List the three phases of the helping process.

List the three phases of the helping process.

Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

CHAPTER ONE Introducing the Helping Process

I work at an agency that serves adolescent females. The length of stay at our short-term facility varies from 14 to 30 days, depending on their situation. We have kids who are in state custody and need temporary housing, juvenile court placements, homeless, or in crisis. Individual and family therapy, psycho-educational groups, health assessments, and food, clothing, and shelter are provided by the agency. Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

— A caseworker in St. Louis, MO

There is a variety of helping professions committed to helping those in need. Those professions in settings such as mental health, substance abuse, criminal justice, welfare, education, child and youth services, and legal aid, to name a few, are committed to helping clients address issues that emerge from problems in living. Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper. These professionals, committed to viewing clients from a holistic point of view, support client growth in areas such as social, physical, and mental health and financial, spiritual, educational, and vocational issues. The helping process is a fundamental way that professionals reach out to those in need and provide the support and structure necessary to influence their potential to develop and grow in positive ways. In this text we present knowledge and skills that will help you prepare to help others.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

This chapter introduces you to a model of helping that guides many professionals who work in human service delivery. Helping is a purposeful undertaking that generally moves through three phases. We say “generally” because people are often unpredictable, problems or situations change, or services are disrupted for other reasons. The three phases of this helping model are not discrete categories with specific time limits. Rather, they illustrate the flow of the helping process that is individualized to each person, situation, or both. Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

This chapter also introduces the three components of the helping process: case review, documentation and report writing, and client participation. Both a strengths-based approach to the process and the ethical considerations that undergird the process are important parts of this chapter. Focus your reading and study on the following objectives, which you should be able to accomplish after reading the chapter.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Phases of the Helping Process

■List the three phases of the helping process.
■Identify the two activities of the assessment phase.
■Illustrate the role of data gathering in assessment and planning.
■Describe the helper’s role in implementation.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
Three Components of the Helping Process

■Define case review and list its benefits.
■Support the need for documentation and report writing.
■Trace the client’s participation in the three phases of the helping process.
Strengths-Based Approach to the Helping Process

■Describe this approach as it relates to each phase of the helping process.
■Discuss the advantages of this approach.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
Ethical Considerations

■List the principles that undergird professional practice.
■Summarize the limitations of codes of ethics.
At times, learning about a new concept or process is difficult without a concrete example to illustrate what the process looks like in the real world. With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to the phases of the helping process through the experience of Roy Johnson, a client working with several helping professionals to address major difficulties he encounters. Roy’s experience is based upon a client that we know who has been involved in the human service delivery system for years. He has given us permission to adapt his experiences to illustrate the nature of the helping process. Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

The section that follows introduces the three phases of the helping process. The case of Roy Johnson illustrates each phase.

Phases of the Helping Process

The three phases of the helping process are assessment, planning, and implementation (see Figure 1.1). Each phase will be discussed in detail in later chapters. Human service delivery has become increasingly complex in terms of the number of organizations involved, government regulations, policy guidelines, accountability, and clients with multiple problems. Therefore, the helping professional needs an extensive repertoire of knowledge, skills, techniques, and strategies to serve clients effectively. Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Let’s see how these phases occur in three different settings.

I am a case coordinator. My agency has initial responsibility for all children who come through the juvenile court system. We begin each case with an assessment. I gather school and medical records and prior psychological evaluations. Because I want to find out as much as possible about a child, I will visit the home, interview teachers and school counselors, or arrange for an evaluation.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
Figure 1.1 The Helping Process

The planning process helps the staff at another agency located in the Bronx, NY, decide how and why to provide services. The agency director says:

It seems like our clients want to do everything all at once but we encourage them to take one day at a time. Steps are very important so that they don’t get overwhelmed and end up failing. This is something we talk with them about and encourage them to do.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
A social worker who provides frontline assessments and referrals for emergency admissions at a metropolitan Houston hospital describes patient placements as the implementation phase of his work.

