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Disucss about the Professional Practice In Social Care.

Reflection on Professional Development

Special needs education has come under the spotlight over many issues, some of the problems that have been raised include the shortage of teachers, funding problems, issues to do with nomenclature and full inclusion. The problems that will be discussed will be directly related to Autism in children, and the defect begins appearing before three years and the children affected are one in about five hundred children (Barnard, Horner, and Wild 2008). There is an ongoing issue about the definition and the number of children with Autism, however, for the case of Ireland will be addressing the issues as mentioned earlier and discussing them at length.

The number of licensed educators in the sector is very minimal, the total demand for special needs teachers in a year could be up to over 350,000  (Health Committee 2017). However, each year there are about 18,000 teachers who graduate in special education needs which is very low as compared to the much-needed demand (McKenna 2016). As a result of this shortage, other alternatives are being sought after by the governments to help add up the number. Therefore, in some places, the army and the service men and women are being trained in special needs education, and they do it as their second career (Butler 2002). The program is a short-term remedy to help bridge the gap between the demand and the shortage that has been experienced over the years. In other areas, some teachers fill the positions without proper qualifications on how to handle children with special needs like Autism (Matti and Zhou 2017). As a result of that, their effectiveness is hardly noticed, and in some cases, the issues escalate to worse than was expected. There is a debate of doing away with the program in higher education, and there are some that hold the opinion that it should stay while others are determined to see the education abolished utterly (Lalor and Share 2013).

Education is one of the many sectors that are always ignored and underfunded (McLaughlin 2006). In this case, special education requires more things like the services and the teachers among others which need a lot of money to support (Bachtler and Begg 2017). Therefore funding the program has always been a problem and in most instances, it remains underfunded. Underfunding has contributed to the poor outcome in the sector which has made it difficult for students to get the much-needed help that they deserve (Daly and Lewis 2000). Some parts of the government believe that when money is channeled to special education, other sections which may be in need will suffer because of a large number of students. A shortage of educators has marked the sector because of the poor pay that has been a result of low funding (McKenna 2016).

Special Needs Teachers Shortage

There is a heated debate on giving names, labeling and categorizing the disabilities among parents and the professionals (Adams, Tashchian, and Shore 2001). Some people are for the students being labeled or given special names while others are still questioning the need for the labels or the names in the first place. Professionals argue that using labels and names on special needs children helps them to prepare and provide students with the required education (Dalrymple and Burke 2006). On the other hand opposing side says that when students are labeled and categorized, they are often stigmatized, in most cases when students are labeled, teachers will often expect very little from them, therefore, not giving them the much attention that is needed. Not using labels can provide parents and teachers the time needed to observe the children before determining the type of disability that the child has developed. In some cases, labeling can be mistaken, and some disability can be mislabeled leading to giving the wrong help to a child (Hugman and Smith 1995).

There has been the issue of full inclusion where some people wanted the special needs children to be full-time placement in the general education. This is good for some students, but when it comes to students with special needs, the method is not effective (Kettle 2014). Some people argue that. The education policy of the country states that students should be assessed and evaluated as individuals and not in a group. They are of the opinion that, special needs students are in need of an environment that is well structured to help them on issues to do with behavior or academics. As a result of that, using a general class will not be able to offer the needed help for these students. They also think that placing students with special needs in a classroom where other students who are without such needs would affect the students (O'Hagan 2001). That will be placing students and teachers in grave danger because special needs children need special attention because of their issues with behavior (Brown 2004). Special needs students need a restricted environment and giving them full inclusion would mean that they will not be restricted which can be dangerous to both them and other students.

Evaluation of Planned Intervention-Impact on Service Users Quality of Life

My placement in social care practice was in a primary school here in Ireland, and I was working with a child who was suffering from autism. Autism is a medical condition where the victim has problems with social skills, and one can have a scenario of behaviors that show repetition. In this condition, communication and interaction are always impaired. Both environmental and genetic factors cause the defect. It is also estimated that most of the children who have been diagnosed with autism remain nonverbal for the rest of their lives. Additionally, some remain unable to function well intellectually leaving them unable to make meaningful interactions and relationships 

Problems of Funding

Needs Assessment

I was working with a young boy aged nine who was in primary, and I was able to assess the following as his needs. There are four categories of needs that every child is entitled to have when in school regardless of their condition. There are those needs that are supposed to be given to any child and are prescribed by the policymakers of Ireland. For example, the boy was in need of education and meaningful interaction. Also, there were the felt needs which he was in need of but could not express. Autism makes one more frustrated especially when they realize that what they want does not work. Additionally, there are expressed needs which the patients or the users of the service desire and ask for them. Also, there are comparative needs which are problems that children develop as a result of comparing themselves to their peers.

