1. What is a social worker’s role in the treatment process?
The social worker takes an objective position in assessing the needs of various parties and to guide the patient and family towards an optimal solution. The social worker’s role in the first step – the “Need Assessment”, considers of the patient, parents and teachers’ observations of the patient’s behavior, and if possible, identify the triggers or causes of the patient’s behavior. *Note: Please refer to the social worker toolkit for more details on assessment for patient treatment.
2. What areas should a social worker consider while discussing a suitable treatment approach?
There are various considerations for suitable treatment approaches, as there are factors limiting the use of stimulant medication on certain groups of patients, these factors include age, allergies and existing medical conditions that may pose as problems with medication use in terms of safety or effectiveness. Other considerations include the parents and teachers’ involvement in the treatment process, as the effectiveness of non-pharmacological treatment can depend on their participation, parent and teacher’s awareness of this is important. *Note: Please refer to the parent and teacher toolkit for more details on treatment.
3. Should social workers decide on the patient’s treatment approach?
Social workers can provide assessment and guidance to patients, parents and teachers on the different types of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies. Social workers cannot prescribe medication to patients, but can play a role in the referral process of connecting patients with psychiatrists or other clinicians. In terms of non-pharmacological therapies, social workers can play a bigger role in providing training to parents and teachers, whilst maintaining a good relationship with the patient to build up communication and social skills.