In a nutshell, my job is to figure out what’s going on and where the patient can go. Most of the people I work with come to the emergency room involuntarily, often brought by the police. I do all the paperwork and then I find a placement.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
As you can see, the responsibilities at each phase vary, depending on the setting and the helper’s job description. It is important to understand that the three phases represent the flow of the helping process rather than rigidly defined steps to successful case closure. An activity that occurs in the first phase may also appear in the second or third phases of planning and implementation. Other key components appear throughout the process, including case review, report writing and documentation, and client participation. Ultimately, the goal of the helping process is to empower clients to manage their own lives as well as they are able. The case of Roy Johnson shows how this happens.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

As stated earlier, Roy Johnson is a real person, but his name and other identifying information have been changed. The case as presented here is an accurate account of Roy’s experience with the human service delivery system. His case exemplifies the three phases of the helping process. The following background information will help you follow his case through assessment, planning, and implementation.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Roy referred himself for services after suffering a back injury at work. He was 29 years old and had been employed for five years as a plumber’s assistant; he hurt his back lifting plumbing materials. After back surgery, he wanted help finding work. Although he had received a settlement, he knew that the money would not last long, especially since he had contracted to have a house built. He heard about the agency from a friend who knew someone who had received services there and was now working. The agency helps people with disabilities that limit the kind of work they can do. An important consideration in accepting a person for services at the agency is determining whether services will enable that person to return to work. Roy’s case was opened at the agency; we will follow it to closure.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper


The assessment phase of the helping process is the diagnostic study of the client and the client’s environment. It involves initial contact with an applicant as well as gathering and assessing information. These two activities focus on evaluating the need or request for services, assessing their appropriateness, and determining eligibility for services. Until eligibility is established, the individual is considered an applicant. When eligibility criteria have been met, the appropriateness of service is determined and the individual is accepted for services, then he or she becomes a client. You will read more about assessment in Chapters Two and Three.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

The initial contact is the starting point for gathering and assessing information about the applicant to establish eligibility and evaluate the need for services. In most organizations, the data gathered during the initial contact is basic and demographic: age, marital status, educational level, employment information, and the like. Other information may be obtained to provide detail about aspects of the client’s life, such as medical evaluations, social histories, educational reports, and references from employers.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Roy was self-referred to the agency. He initiated contact by telephoning for an appointment. Fortunately, a helping professional was able to see him that week, so he made an appointment for May 24 at 10:30 M. He was sent a brochure about the agency and a confirmation of his appointment. When he arrived at the agency, Roy completed an application for services. The agency believes the applicant should supply the information in this initial information gathering. Roy was able to complete the form without too much trouble, although he wasn’t sure how to answer the question about where he had heard about the agency. He didn’t know the name of his friend’s friend. The receptionist helpfully told him to write in “self-referral.” She suggested that he leave any questions blank if he wasn’t sure about the response. She also asked him not to sign.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
Roy had brought a copy of a letter prepared by his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Alderman, for his attorney a year earlier (see Figure 1.2). Dr. Alderman had expressed the opinion that Roy would be left 10 percent disabled as a result of the injury. Dr. Alderman was also careful to clarify that Roy’s condition did not reflect a preexisting disability, even though he had suffered back problems previously. Tom Chapman, the helper who saw Roy, made a copy of the letter and returned Roy’s copy to him.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper
During the initial contact, the helper determines who the applicant is, begins to establish a relationship, and takes care of such routine matters as filling out the initial intake form. An important part of getting to know the applicant is learning about the individual’s previous experiences with helping, his or her strengths, his or her perception of the presenting problem, the referral source, and the applicant’s expectations. As these matters are discussed, the helper uses appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills to establish rapport with the applicant.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Skillful use of interviewing techniques facilitates the gathering of information and puts the applicant at ease. The helper makes the point at the conference that the client is considered an expert and that self-reported information is very important. By providing information about routine matters, the helper demystifies the process for the applicant and makes him or her more comfortable in the agency setting. Some of the routine matters addressed during the initial meeting are completing forms, gathering insurance information, outlining the purpose and services of the agency, giving assurances of confidentiality, and obtaining information releases.Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

Documentation records the initial contact. In the agency Roy went to, helpers fill out a Helping Professional’s Page (see Figure 1.3), which describes the initial meeting.


Although Dr. Alderman’s letter provided helpful information about Roy’s presenting problem, agency guidelines stated that all applicants must have a physical examination by a physician on the agency’s approved list. Mr. Chapman also felt that a psychological evaluation would provide important information about Roy’s mental capabilities. He discussed both of these with Roy, who was eager to get started. Mr. Chapman asked Roy to sign a form that permits release of information from the external evaluation. As Roy prepared to leave, Mr. Chapman explained that it would take time to process the forms and review his application for services. He would be in touch with Roy very soon, explaining the next steps.
Introducing the Helping Process Essay Assignment Paper

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