As cares shifts from being physician-led to person-centered, it becomes important to go beyond the typical condition and incorporate a patients’ beliefs and values. Children with emotional and behavioral problems might pose a serious challenge because their perception is far from normal due to the experiences they might have gone through, triggering antisocial behavior. Thereby, it is important to factor in such parameters when planning for their care. Besides, the service should be appropriate for their age and this could be stimulated by allowing them to make decisions on the kind of care they wish to pursue. The current paper is a reflection of my role as a residential support worker in shaping the delivery of person-centered care based on the needs of children with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Individual Needs Shape Delivery of Care
As a residential support worker, I value great communication skills through which I understand my patients’ care needs. The duties of a residential worker are diverse in the delivery of care; hence, the first thing is to understand my patients’ needs. A client might have personal needs that range from cleaning, bed-making, oral care, and adhering to treatment (Youth Empowerment UK, 2020). Nonetheless, it is essential that I develop a healthy relationship with their clients as it helps me to gather their necessities and provide the relevant care.
There are different underlying factors that result in the display of emotional and behavioral disorders among children; hence, each factor influences the type of need, and subsequently, the type of care. Ogundele (2018) indicates that environmental factors can increase a child’s risk of emotional and behavioral disorders. Thereby, in a case when a child has restricted decision-making and expression, I focus on motivating such a child to gain self-confidence and maintain autonomy during decision-making processes. The intervention requires me to factor in the values, culture, beliefs, and personal circumstances of each client so that I can which care to administer (Ferrer, 2015). Both the patient and I share ideas on how the intervention can be aligned to the patient’s self-principles through mutual respect, trust and transparency.
The interaction between social worker and their patients helps these victims to develop interpersonal skills through which they can learn to relate with others while having the ability to overcome peer pressure. The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (2020) notes that interventions aimed at developing social interactions enable clients to develop positive self-images and confidence that is paramount when making decisions and life choices.
Emotional problems such as anxiety and stress can result after experiencing loss or stress due to one’s deficiencies. Henning-Smith and Alang (2016) note that most young people who need mental health services are not able to get them, and this could be attributed to various reasons, such as the failure to involve support workers and lack of finances. As a result, I comprehend the essence of linking these children to appropriate organizations that can help to provide the needed financial aid for treatment. Moreover, through the therapeutic alliance, I am able to understand the causes for stress and anxiety and delineate the kind of therapy that would best help these clients.
Given that emotional and behavioral problems are highly prevalent, support workers can target various homes with vulnerable children and offer their services to aid in prevention and create awareness to prompt early intervention. The fact that these emotional and behavioral problems go unnoticed compels me to deliver care based on this gap. A population that is ignorant of the occurrences of these disorders until it is too late requires promotional interventions (Whittaker et al., 2016; Leipoldt et al., 2017). Hence, they can detect the warning signs in time and seek prompt intervention. Other than making personal visits, I target social media to promote preventive care and motivate parents and other guardians to mitigate predisposing factors.
Sequentially, the preventive aspect of care calls for these support workers to link vulnerable families and children with the right facilities to help mitigate exposure to risk. For example, in the case of family violence, I usually link the concerned parties to family therapy services. Besides, for substance abuse, involving legislative agents to safeguard the interests of involved children comes in handy (Eltink et al., 2015; Lanctôt, Lemieux and Mathys, 2016). There are various programs that families can be enrolled in to help address the risk factors which expose children to negative behavior. I engage families and collaboratively adopt a strategy that works best for them and children in need.
Parents might not be able to handle their children while at home; yet, these children are more controllable while in school. Parents greatly determine the environment in which a child grows up and are essential in every level of care because healthy interaction between them and their children helps to develop strong bonds that are important during the recovery process, as implied by Maajeeny (2019). Bartlett, Griffin and Thomson (2020) assert that children return to normality when they receive consistent attention from caregivers who are adequately responsive to their needs. It becomes essential that I help parents understand their children and work towards being responsive to their children’s needs. A child is meant to maintain positive behavior even when the support worker is not present (Lukowiak 2010). On this note, I involve the parents in their child’s care strategies because they need to comprehend positive behavioral interventions.
