An Intervention Approach to Promote Fatherhood in Schools: Acquiring the Generalist Intervention Model, the Mandala Ecosystem Health Model, Urie Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory and Egan Skilled Helper Model
An Intervention Approach to Promote Fatherhood in Schools: Acquiring the Generalist Intervention Model, the Mandala Ecosystem Health Model, Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological systems theory and Egan Helper Model
As part of a university-based consultant, this intervention paper seeks to address its issue on organizing a program aimed at engaging fathers/ bringing fathers/ more males into the Catholic College to promote the importance of fatherhood by introducing relevant and effective programs to benefit the local community. The school was formed in 2008 and began as a “School in a Shopping Centre”. Currently, within the school, around 50% of students live in single-parent homes or with a step-parent. Additionally, around 25% of students have a history of experiencing abuse within the family. The Mandala Health model, Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological systems theory, Egan skilled helper model and the GIM models are to assist me in the planning and suggestion process of delivering an intervention that promotes Australian government’s “Stronger Families and Communities” strategy announced in the 1999-2000 Federal budget.
My intervention approach
Since, the school wants to promote fatherhood, I as a consultant suggests that in order to increase fathers actively-involved with child’s life, the school could give out consent form informing activities such as sports day carnival, fun-fair, etc which fathers could participate in to promote or build bonds with the child instead of just being the sole breadwinner of the household. Let them know that small little things could make a difference in a child’s growing up process. It is not just having stable financial income which makes the child happy.
In addition, introducing scores charts which motivate their child to inform their fathers’ on upcoming activities. Whoever fathers’ participated in the event would be awarded with food vouchers .These vouchers can then be exchanged for free food in the canteen. For scores wise, we’ll based on the top 5% who has meet the requirement and be awarded with token of appreciation; give recognition to father’s effort.
What were the stages you went through in the planning process? Describe the activities undertaken.
The Generalist Intervention Model is an intervention/practice model that includes all systems (micro, macro and mezzo) by providing a systematic approach to undertake the change process in addressing the issue. The following aforementioned are the processes:
Engagement. Establishing rapport relationships and effective communication by greeting the client regardless of whether one is pursuing micro, mezzo or macro change, the fundamentals of doing so is to build good rapport or a trustworthy relationship with clients and target system to produce basic communication. Engagement is inclusive of verbal and non-verbal communication and genuineness to engage clients the helping process (Hull and Kirst-Ashman, 2004).
Assessment. Identification of client by defining whether it is individual, family, group, organization or community by identifying one based on all aspects mentioned above. Even though it sounded simple, to recognize who my client is, may become blurred and vague, as I have to question these following questions. Who is my client? Who are the ones that needed my help? Is it just an individual or the entire family is my client instead (Hull and Kirst-Ashman, 2004).
Assess the client-in-situation and identify issues. Four major aspects are considered such as micro, mezzo and macro levels. Each aspects must be defined and identify strengths in the element of human diversity. Micro aspects. Exploring the criticality of the problems, causation of the problem, client strengths and and how to improve to better one lives (Hull and Kirst-Ashman, 2004).
Planning. Defining the problems and plan which to prioritize.
Implementation. Carrying out the discussed plans to achieve client goal. Consistent monitoring and assessing of progress during implementation to ensure client stays on track. Sometimes, it might affect the plan in terms of its situation, conditions or issues.
Evaluation. Practitioners must be accountable for their intervention by proving its effectiveness. Evaluating of each goal that has been achieved to determine whether the case should be terminated or reassess to create new goals.
Termination and follow-up. Do not establish attachment with the client upon termination. As a saying goes “teaching one the techniques of fishing rather than providing one fishes every time” which denotes disengage with the person upon the client being stabilized after this intervention ends (Hull and Kirst-Ashman, 2004).
What models of planning did you adopt for planning? Refer to relevant literature.
The Generalist Intervention model proposed by Hull and Ashman (2004) which involves the eight steps of planning:
Work with the client
Translate problems into needs
Evaluate levels of intervention for each need
Specify action steps
Formalize a contract
Work with the client. Working with the client by involving the client with the problem, definition of the problem which the client perceived a problem as the top priority compared to other problems faced. On the other hand, practitioners have to take into account of the client’s strengths during the planning process to prevent dispute among one another.
Prioritize problems. Provide priority for each problems – what others or practitioners think is most significant might not be significant to the client for the problem to rank as top priority. For example, firstly, fatherhood; engage more fathers/stepfathers in caring, nurturing their children. Secondly, school providing high-quality education and facilities for students.
Translate problems into needs. Initially, client suffered from the problems. Hence, as practitioners/consultants, we got to provide solutions to assist in problem-solving. Needless to say, this simple step in planning aids in reorganizing our thoughts on current situation in order to decide on appropriate solutions.
