will be addressed through discussion of child/adolescent/family-worker differences and power/privilege differentials based on ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation. Case examples of intervention and readings will reflect this theme. Page 3

4 Social Justice and Social Change will be addressed through discussion of differences between problems responsive to interpersonal practice interventions and those which result from poverty, discrimination, and disenfranchisement, requiring systemic as well as individual interventions. Case advocacy for disadvantaged, deprived, victimized and underserved or inappropriately served children and adolescents and their families will also be emphasized. Promotion, Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation will be addressed through discussion of risk, protective and promotive factors across the child/adolescent s multiple contexts. Discussions will also emphasize intervention theories and techniques that support the child s or adolescents developmental potentials. Behavioral and Social Science Research will be addressed in relationship to the selection, monitoring, and evaluation of assessment and intervention methods with specific emphasis on evidence-based interventions in the areas of developmental psychopathology, attachment, risk, resiliency and coping, trauma, and maltreatment. Students will develop advanced skills necessary to implement evidence-based interventions and critically evaluate intervention theories and approaches used with child and adolescent populations. 6. Relationship of the Course to Social Work Ethics and Values: Social work ethics and values in regard to confidentiality, self-determination, and respect for cultural and religious differences are particularly important when working with children and youth. Social workers working with children and adolescents often need to make critical intervention decisions which may have to balance risks to the child s or adolescent s safety or emotional well-being with their need for ongoing connection to their families and communities. This course will cover the complexities of ethical dilemmas as they relate to work with child and adolescent populations and the ways that the professional Code of Ethics may be used to guide and resolve value and ethical issues. 7. Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS): This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self knowledge and self awareness to facilitate PODS learning. (Course Statement Approved By Governing Faculty 11/8/06). Page 4

5 PAPERS Two papers are required. The aim of the papers is to give you a chance to reflect on your clinical work or casework in a concentrated and organized manner. Grading will be based on clarity of expression, following the terms of the assignment and quality of understanding of clinical issues. All students will do Assignment # 1. Assignment # 2 offers a choice, depending on your experience. Students beginning field placements this term will probably want to do Assignment #2A, which focuses on evaluation and treatment planning. Students who have been in placement longer may prefer to write Assignment #2B which deals with ongoing treatment. Although the assignments are quite detailed in their expectations, I recognize that not all cases will "fit" the assignment. I am willing to modify the assignments to match the realities of your practice. If you need to alter or reformulate the assignments to reflect the particular work you are doing, please discuss with me before writing the papers. To preserve client confidentiality, please disguise your case material, by using pseudonyms for all family members, omitting or changing specific geographical information and avoiding mention of details that identify clients. Assignment # l: The subject of the first paper will be the use of observation and information gathering in the development of clinical hypotheses and treatment planning in intervention with children and adolescents and their parents or caregivers. In the assessment and treatment process, "critical incidents" occur which crystallize the practitioner's understanding of a case. A critical incident may take various forms. Examples: a repeated play sequence, the reporting of an important memory, fantasy or dream, an observed interaction between child and parent(s), impressions of the worker-client relationship such as a particular transference (or countertransference) response, a style of resistance, information about traumatic or stressful events in the client's or family's history, classroom observations, or results of psychological/educational testing in a client s school file. What makes such an incident "critical" is that it enables the social worker to reach a clearer understanding of the client's experience, circumstances and internal psychological processes. From this understanding, hypotheses can be generated and interventions can be planned. For this paper, write up an evaluation of a child or adolescent according to the following outline: l) Give a brief background statement that includes presenting problem, family circumstances, psychosocial history and relevant developmental information. 2) Describe one or a few critical incidents that enabled you to come to a clearer understanding of the case. Be concrete, specific and detailed in your presentation of the clinical material. (Selecting material from process recordings of interviews is a very appropriate way to present critical incidents.) 3) Discuss the hypothesis(es) or formulation derived from thinking about this material. The clinical hypothesis should make an explicit connection between current symptoms and contextual Page 5

