SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 6.1 Dean, R. G., & Poorvu, N. L. (2008). Assessment and formulation: A contemporary social work perspective. Families in Society, 89(4): 596-604.

Abstract: Assessment and formulation, the gathering of information about a client, and the conceptualization of the client or situation are the essential elements that mark a thoughtful approach to client care. This process has been shaped over time by changes in orientations to knowledge, new theories, new practices, and political and institutional pressures. Currently, there is an intense debate concerning the nature of social work practice, especially the assessment and formulation process. In this context, we review traditional approaches to formulation in light of contemporary understandings and trends. We present a model for formulation that highlights multiple ways of knowing and includes ecological, cross-cultural, psychodynamic, systemic, biological, and spiritual components. Social justice is the value that is foundational to the process.

Learning Objective: 6.3 Summarize the assessment process with Multi-System Practice.

Journal Article 6.2 Mitchell, M. D., & Shillingford, M. A. (2017). A journey to the past: Development of African Americans through ancestral awareness. The Family Journal, 25(1): 63-69.

Abstract: Genograms are familiar tools used in counseling as a means to explore an individual’s family system. With advancements in technology, more sophisticated avenues have been introduced to further explore family systems, history, and ancestry. African Americans in particular benefit from these new enhancements as a means to explore core identity development. This article introduces the ancestral identity model, which serves as a compass for counselors in exploring client identity development using familial and ancestral connections.

Learning Objective: 6.6 Practice the use of a genogram in the assessment process.

Journal Article 6.3 Gustavsson, N. S., & MacEachron, A. E. (2013). The virtual ecomap: A diagrammatic tool for assessing the digital world of clients. Families in Society, 94(4): 243-250.

Abstract: Most Americans access the virtual world through the Internet and computer-mediated communication. However, the digital divide, or disparities in access, remains a concern, as does digital literacy, or having the skills necessary for effective use of digital technology. Limited access or skills put clients at a disadvantage, such as restricted life opportunities and increased vulnerabilities. We identify challenges of access, skill, and risk that clients face regarding the virtual world. A virtual ecomap summarizes these challenges and interactions with the virtual world much as the ecomap does for the real world. The task for the social worker is to identify and overcome barriers to this technology, and guide and educate clients about technology use to locate resources, expand opportunities, strengthen support systems, and enhance well-being.

Learning Objective: 6.7 Practice the use of an ecomap in the assessment process.