¶ … unmet macro/social need. The author of this report works at MBrace Counseling Services as an intern. The internship is a pathway towards a master's degree in social work. The underlying need that has been identified is for children not getting the proper psycho-educational exposure. This tactic could be used to help children learn to self-regulate their emotions rather than letting them loose with no hesitation. There is a litany of evidence proving how much this could benefit the children involved and what could happen if it is not extended. The poorer Americans will end up even worse off than others and the author of this report sees a lot of this due to the Medicaid services seen during the author's internship.
The subject at hand could absolutely be looked at from a micro standpoint as well as a macro one. However, the latter of those two will be the focus of this report. Per the parameters of the assignment, the author of this report plans to help both the author and MBrace as a whole become an agent of social and cultural change for the area that is served by the organization. As already noted, the unmet need is the lack of psycho-social and psycho-educational programs and groups at MBrace and how adding such a group will be extremely beneficial to the kids that will be served. While some programs and frameworks already exist, a strictly psycho-educational group needs to be added because it is simply not there. There are indeed some unwritten policies and procedures that need to be formalized in writing and in the policy manuals that all MBrace people should follows. This could pertain to the other programs and groups within MBrace as well as the psycho-educational additions to be made, if approved. Indeed, having things in the minds of the people that work at MBrace is all fine and everything but there would be a sharp drop in continuity and performance if one or more of the more experienced people (e.g. subject matter experts) leaves the firm. While there will always be an adjustment period between two people or two groups, putting everything in writing is important. Any finalized policy should be both evidence-based and they should be followed to the letter unless there is a valid reason why this would be less than wise. The new strategy for MBrace needs to be one that focuses on the physical health, mental health and life skills that are bestowed to the children in the group. Rather than letting and other raw emotions run (or even ruin) their lives, children can be taught how to live and operate in life through the psychoeducational learnings that will occur if this program is approved. The psychoeducational program needs to be carefully crafted in advance, there has to be buy-in from managers, executives and, at some point, the employees of MBrace (PMI, 2015).
Psychoeducational topics abound when it comes to children. The sub-topics and tangents that occur can include autistic kids, ones that are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and many others. While many of those don't affect MBrace and the services they offer, there is a ton to be said about issues that do impact MBrace and their clients directly including teaching the things that lead to proper development. Indeed, one study about the subject said that it "…provides children a sense of belonging in the family and of being important as a person, which is critical to their emotional and moral development. (Berge, Law, Johnson & Wells, 2010). There is also the specter and existence of underserved populations. On that topic, it can be said that "underserved populations are typically difficult to reach and have high drop-out rates in research, they are an important population to learn about" (Berge, Law, Johnson & Wells, 2010). Indeed, MBrace has and will continue to deal mostly with the poor and/or minorities due to the prevalence of Medicaid patients with the organization.
Indeed, a lot of children that engage in reckless, angry or uncontrolled behavior are doing so because they are mentally ill, lashing out or they are being psychologically neglected by their parents. Using the services of MBrace as a vehicle...
One study about the subject noted that misbehavior can come from many sources and a one-size-fits-all solution set is not going to work. As stated by Brendtro and Van Bockern (1994), "we finally are moving away from simplistic "one-size-fits-all" mindsets. The term psychoeducational has been used to describe approaches that blend multiple strategies of intervention (Bendtro & Van Bockern, 1994).
The psychoeducational group that is being suggested in this report would even be effective for kids that have drug-riddled and/or neglectful family situations. The key is to give the children an alternate perspective and to show them that they are not doomed to repeat their parents' failings (or their peers for that matter) and that they can do better with their life even if their parents cannot or will not stand up and do something for them. This would be even more pronounced and difficult with kids that are in the foster system as anywhere from three out of five to four out of five are abused and/or are mentally ill as a result. The resources to help kids in such situations is pretty grim because the resources are often not there in the first place. A psychoeducational group at MBrace would help fill that void (Dore, Nelson-Zlupko, & Kaufmann, 1999).
One huge part of the lives of youths is the fact that school is very important for them while they are very or fairly young. A recent study that focused on psychoeducational preparation as compared to test scores, some interesting things were found. One such thing was stated when it was said "Personality test scores and behavior rating data were seen as having a greater influence on outcome decisions when the student demonstrated behavior problems" (Ysseldyke, 1979). One thing that also became clear is that assessments are often skewed by interpretations and perceptions about a child and their family's socioeconomic status. Another pitfall is discerning between true mental health problems and simply behavioral cues that just need to be polished and tweaked (Ysseldyke, 1979).
Given the above, any approved psychoeducational program should manifest in a number of ways:
There should absolutely be a psychoeducational program at MBrace.
Bad behavior should not be assumed to be due to actual mental health problems.
Bad behavior could be from simple behavioral mismanagement by parents and guardians. It can also be due to mental/hormonal problems.'
If simple behavioral problems are not fixed through the more conventional means, then an assessment by a psychiatrist should be completed
The disorders and issues that could be present in some children would include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and a number of mental health disorders on the autism spectrum (e.g. Asperger's, etc.)
All practices and procedures used should be in writing
Proper change management procedures should be used. There needs to be acceptance in buy-in from the managers and executives or it will never filter down to the lower employees in the firm. Buy-in must be present from everyone
All practices and procedures should be based on evidence-based results found from prior scholarly studies or real-world implementations
It goes without saying that a psychoeducational group, while helpful, will face an uphill battle given some of the events and conditions that the children involved are exposed to. However, just writing the idea off as non-helpful is simply not true because it certainly is. It is true that many of the efforts will be countered and offset by shoddy home environments. However, letting the child suffer and languish is simply not acceptable. Since MBrace works with Medicaid clients, some of the most vulnerable children are entering the doors. All children should be given the proper emotional training and MBrace can help lead the charge on that by setting up a proper and effective psychoeducational group. Not doing so would be a disservice to the community and it would truly be a wasted opportunity. The results will not be stratospheric but they will be measurable and noticeable.
Berge, J.M., Law, D.D., Johnson, J., & Wells, M.G. (2010). Effectiveness of a psychoeducational parenting group on child, parent, and family behavior: A pilot study in a family practice clinic with an underserved population. Families,
Systems, & Health, 28(3), 224-235. doi:10.1037/a0020907
Brendtro, L.K., & Van Bockern, S. (1994). Courage for the discouraged: A
psychoeducational approach to troubled and troubling children. Focus On
Exceptional Children, 26(8), 1.
Dore, M., Nelson-Zlupko, L., & Kaufmann, E. (1999). "Friends in need": designing and implementing a psychoeducational group for school children from drug-involved families. Social Work, 44(2), 179-190. doi:10.1093/sw/44.2.179
PMI,. (2015). PMI. Pmi.org. Retrieved 17 April 2015, from http://www.pmi.org/default.aspx
Ysseldyke, J.E., Minnesota Univ., M.D., &…
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