6 factors, including family situation, psychosocial history, developmental factors, and other significant factors which help explain the development of the client s symptoms or difficulties. 4) Discuss the intervention plan that emerged from this process, including goals for both the child or adolescent and the parent or other caregiver. In addition to treatment goals or objectives, be sure to indicate how (i.e. what treatment methods) you will use to achieve your objectives. Length: 9-10 pages Due: October 27, 2010 Counts 50% of course grade Assignment #2: Do A or B. Alternative A: Choose a child or adolescent (and parents) with whom you have begun to work. I would prefer you write about a different client from the first paper. If you need to write about the same client, please discuss with me. Write a detailed summary of an assessment (and, if relevant, the early treatment work) that includes: 1) Precipitant for referral, presenting problem and psychosocial/family history. Include also a discussion of protective factors, risk factors and environmental issues. Describe any critical incidents that come up during the evaluation process. 2) Observations of child and child-parent interactions 3) Formulation of a clinical hypothesis (or hypotheses) which takes into account developmental, psychodynamic and family/interactional issues. 4) Treatment plan, in terms of treatment format and specific goals of treatment. Indicate your rationale for choosing the approach you did. The relationship between the clinical hypotheses and treatment plan should be clearly stated. If relevant, describe components of the treatment plan which involve case management, as an adjunct or alternative to clinical work, such as referral for other services, coordination with other professionals, etc. If multiple systems (such as foster care, juvenile court, medical personnel, school personnel, day care, etc.) are involved with the client, discuss your plans for interacting with these other parties and indicate any need you see to advocate on behalf of your client with these systems and individuals. 5) Description of your beginning relationship with the clients--both child or adolescent and parents. Describe some critical incidents which illustrate the initial relationship, and discuss any transference and countertransference issues that appear to be emerging. Describe any racial/ethnic/class/cultural issues that may influence the relationship, if relevant. Assess the family's motivation for treatment by discussing strengths and weaknesses in the clients and their circumstances that may promote or impede successful intervention. 6) Describe your feelings regarding the prognosis for successful intervention and analyze the reasons for your point of view. Alternative B: Choose a child or adolescent (and parents) with whom you have worked during this year. I would prefer you write about a different client from the first paper. If you need to write about the same client, please discuss with me. Write a case review that includes: 1) Precipitant for referral, presenting problem and brief psychosocial/family history. Include also a brief discussion of risk factors and environmental issues. Page 6

7 2) Formulation of a clinical hypothesis (or hypotheses) which takes into account developmental, psychodynamic and family/interactional issues. 3) Treatment plan. Indicate your rationale for choosing the approach you did. 4) Describe the treatment relationship in terms of attachment and transference issues. Note counter-transference and ethnic/cultural issues, if relevant. 5) Descriptive account of the treatment process, including critical incidents in treatment, and an assessment of the client's progress in terms of the objectives of the treatment plan. Though the focus of this part should be on the treatment process with the child or adolescent, also include an account of work with parent(s). This section should be the bulk of the paper. 6) Brief account of case management issues (if relevant) and contacts with others involved with the child/adolescent, e.g. school personnel, foster care worker, day care provider, probation officer, etc. 7) Plans for continuing treatment, termination or transfer. If ongoing treatment is needed, note future treatment goals. 8) Conclude with a brief personal statement of why this case has been a valuable learning experience. Length: 9-10 pages. Due: November 24, 2010 Counts 50% of course grade Alternative Paper Topics: Students who do not have child or adolescent clients can discuss alternative topics with me. This option is open only to those students not doing direct work with children, adolescents and/or their parents. Possible topics include doing an observation of a child and/or interview with a parent (examples of this assignment are the exercises at the ends of the practice chapters in Child Development: A Practitioner s Guide, see pp , 257-8, 334, and 418), or a research paper on intervention approaches to a particular problem of childhood or adolescence. If you intend to write a research paper, please let me know and I will provide an assignment outline. Note on Assessment of Papers/Grading: My practice is to provide detailed feedback on your papers. In some cases, I will suggest additions and revisions to the papers. By revising the paper, you will have a chance to raise the grade. ATTENDANCE, PARTICIPATION AND READING All these are expected. Class attendance is important because lectures and discussion will focus on the details of how to practice. Frequent absences are not acceptable and will result in a lowering of the course grade. If you are unable to attend class, please call or me in advance. Although participation is not factored in as a percentage of the course grade, active participation will make a difference if a student s written work is at the border between two grades. In the era of laptops, iphones, ipads, and wireless networks, some students may wish to spend class time reading , surfing the web, or doing work for other classes. This is not acceptable to me. Page 7

8 TEXTS and HANDOUTS 1) Texts Douglas Davies (2010). Child Development: A Practitioner's Guide (3 nd Edition). New York: Guilford Press. Eliana Gil (2006). Helping Abused and Traumatized Children. New York: Guilford Press. Ron Taffel (2005). Breaking Through to Teens. New York: Guilford Press. 2) I will be passing out a number of handouts on developmental and clinical topics. 3) Recommended Optional Text Robert D. Friedberg, Jessica M. McClure, & Jolene Hillwig Garcia (2009). Cognitive Therapy Techniques for Children and Adolescents. New York: Guilford Press. COURSE OUTLINE AND READING SCHEDULE September 8, 2010 Lecture. Case Illustration of Frames of Reference for Work With Children and Adolescents: Developmental, Attachment, Interactional, and Psychodynamic Theories. Davies: Preface, pp. xi-xiii; Introduction (Part 1); Chapters 1, 2, & 3. September 15, 2010 Lecture. Evaluation Process; Assessment of Risk; Treatment Planning. Davies: Chapter 4; Introduction (Part II). Gil: Chapters 1, 2, & 3. Page 8

