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Socialork at Acacia Network

 

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                                                                   Introduction             

Around the 1980s, the number of older adults was significantly increasing in society; the local government of New York established a home for the aged and was named Acacia Network. Acacia Network, Housing’s target population, revolves around clients currently living in shelters, homeless people, or the current community in need of medical, mental health, or concrete conditions. Acacia Network is an inclusive agency concerning the availability of open clinics and mental health facilities to all within the free community. The facility has grown over the years and is now recognized nationally, and serves people across the nation. Recently it where the clients may be taken care of while in their homes. It was contributed by two significant factors: the existing number of clients in the facility was maximum, and there was no room for more admission. Another factor was the financial strength of various individuals and families to manage the cost of the facility. It was deemed helpful to provide health needs and psychological support to clients in their homes at affordable rates. In Acacia Network, three social workers give service to the clients.

My role in my agency is to serve clients in a shelter setting. I work as a Client Care Coordinator, to whom I maintain monthly treatment plans, conduct initial assessments, and provide medical and mental health referrals. Through my position, I have made it possible to coordinating and collaborating with other clinical staff such as case planners, housing staff, and kitchen staff. As a Client Care Coordinator, I have yet to witness an unintended consequence in the program’s relationship by accepting all clients to the clinic or shelter. One possible consequence may be insurance concerning some clients being undocumented or unable to pay. Concerning this, the agency has a policy to which it promises to serve all clients regardless of their ability to pay insurance. Acacia Network being the leading Latino integrated care nonprofit in the nation offers the community from children to seniors a pathway to behavioral and primary healthcare, housing, and empowerment.

Social Worker

According to Cummins (2018), a social worker helps the client adapt to the new environment in an institutional setting by providing the client’s social and emotional needs. At Acacia Network, social work is being able to support the client and giving them the conducive environment they deserve.

The Acacia Network, the nation’s leading Latino integrated nonprofit care network, offers the community, from children to seniors, a path to behavioral and primary health care, housing, and empowerment. Social workers at Acacia Network are dedicated to serve and provide satisfactory services to our clients. They make sure the client understands very well the terms and conditions of the Acacia Network before admission. Some social workers do offer their services to Acacia Network free of charge. They volunteer when they are free. Most weekends, we get more than five social work volunteers.

Roles of social worker

Socialorkers play a critical role in Acacia Network. Understanding the client’s uniqueness and worth is always the first task (Guerrero et al. 2020).  Clients come with different and unique characteristics, and to fit them in a different environment, they have to be understood first and feel accepted. Acacia Network believes in the growth of our clients. My role as Client Care Coordinator within the Agency is to coordinate all services related to clients’ mental health issues, including diagnostics, needs assessment, and referrals as warranted. I consult with primary counselors on clients with specific needs. I maintain up-to-date caseload notes for clients. My focuses are on ensuring that I bridge that mental health gap to other non-clinical staff. I train all my staff on mental health and how to deal with clients and communicate from a holistic perspective. The social workers promote this growth, both emotionally and spiritually. The clients will be guided and cared for to achieve emotional stability(Guerrero et al. 2020). Social workers provide a supportive physical environment for clients to achieve physical fitness and refreshment. They also promote self-esteem to the clients through social contact, decision making, and independence

Social workers also advocate and protect clients’ rights. They know the law guiding the facility and existing laws of the land. They also promote volunteerism to the facility by engaging locals in various tasks such as maintaining hygiene. (Seo and Kim, 2017). Social workers, too, do plan for pre-admission and discharge for the client. In most cases, while doing marketing of the facility, they have prior contact with the client; therefore, they plan for the admission process and discharge. The volunteerism aspect is important concerning social work. A social worker has to do most of the tasks voluntarily and with passion. By doing this, the service delivery in their field of work is improved automatically.

Other agencies, social workers perform the same tasks concerning where they are. Every social worker has to be passionate about what they do.  They can do volunteering jobs for the betterment of society (Cummins, 2018). Sometimes there may be financial constraints at the Acacia Network facility and may employ social workers in a contractual agreement. When the contract is over, that period before another deal is put in place; Acacia Network may involve volunteers and use the existing staff to perform social workers’ roles (Pentaraki, 2017).  The supporting staff may bond with the clients and try to help them in their areas of need. Thou this hasn’t proven easy to put in practice is worth putting in place in such times.