Evaluate levels of intervention (micro, mezzo, and macro). Accentuating one client needs at a time by beginning with those ranked as highest priority. Discussion on alternative solutions with the client may focus on the micro, mezzo, or macro level of transformation. For example, involving what can the individual do at the micro-level by providing alternate methods targeting on behavioural management.
Establish goals. Charting out goals that are feasible for client’s with regards on how to proceed with the intervention. For instance, to build a full-pledged school that benefits the local community.
Specify objectives. Goals specificity in identifying what needs to be achieved, how do I go about achieving the goals and meeting my client needs? Therefore, stating explicit objectives helps to provide specification in our objectives.
Specify action steps. These steps represent the clarity of the goals and the completion of the goals by moving towards achieving the objectives. Action steps helps to monitor and reassess our client’s actions. Noteworthy to note that failure to complete important action steps leads to failure to attain objectives and client’s goals.
Formalize a contract with the client. Bring in a contract working agreement that is negotiable with the client and others involved in the process. A contract formalizes the agreement between client and practitioner and clarifying both expectations. An array of items includes the financial fees, terms and conditions involved in the intervention. Supposedly, clients should be actively-involved with developing the conditions in the contract. Understandable terms must be used in the contract rather than technical jargons which client doesn’t understand easily. Additionally, this contract differs from legal contracts in terms of its flexibility to client’s changing needs or conditions.
Did you use ecosystemic principles in planning, and if so, what principles were used and how?
The Mandala of Health: a health model of the human ecosystem
As the Mandala Health model has been on-going in the early 1980s, it has gained worldwide acceptance in the medical and psychological association. This model conveys that the interaction of culture with environment aids one in understanding the human ecology. The outer level of the Mandala highlights our living planet encompassing the culture and the biosphere. Holistically, health of the individual consists of spirit, body and mind dimensions. The system that is surrounding the individual is the family and community aspects while beside the body and mind, makeup of the sick-care system and work. In between the four sides of the circle, contains personal behaviour, psycho-socio economic environment, human biology and physical environment (Hancock, 1993).
Ultimately, this model should be as seen as a multi-disciplinary use, flexible and dynamic in which various element transform based on individual needs (Hancock, 1993). Conversely, to solidify the theory’s practical framework, I would prefer Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory as it defines as complex layers of environment, each having an effect on a person’s development. Recently, this theory has been renamed “bioecological systems theory” to emphasize that a person’s own biological predisposition is a primary environment fueling their development (Santiago, 2004).
The interaction between factors in the person’s maturing biology, their immediate family and community environment, and the societal landscape fuels and steers their development. Changes or conflict in any one layer will ripple throughout other layers. To understand father’s needs in the transitions, we must look not only at the fathers but as well as the students and their immediate environment, but also in all environment dimensions of interaction as well.
Egan helping model and the outcomes
Egan skilled helper model is reflected in my planning process and outcomes. It is not based on a particular theory of personality development, or on a theory of the ways difficulties develop. It is a framework for conceptualizing the helping process, and is best used in working on issues in the recent past and the present.
As with any model, it provides a map, which can be used in exploring and navigating, but which is not the territory itself. The Egan model and mentoring are not synonymous; the model can be used in many kinds of helping relationships, and mentoring/co-mentoring can be done using other models or just solely one. The model can and should be used flexibly. The model works best if attention is paid to Rogers’ ‘core conditions’, the helpers approach to the speaker being based on genuineness, respect, and empathy, and if principles of good active listening are remembered throughout.
Three main questions were posed to the speaker on Egan model:
‘What is going on?’
– Utilizing the school to the benefit of the local community
– Organized a program aimed at engaging fathers/bringing fathers/more males into the school
– Abuse cases found in children’s family lives
‘What do I want instead?’
Include the staff without appearing to create more work for them
Increase the involvement of fathers/grandfathers/stepfathers within the school community
‘How might I get to what I want?’
Ensure they do not burnout by having a work-life balance in their lives for parents, teachers, and principal
Provide student services and counseling facilities
Strength and weaknesses of the planning model
Theoretically, this theory is versatile, well developed and extremely useful. In contrast, interviewers and consultants have to be highly-competent to adopt the Hull and Kirst-Ashman Generalist Intervention model (GIM) as it emphasize on client strengths rather on weaknesses which perhaps, the person could be intellectually-disabled which might lead to misjudging the person’s strengths. Hypothetically, coping strategies, moderation and mediation elements were not covered in the planning model which leads to burnout among organization.
In terms of cultural differences, different organizations have certain values or mission and protocol for individuals to adhere. Consultants have to be highly-cultural competence to work effectively with clients of different racial backgrounds, ethnics and various cultures when acquiring the planning model. Also, consultants have to take note not to make automatic assumptions about diverse group in the social environment. They must strive to develop self-