The young boy had all the four needs, and he would quickly get frustrated and sometimes react in a wrong way in some instances. Additionally, he had issues in school, and he would not learn like other children who were his peers. Each time the child would see other children doing things he can’t, he always got frustrated. In my assessment of need, I identified that the child was in need of counseling and mental health support. Also, I realized that the child must have been living in poor housing which also contributed to his present problems.  However, it was not easy to do much about the current situation because the damage was already done and the only intervention that would have been appropriate was counseling.

By the end of the needs assessment, the boy was able to open up and share the things that he desired. He expressed more desire to play with other children even though he knew that previous efforts have been frustrating. Besides that, the intervention that I had proposed and was working to see it through was the option of counseling. This method was reached upon by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the child. His strongest point was the ability to recognize rules and to follow them. When I was speaking to him when I told him to do something he would respond well, and he did not hesitate. Another intervention that we did was medication, and it is evident that there is no medication for autism; however, there is medication which can help control the defect. He had attention defect and anxiety which the medicine was able to help.

Nomenclature Issues

The plan also impacted the child’s way of communicating with others besides his family members. The boy was happy than he was before the intervention, he was always optimistic and eager to learn something because he felt that there was someone who was always there for him. His attitude towards others also changed, he stopped comparing himself to other kids, and he acknowledged that he was different. Also, the boy’s interest in playing with other kids his age increased after the counseling. He would desire to go out and play whenever he felt comfortable. The needs of such children are developmental, and they happen in stages.

Additionally, the money that the parents had spent on earlier treatments was more as compared to what they spent on the treatment I had recommended. Initially, they had been spending like $300 every month, but after the intervention, they would only spend under $100. All the four phases of the plan have positively impacted the quality of life of the young boy.  However, there were a few setbacks to the plan which will need improvement in the future. The part where the boy was responsive and cooperative when it comes to instructions was a temporary measure and intervention. In the event where there are no rules to follow or prompts to go after, the boy would remain clueless about what to do next. On the part of the social support, the boy responded well, and he was becoming more aware of himself through the counseling sessions. Being aware of himself made him less anxious and reduced the pressure for attention.  

Evaluation of Planned Intervention-Impact on Service Users Quality of Life

My placement in social care practice was in a primary school here in Ireland, and I was working with a child who was suffering from autism. Autism is a medical condition where the victim has problems with social skills, and one can have a scenario of behaviors that show repetition. In this condition, communication and interaction are always impaired. Both environmental and genetic factors cause the defect. It is also estimated that most of the children who have been diagnosed with autism remain nonverbal for the rest of their lives. Additionally, some remain unable to function well intellectually leaving them unable to make meaningful interactions and relationships (Boucher, Lewis and Collis 2000).

Needs Assessment

I was working with a young boy aged nine who was in primary, and I was able to assess the following as his needs. There are four categories of needs that every child is entitled to have when in school regardless of their condition. There are those needs that are supposed to be given to any child and are prescribed by the policymakers of Ireland. For example, the boy was in need of education and meaningful interaction. Also, there were the felt needs which he was in need of but could not express. Autism makes one more frustrated especially when they realize that what they want does not work (Adams and Jarrold 2012). Additionally, there are expressed needs which the patients or the users of the service desire and ask for them. Also, there are comparative needs which are problems that children develop as a result of comparing themselves to their peers.

Full Inclusion

The young boy had all the four needs, and he would quickly get frustrated and sometimes react in a wrong way in some instances. Additionally, he had issues in school, and he would not learn like other children who were his peers. Each time the child would see other children doing things he can’t, he always got frustrated. In my assessment of need, I identified that the child was in need of counseling and mental health support. Also, I realized that the child must have been living in poor housing which also contributed to his present problems.  However, it was not easy to do much about the current situation because the damage was already done and the only intervention that would have been appropriate was counseling.

By the end of the needs assessment, the boy was able to open up and share the things that he desired. He expressed more desire to play with other children even though he knew that previous efforts have been frustrating. Besides that, the intervention that I had proposed and was working to see it through was the option of counseling. This method was reached upon by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the child. His strongest point was the ability to recognize rules and to follow them. When I was speaking to him when I told him to do something he would respond well, and he did not hesitate. Another intervention that we did was medication, and it is evident that there is no medication for autism; however, there is medication which can help control the defect. He had attention defect and anxiety which the medicine was able to help.