Policies

At Acacia Network, we operate on government sponsorship and well-wishers donation.  The state authority allocates the budget; as far as housing policies and policies are concerned, how we serve clients is shaped. If housing legislation changes, then what clients need to provide to enter the shelter will changes. The agency has a policy to which it promises to serve all clients regardless of their ability to pay insurance. Public assistance also affects our role as clients need free public service to receive a housing voucher to move out of the shelter with state assistance. If the budget of public aid is reduced, then it will be hinder service delivery. The government is responsible for the hiring of staff at Acacia Network. This policy restricts employment on a need basis since the process may take longer. At Acacia Network, laws and policies exist that govern the staff and clients. There are also guidelines on how other stakeholders and institutions may partner with Acacia Network.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that impacted greatly in our facility. The pandemic majorly affects older people and those with underlying conditions. As far as COVID-19 changes were concerned, contact with clients in the shelter was more on the phone than face to face(Hiscott et al., 2020)  COVID-19 and social distancing have made therapeutic services more difficult to phone conversations that sometimes give off less energy and feeling. Some clients may not have cell phones, either. Therefore, with precautions. And the fear of being around another person who may be carrying the virus. COVID-19 has raised my population’s mental health concern that homelessness is even more stressful as the virus circulates. Mental health clients have become more unstable due to the uncertainty caused by the virus, such as job openings and regular life openings. Purchases of personal protective gear were procured for the staff and clients. All the team had to take a pay cut to manage the expenditure of Acacia Network.

The facility also had preparations and protocols for handling COVID-19 patients if it occurs. If one were reported to have contracted COVID-19, the individual would be isolated and provided proper medical care in isolation (Hou et al., 2020). The facility, through well-wishers, was able to acquire three ventilators to support in fighting COVID-19. Counselling had to be done to the clients to support their mental health. This happened because most clients were uncertain of the pandemic, and it instilled fear.  Up to date, Acacia Network has not reported any case of COVID-19.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Acacia Network has been operating efficiently and satisfactory manner.Acacia Network has better measures put in place to sustain through the COVID-19 pandemic. The major gap existing is the housing policy. Public assistance should also be encouraged as it boosts the operations at Acacia Network. The structure in which Acacia Network serves its clients is well-shaped. Cooperation between the staff, clients, and the public is important for Acacia Network’s operation. The use of staff as social workers has proven a need to train them on skills they can use if there is no social worker. The facility may invest in training the team to prepare them for such cases. Acacia Network has proven to be well managed and provide satisfactory services to its clients.

 

 

Appendix1

  1. What is your role in the facility?
  2. What does the facility offer?
  3. Does the facility have a social worker? If so, what roles do they play in the facility?
  4. What is similar and different about social workers in this facility and other agencies?
  5. In a situation, there is no social worker, explain who to perform social worker roles?
  6. What policies does the facility operate?
  7. How has the covid19 pandemic affected policy implementation and service delivery?
  8. What measures as a facility have you put in place to prevent and control covid19?

 

 

 

 

References

Cummins, I. (2018).  Poverty, inequality and social work: The impact of neoliberalism and austerity politics on welfare provision. Policy Press.

First published: 07 February 2019

 

Guerrero, L. R., Avgar, A. C., Phillips, E., & Sterling, M. R. (2020). They are essential workers now and should continue to be: Social workers and home health care workers during COVID-19 and beyond. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 1-3. https://allaplusessays.com/order

 

Hiscott, J., Alexandridi, M., Muscolini, M., Tassone, E., Palermo, E., Soultsioti, M., & Zevini, A. (2020). The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Cytokine & growth factor

Hou, T., Zhang, T., Cai, W., Song, X., Chen, A., Deng, G., & Ni, C. (2020). Social support and mental health among health care workers during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 outbreak: A moderated mediation model. PloS 15(5), e0233831.  Published: May 29, 2020

Pentaraki, M. (2017). ‘I am in a constant state of insecurity trying to make ends meet, like our service users’: Shared austerity reality between social workers and service users—towards a preliminary conceptualization.  British Journal of Social Work47(4), 1245-1261. The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 47, Issue 4, June 2017, Pages 1245–1261, 

 

 


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