Dimensions of how a problem arises?

Dimensions of how a problem arises:

1. The problem arises from some need or obstacle or accumulation of frustrations or malad justments and sometimes all of these together which threatens or has already attacked the adequacy of the person’s living situation or the effectiveness of his/ her efforts to deal with it.

2. The social-functioning problem may rest in interpersonal relationships; for example,
the inability of a parent to understand an adolescent child’s need and thus, is so strict that the relationship between parent and child is at the point where there is open rebellion and an inability to discuss the situation.

3. The problem may rest in an inability to negotiate with systems in the environment for e.g., a patient in a hospital is unable to ask the doctor the questions that are bothering the patient or to make his/her concerns known to the doctor.

4. The problem may rest in inadequate or inappropriate role performance; for example,
the parent does not meet the nutritional needs of the child or maintain a suitable home for that child. May be one of deficiency; that is, an individual does not have either the material resources or the personal capacity (temporary or permanent) to carry out the task needed for coping with a situation. An older person with a limited income and limited physical capacity may not be able to maintain a home or fix nutritious meals.

5. One may not have the preparation needed to carry out a social role. For example, the mother who did not have adequate mothering as a child and has received no instruction in childcare may not be able to properly care for her child because she just does not know how to care for small children.

6. May be due to disturbances or disorder resulting in intra psychic turmoil, constriction or distortion. For e.g. the person may be mentally ill or haves me perpetual difficulties which result in using inappropriate or ineffective means for coping with life situations.

7. May be there is discrepancies between expectations of a person and the demands of various segments of that person’s environment. For example, an individual expects that food, clothing and shelter will be provided by a social agency without work on his/her part, but the agency can only provide partially for those needs.

8. Problems may arise due to discrepancies between environmental demands and personal needs. For example, a teenage girl whose mother is ill is expected to care for younger siblings, but she needs time for completing her education and for socialization with her peers.

According to Perlman, the social functioning focus of social work began to emerge when problems were seen not as pathological but as part of life. Problems are frequent and unexpected in the human situation, and solutions are usually found without professional help. The concern of social work narrowed to those problems in which persons cannot readily unblock the fulfillment of need with their own resources. Problem in social work usage refers to a social-functioning situation in which need fulfillment of any of the persons or systems involved is blocked or has a significant potential of blockage, and in which the person involved cannot by themselves remove the block to need fulfillment.

Characteristics of a client’s problem:

1. The problems within the purview of social case work are those which vitally affect or are affected by a persons social functioning. The problem may be some unmet needs-economic, medical, educational, recreational-which hampers or undermines a person’s adequate living. Or it may be one of stress-psychological, social, physical- which causes the person to be ineffective or disturbed in carrying his/her social roles.

2. The multifaceted and dynamic nature of the client’s problem makes necessary the selection by the case worker and client of some part of it as the unit for work. Three main considerations enter into the choice of problem focus: 1) what the client wants 2) what the case worker’s professional judgment’s points to as possible and desirable solutions and 3) What the agency is for and can offer.

3. Problems in any part of a human beings living tend to have “chain reaction.” This is because while in the study of a person he/she may be compartmentalized and analyzed as a biological or psychological or social entity, a person lives a dynamic interrelated whole, reacting to and upon the dynamic whole of his/her environment. Whatever hurts one parts of his/her living will have its impact in other parts.

4. Any problem which a person encounters has both an objective and a subjective significance. A problem may be seen and understood by an onlooker; it is felt by its carrier, and it is experienced with the particularity of individual difference. Two aged men unable to work and needs money. This is a simple problem for which there is a ready solution in the form of age old assistance, yet it may not feel simple for the two. One may feel depressed by the problem itself-that he is old, is found useless, and is dumped by employers and so on. The other may accept his ageing and feels he has a right to be “given a hand”, but his anger and anxiety are aroused by the solution proffered-he cannot see why he must prove residence in his state or how he is expected to manage on so little money. Case worker must elicit and often deal with such feelings so that they may implement rather than obstruct the client’s work on his/her problem.

5. Not only do the external (objective) and internal (subjective) aspects of the problem co-exist, but either one may be the cause of the other. Everyone encounters situations in ones social living that, by his/her own momentary or chronic inability to deal with them, create internal problem in oneself. Case work help in problem solving, provides other things, an intervention which breaks or modifies the cause- effect chain of difficulties. Since this intervention may in itself prove problematic to the client, the social case work must seek to understand his/her means and processes as astutely as is possible so that he/she may facilitate rather than complicate the client’s problem solving efforts.