Paula Paula is currently pregnant, and suffers from a

Paula is a 43 year old Latina woman who is HIV
positive.  Paula is divorced, and has one
son named Miguel who is twenty years old. Paula raised Miguel until he was 8
years old, at which time she was forced to relinquish custody due to her
medical condition.  Paula is currently
pregnant, and suffers from a host of health issues that could be potentianally
deadly for her and her unborn baby. 
Paula reports suffering emotional and physical abuse at the hands of
both of her parents (Plummer, Makris, Brocksen, 2014).  Paula has a history of drug use, and mental
health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and paranoia.  Paula acquired AIDS and ended up with a
severe brain infection that left her paralyzed completely on the right
side.  Paula is unmotivated and often
just randomly stops her treatment plan.

Areas of Strength

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empowerment means believing that people are capable of making their own choices
and decisions. The role of the social worker in clinical practice is to
nourish, encourage, assist, enable, support, stimulate, and unleash the
strengths within people; to illuminate the strengths available to people in
their own environments (Cowger, 1994).   The
social worker was able to dwell on Paula’s strengths, and see that she was
going to have to meet Paula where she was so that they could move forward with
the permanency plan.  The social worker
called Paula every other day once she was out of the hospital to be that
encouragement that she had not been getting from anywhere else.  Paula felt in heart that she would be able to
take care of her newborn, and she never really showed stress about it.  Paula did need the encouragement to act on
the things that needed to be completed.  “A
strengths perspective reinforces client competence and thereby alleviates the
significance of unequal power between the client and social worker and, in so
doing, presents increased potential for liberating people from stigmatizing
diagnostic classifications that reinforce “sickness” in individuals,
families, and communities. A strengths perspective of assessment provides
structure and content for an examination of realizable alternatives, for the
mobilization of competencies that can make things different, and for the
building of self-confidence that stimulates hope” (Cowger, 1994).  Paula, The Social Worker, and the other
entities such as doctors and physiatrist realized that Paula was not motivated,
and it would take time for her to make the necessary decisions for her life,
and her newborn’s life.  They all worked
with her until she was able to come up with a permanency plan, and do the
things that she was asked to do. 

                                                            The Multidisciplinary Team

doctors felt like they did what they had to do by cutting off portions of
Paula’s toes to stop the infection from spreading throughout her foot.  The doctor also made decisions regarding the
baby having withdrawal symptoms that needed to made as well.  The social worker was the glue that held the
situation together, though they all played important roles.  The social worker

played a big part in the follow through
of the plan, and also with motivating and encouraging Paula.  The social worker helped Paula come up with a
plan for her unborn child in case she was to pass away or became unable to take
care of the child.  I feel as though the
multidisciplinary team is using the Problem Solving Model.  The problem solving model deals with four
Ps—person, problem, place, and process, It is used as a way to organize
information about the client. In terms of person, the social worker should
think of the client’s personality characteristics and which interactions with
the environment are significant. They are meeting Paula where she is, and
working off of the fact that she actually wants to take care of her baby
despite the health issue that she has (Congress, 2013).. 


With the problem solving method it is a bias that may come
into play.  There is limited attention to
the person’s resilience and strengths in resolving the problem.  The client’s definition of the “problem” may
be different from what the social worker thinks it is.  You have to identify what the client’s
definition of the problem is and what strengths he or she can use and have used
in the past to address that specific problem (Congress, 2013).  As a social worker to avoid the bias getting
in the way of improving Paula’s situation I would specify each issue with
Paula, so that she would know what my concerns were for her.  I would ask her what her concerns were, and
we would go over the plan of care together to ensure that both of us were on
the same page, and avoid all confusion.