The plan also impacted the child’s way of communicating with others besides his family members. The boy was happy than he was before the intervention, he was always optimistic and eager to learn something because he felt that there was someone who was always there for him. His attitude towards others also changed, he stopped comparing himself to other kids, and he acknowledged that he was different. Also, the boy’s interest in playing with other kids his age increased after the counseling. He would desire to go out and play whenever he felt comfortable. The needs of such children are developmental, and they happen in stages.

Additionally, the money that the parents had spent on earlier treatments was more as compared to what they spent on the treatment I had recommended. Initially, they had been spending like $300 every month, but after the intervention, they would only spend under $100. All the four phases of the plan have positively impacted the quality of life of the young boy.  However, there were a few setbacks to the plan which will need improvement in the future. The part where the boy was responsive and cooperative when it comes to instructions was a temporary measure and intervention. In the event where there are no rules to follow or prompts to go after, the boy would remain clueless about what to do next. On the part of the social support, the boy responded well, and he was becoming more aware of himself through the counseling sessions. Being aware of himself made him less anxious and reduced the pressure for attention.  

Current Issues in Special needs Education

Areas of Professional Learning

Professional social care has three main areas of learning that every student or professional must take into account. One must have the knowledge for the practice, interpersonal skills or self-awareness and also professional intervention (Parton 2003).

Knowledge of Practice

Social care students together with all professionals in the field were required to have a more in-depth understanding of the practice (O'Doherty, Casson, Black, Hasson and Griffith 2000). One needed to possess a specific set of skills and knowledge in order to be effective in their field of work. The work was stretching from care, education, and settings that were equal to semi-therapeutic. For me to work as a professional or get placement, I had to have a degree in the social care practice or the equivalent in Ireland (Hart, Hall and Henwood 2003). The degree can be a BA, however, there are many other subjects that an individual will undertake under that degree in order to have sufficient knowledge in the practice. Besides that, I was required to study subjects like sociology which will help him/her gain understanding about interactions. Also, there is psychology which was to help me understand the psychological aspect of caring (Garrett 2004). Besides that, I needed to study and know all the principles that are tied up in the professional practice of social care and the laws that are relevant to the subject or the practice (Williams, Boyle, Jepson, Swift, Williamson and Heslop 2014). With all that information I was ready to go for the practice and be allowed in the placement program.

Interpersonal Skills/Self Awareness

Social care is more than social work, and it involves interactions which require any student or professional to have interpersonal skills (Redmond 2017). They must have the ability to live and work with different people like children who need special care and attention. Besides that, they must be people who can create meaningful relationships with other people comfortably. Moreover, since they are mostly found in residential and community set up, they must also develop and possess excellent communication skills and must be able to communicate effectively and be understood (Baldwin 2016). Additionally, they must be able to learn and understand human behavior because all their work revolves around that aspect (White, Fook, and Gardner 2006). During the placement, our skills were tested in the real-world. All that we learned in class was not taking the center stage and that is when I realized that everything about social care was applicable in one way or another.

Evaluation of Planned Intervention-Impact on Service Users Quality of Life

Professional Intervention

The quality of service that was provided by me and the professionals was dependent on skills and problem-solving attributes. One needs to do a self-reflection during and in his/her work, by doing that chances of one performing better are higher (Dimoliatis 2008). Besides that, had to take the long way to learn to turn all criticism and correction received into an excellent and best practice. Because, in this line of profession there were many times that an individual would be criticized and met with all kinds of resentment but I had to learn how to convert the same for the good of the practice. Besides that, one must be up-to-date through reading books and journals on the latest solutions like evidence-based and also any new considerations in the practice (Atwal and Jones 2009). Equally, the profession requires that critical thinking and reflection, many scenarios and cases arise in the practice both at work and during placement and the student and the professional must be able to analyze and make a sound judgment on matters related to the practice (Carnwell and Buchanan 2004). Sound judgment was a product of evaluating and analyzing critical information and arriving at the right conclusion.

Knowledge for Practice

I want to grow my skills in social care and practice. I also want to learn how to assess the needs of the patients and individuals that I meet every day. Besides that, I want to I want to learn how to work among different cultures without causing conflicts.

Professional Intervention Skills

I want to attend more activities organized by the Irish Association of Social Care Education. Form this organization I want to understand the ethics of social care and the policies that govern the profession. Also, I wasn’t to be able to remember all that I learn from seminars and workshops.