9 September 22, 2010 Lecture. Parent Work: Types of Parent Work. Case Presentation: Videotape vignettes Illustrating Parent Work. Davies: Chapter 1 (review); Chapters 5 & 6. Gil: Chapter 6 September 29, 2010 Lecture. Infants and Toddlers: Normal Development; Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory; Clinical Issues in Work With Infants and Toddlers and Parents. Case Presentation: Assessment of a Child Witness to Domestic Violence. Douglas Davies (1991). Intervention With Male Toddlers Who Have Witnessed Parental Violence. Families in Society, 72, (Handout) Davies: Chapter 7. October 6, 2010 Lecture. 1) Cultural Issues in Work with Children and Families; 2) Severe Developmental Disorders, Disabilities and Chronic Illness: Issues in Assessment and Treatment; Work With Parents of Seriously Impaired and Ill Children. Case Presentations: 1) Assessment of an Iranian Immigrant Child in Context of Her Immediate and Extended Family; 2) A Three Year Old With A Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Assessment and Intervention Planning. Davies: Chapter 8. Page 9

10 October 13, 2010 Lecture. Preschoolers: Normal Development, ages 3-6; Common Clinical Issues in Work With Preschoolers; The Use of Symbolic Play in Work With Young Children. Case Presentation: Psychotherapy of a Preschool Child. Davies: Chapters 9 & 10. Gil: Chapters 10 & 11. October 20, 2010 Lecture. Middle Childhood: Normal Child Development, Ages 6-l2; Clinical Issues in Work With School Age Children. Case Presentations. 1) Vignettes Illustrating the School Age Child's Communication Styles and Therapeutic Techniques in Response; 2) Group Treatment of School Age Children. Davies: Chapters 11 & 12. Gil: Chapter 4 & Epilogue, pp October 27, 2010 Paper #1 Due Lecture. Individual and Family Treatment of Bereaved Children. Davies: Chapter 13. Gil: Chapter 9. Page 10

11 November 3, 2010 Lecture. 1) Clinical Issues in Treatment of Abused and Neglected Children: Trauma Theory; The Model of Post-Traumatic Stress; Treatment Approaches. 2) Supportive Treatment With More Disturbed School Age Children. Case Presentation. Play Therapy with a Multiply-traumatized School Age Child, Video Excerpts Gil: Chapters 7 & 8. November 10, 2010 Lecture. Interventions for Children and Adolescents with ADHD and Learning Disorders: Parent Guidance; Parent Training Models. Case Presentation. Cognitive Play Therapy to Enhance Executive Functioning in a Child with ADHD. Davies, pp (Review) Gil: Chapter 5. November 17, 2010 Lecture. Early Adolescent Development: The Transition from Middle Childhood to Adolescence; Adolescent Separation-Individuation. Evaluation of Adolescents. Case Presentation. Evaluation of an Adolescent Victim of Incest Taffel: Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 3, &7. Page 11

12 November 24, 2010 Paper #2 Due Lecture. The "Career" of the Foster Child. Clinical Issues of Children and Adolescents Placed in Foster Care; Adoption Issues; Treatment of Early Adolescents; Countertransference and Use of Self in Adolescent Treatment; Cognitive Interventions. Case Presentation: Supportive and Cognitive Therapy With a Young Adolescent Released from Adoption and Placed in Foster Care. Taffel: Chapters 4, 5, 8 & 9. December 1, 2010 Lecture. The Treatment Alliance With Adolescents; Cognitive Interventions; Treatment of Late Adolescents Case Presentations: 1) Treatment Failure or Success? 2) Attachment Issues in The Treatment of An Older Adolescent Experiencing Difficulties With Intimacy. Taffel: Chapters 6, 10, & 11. December 8, 2010 Lecture. Evaluation of Change/Progress in Children and Adolescents; Evidence for the Efficacy of Different Therapeutic Approaches; Review and Critique of Research on Evidence-Based Treatments. Case Presentation: Cognitive-behavioral and Psychodynamic Treatment of a Depressed Gay Adolescent. Handouts on Evidence-Based Treatments of Children and Adolescents Page 12

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