When providing patient-centered care to children manifesting emotional and behavioral disorders, I do realize the need for integrating a myriad of elements through which I can discern my subjective and objective views and experiences. Gibbs’ reflective cycle is an effective tool that helps me to understand my responsibilities better as I seek to improve (Gibbs’ reflective cycle, 2020). Kelly (2017) presents the feelings of support workers caring for patients with emotional and behavioral disorders as either compassionate and meaningful or stressful. I can relate to such feelings which are fundamental in developing a healthy relationship based on trust and respect with my clients. Harder (2018) asserts that poor relationships between support workers and their patients are one of the impediments to the successful treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders. I realize the essence of a healthy therapeutic alliance with my clients and that is why I do not impose my beliefs, values, and attitudes on them. I let them talk and express themselves without criticism and from there I engage them helping them understand their plight and developing solutions that are feasible and acceptable to them.
Guided by the needs of patients as discussed in the above section, it is apparent that support workers can evaluate their care process to determine success and failures; hence, define their roles explicitly in attaining success. Based on this phase, I help families and related guardians to understand the signs of children in need of help based on the negative social behaviors they display. Dunn (2010) and Ganado and Cerado (2015) imply that a collaborative approach is essential when addressing the emotional and behavioral needs of children due to the array of interventions available. As I realize the essence of a multi-faceted care approach, I can only involve my clients and seek their consent prior to linking them to the right specialists.
Support workers are an important link between patients and other care providers because they understand their clients’ needs better after analyzing a situation and drawing conclusions. Thereby, after discussing the available choices of care with my clients, I link them to the preferred care provider after we analyze the situation and plausible interventions together. I have seen such involvement yield positive results through adherence to therapy and willingness to change. As I interact with these children daily, am able to monitor their progress professionally well, fostered by a good relationship between them and me (Boden, Griffin and Thomson, 2011). I am a reliable care coordinator who can help to ensure that patients receive the appropriate care and adhere to treatment as required. Ultimately, I gain satisfaction in helping my clients to attain positive outcomes and asserting my role as a residential support worker.
In the case of preventive care, the support worker plays an essential role in aligning preventive strategies with the cultural values of a family as a better way of delaying the advancement of a condition. As I consider the family to be a pertinent unit in shaping the behavior of children, I engage my clients in evaluating its role and involvement in the care process (Johnson, 2016). Parents, too, need to comprehend their role as models of positive behavior in their children’s development. I, therefore, take up the facilitator’s role through which children can reconnect with their parents and related family members as all parties involved come to express themselves in resolving the problem at hand.
As support workers move from home to home creating awareness and promoting a favorable environment through effective parenting skills, they adopt the roles of confidants and advocates. While I advocate for the need to help these children with emotional and behavioral problems, I can only engage them in treatment if they are willing. I identify all homes with children, visit them to determine their vulnerability and motivate them to start therapy while allowing them to make the ultimate decision without compulsion (Armstrong, 2011). Voluntary engagement in the care process is the first step towards successful patient-centered care.
The underlying factors prompting children to manifest negative social behavior determine their needs. Thereby, during the delivery of care, I seek to address their requirements and prompt the adoption of positive social behavior through their input. Even though there might be a need to involve other healthcare providers, obtaining the consent of these children is paramount considering that these antisocial behaviors tend to stem from suppressions. It is imperative, therefore, to get them involved in the care process and making decisions so that they feel that they are in charge of their own lives and in identifying and solving their problems, which are sentiments that precede effective recovery. While applying the Gibbs’ reflective cycle, the care delivered helps me to understand my different roles which range from advocacy, care coordinator, helper, confidant, educators, and healthcare promoters. In all these roles, I am merely meant to motivate the clients to understand the care process and integrate their beliefs and values which are aligned with the goals of the care process.
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