Professional Development

I want to further my education and learn more in social care. Besides that, I want to know how to apply all that I have learned in class to the real-life situations in the world. I also want to reflect all that I have learned and bring up new ideas that can help improve my profession.

References

Adams, J.S., Tashchian, A. and Shore, T.H. (2001) Codes of ethics as signals for ethical behavior. Journal of Business ethics, 29(3), pp.199-211.

Adams, N.C. and Jarrold, C. (2012) Inhibition in autism: Children with autism have difficulty inhibiting irrelevant distractors but not prepotent responses. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 42(6), pp.1052-1063. 

Needs Assessment

Atwal, A. and Jones, M. eds. (2009) Preparing for professional practice in health and social care. Ox Ford UK: John Wiley & Sons. 

Baldwin, M. (2016) Critical reflection: Opportunities and threats to professional learning and service development in social work organizations. In Social work, critical reflection and the learning organization (pp. 51-66). Routledge. 

Barnard, A., Horner, N. and Wild, J. (2008) The value base of social work and social care: an active learning handbook. London: McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Bachtler, J. and Begg, I. (2017) Cohesion policy after Brexit: the economic, social and institutional challenges. Journal of Social Policy, 46(4), pp.745-763. 

Boucher, J., Lewis, V. and Collis, G.M. (2000) Voice processing abilities in children with autism, children with specific language impairments, and young typically developing children. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 41(7), pp.847-857. 

Brown, C. (2004) Social work, immigration and asylum: Debates, dilemmas and ethical issues for social work and social care practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Butler, I. (2002) A code of ethics for social work and social care research. British Journal of Social Work, 32(2), pp.239-248. 

Carnwell, R. and Buchanan, J. eds. (2004) Effective practice in health and social care. London: McGraw-Hill International. 

Dalrymple, J. and Burke, B. (2006) Anti-oppressive practice: Social care and the law. London: McGraw-Hill Education (UK). 

 Daly, M. and Lewis, J. (2000) The concept of social care and the analysis of contemporary welfare states. The British journal of sociology, 51(2), pp.281-298.

Dimoliatis, I.D. (2008) Reflection in action: developing reflective practice in health and social services. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(3), p.279. 

Garrett, P.M. (2004) Remaking social work with children and families. London: Routledge. 

Hart, A., Hall, V. and Henwood, F. (2003) Helping health and social care professionals to develop an ‘inequalities imagination’: a model for use in education and practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41(5), pp.480-489. 

Health Committee (2017) Oral evidence: Brexit and health and social care, HC 640 (2016–17). House of Commons. 

Hugman, R. and Smith, D. eds. (1995) Ethical issues in social work. New York: Psychology Press. 

Kettle, P. (2014) Motivations for investing in allotment gardening in Dublin: a sociological analysis. Irish Journal of Sociology, 22(2), pp.30-63. 

Lalor, K. and Share, P. (2013) Understanding social care. 

Matti, J. and Zhou, Y. (2017) The political economy of Brexit: explaining the vote. Applied Economics Letters, 24(16), pp.1131-1134. 

McKenna, H. (2016) Five big issues for health and social care after the Brexit vote. London: The King’s Fund. 

McLaughlin, K. (2006) Regulation and risk in social work: The General Social Care Council and the Social Care Register in context. British Journal of Social Work, 37(7), pp.1263-1277. 

O'Doherty, E., Casson, K., Black, M., Hasson, F. and Griffith, M. (2000) Developing practice with health and social care professionals on smoking and pregnancy in Northern Ireland. Health Education Journal, 59(4), pp.297-307. 

O'Hagan, K. (2001) Cultural competence in the caring professions. 

Parton, N. (2003) Rethinking professional practice: The contributions of social constructionism and the feminist ‘ethics of care’. British Journal of Social Work, 33(1), pp.1-16. 

 Redmond, B. (2017) Reflection in action: Developing reflective practice in health and social services. London: Routledge. 

White, S., Fook, J. and Gardner, F. (2006) Critical reflection in health and social care. London: McGraw-Hill Education (UK). 

Williams, V., Boyle, G., Jepson, M., Swift, P., Williamson, T. and Heslop, P. (2014) Best interests decisions: professional practices in health and social care. Health & social care in the community, 22(1), pp.78-86. 

Ray, M., Bernard, M. and Phillips, J. (2008) Critical issues in social work with older people. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

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