IDD in Multiple Contexts Paper and Presentation
Social work concerns itself with social issues such as mental health, child maltreatment, health, aging, substance abuse, criminal and juvenile justice, poverty, and much more. Individuals with developmental disabilities often experience these social issues at higher rates than other people do. However, our systems for responding to need tend to focus on single issues such as mental health. But, what happens when a social worker that is working in the mental health field encounters a person with a developmental disability who is experiencing a mental health issue? What is their responsibility? What should they focus on—mental health or disability? What system is responsible for providing support? What federal, state, and local policies exist that could influence supports and services for this person? These are questions that are not easy to answer.
Please choose from one of the following topics (Child Welfare, Juvenile or Adult Criminal Justice, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Senior/Aging Services). There are two parts to this assignment—a paper and a presentation. Details follow.
Write a 5-page paper (APA format—double-spaced, title page, NO Abstract) that answers the following questions:
• For the area of practice chosen (e.g., mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, etc.), what is the prevalence of individuals with DD that experience this problem? If we do not know the prevalence, why not (e.g., poor data collection process or DD not seen as relevant)? Do individuals with DD experience the issue at a higher rate than others? If yes, why?
• In this field of practice, what unique issues does a social worker encounter when working with an individual with a developmental disability? Issues related to direct intervention or group work, which systems of support will serve the person (e.g., Mental health, DD, both, other) or other issues?
• How well does the chosen system (e.g., juvenile justice) respond to individuals with DD? What do federal and state policies in the area of practice have to say about disabilities, if anything? Are there gaps in the delivery of services to individuals with DD?
• How well does the DD system respond to individuals that are experiencing the chosen problem? What do federal and state policies in the area of DD have to say about the chosen issue, if anything? Are there gaps in the delivery of services to individuals with DD that are also experiencing the social issue?
• What needs to change in terms of federal and state policy to improve supports and services to individuals with DD that also experience other life challenges? For more information on Juvenile court check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenile_court
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