Advocate interview project (interview a Social worker )


Advocate interview project

Name: David Robinson

Intuition: Miami University

I chose to interview a Social worker whom deals with Veterans only. This was in the office of chemical dependency at the Dayton Ohio Veterans Hospital. The person I spoke with asked that I not use her name. She felt that some things she might say would come back to harm her. That her, and many others feel that more should be done for our veterans. Her time at the V.A. hospitals over her ten years has seen many things. She has worked at two other hospitals in different states. She said that because the V.A. has devised a plan that is used at all the hospitals throughout the world. That there is very little lead way on the use of different plans fixed to help individuals rather than large groups.

As we went into our talk, she seemed very happy that more veterans are interested in social work. This she said was only due to her Veterans has a connection within their own group that helps extend to other veterans. She was concerned with having making a large difference in the lives of Veterans. This she said was mostly due to the reasons why many veterans have fallen into dependency of drugs and alcohol. Which was vastly different than most of society, and the reason they have been gripped by these devices. She did seem that while many are not helped, there is a group that is helped by these meetings in large groups. Many just take in the information and try to apply this to their lives. Trying to escape the drugs holds, some prescription from V.A. physicians. Many have tried to self-medicate from the many emotional pains they feel. Her thoughts on this were many would slide onto the cracks and find themselves with little to no help. Some larger programs do help the general population with issues of dependency. Veterans are not only a diverse, but also a disproportionate group that has many issues that are twined in their lives. When asked about the present obstacles she and other social workers face daily helping group with its large problems. Most of the problems seen are the huge amount of paper work the V.A. requires from them. They have fund that they must keep daily logs, and other forms that are required to be complete accurately. The program often changes which means that they have to attend new training that may require ether more paper work, or changes in styles of group meetings.

For the most part, they work with each other’s and their superiors when changes need completed. While they can advocate for changes in this system when they attended off site meetings they feel many times changes are slow to happen, if they do happen. They have to work within the V.A. systems that are in place by the congress. One area allowed to help is the veteran is recommended to groups that are smaller if openings are available. Many of the forms required for the veteran to complete, they help the veteran.

She said, “That because all the papers reviewed daily, as they are used in the veteran’s compensation claims”. Veteran’s papers are recorded electronically for future use. This helps in preserving them; it helps in retrieving these in the future. Veterans that may move to other areas each V.A. worker can retrieve these for any needed use. Most do like this system enabling them to use some of their time more wisely. Enabling more time with the veteran’s needs. They write local representatives with concerns about process that might help the veterans receive the promise made to them.

As personally working with each other, notes left on the log as to how they feel about s certain subject, or area the veterans may be addressing. She went on to say that due to the huge amount of veterans each social worker sees in different areas it is very difficult for them to communicate with one another. Social workers find it difficult to remember each veteran on personal bases making this process not one used. In her opinion, “many may use this process if asked about a certain item or question that may have been asked”. Can add an additional problem if this is not answered correctly. This problem is why she personally does not do this. Even little changes in wording or documentation can cause delays in benefits, or compensation they may be entited.

Working with the many physicians in the system, can at times strain relationships. Learning how or what a physician’s concern is can be difficult. This adds to the frustration to meet the veterans has needs, and obtain the best outcomes. The way in the paper work must be filled out is very detailed and wording is checked by superiors. Her superiors feel that wording can reflect poorly on the system and the treatment of veterans. This does not always reflect the real needs of any one person and delivering to that person the best possible treatments they may need. This is not to say all do this practice at all places. Some areas she has worked is vastly different on the way reporting is completed. They like keeping the documents as close as possible to the reporting the social worker does.

When asked about her job and responsibilities she had maintained she was very happy to be working for men and women that have served our country. It brings a sense of accomplishment every day she is able to help someone find help, or his or her needs are meet. She reflected a bit and said, “That when she looks at a veteran she has no idea what they have been through in their time. To her they are not just another client to deal with. It is her honor to help with all the resources she has at her disposal.” Every day has different problems that may come into her office. Not every problem may have the one size fits all. Therefore, the importance of listing to the person having needs is very important. Repeating many times what the clients says so she may be able to help the best she can. This makes her feel good at night. Her job is not how she feels at night, but did the veteran get his, or her need meet.

There was not much other than the paper work. With many rules that make working at the V.A. little more stress. Even knowing that these rules can allow modified depending on the circumstances. She said that in any area there are circumstances that may not follow the rules precisely. This insures that social workers may present to the supervisor those circumstances.

She said she would like to see more ideas that help veterans with problems in areas not covered by the V.A. Humanitarian work is used, but very little. She and others would like to see the expansion of the health care, and dependency care when needed. This area would help homeless vets, them on Drugs, alcohol. One big area is the ability to launch teams for veterans in rural areas. They seem to fall into the cracks not receiving any care. This creates a great concern within the social workers role. Seeing and not being able to help in an area of need. Trying to start up a new role within the V.A. is very hard with so many processes to enter into. Sometimes it can take years for the process to work for veterans. Causing veterans to think there is no one that cares about them. When this is not the truth at all, it is so hard to explain to veterans many times about this process. When they hear how the V.A. cares for them. This puts us in spot of trying to explain that process put into place by congress. These processes, as unrealistic as they may seem have to follow the laws.

Most policies are changed at many levels. Creating sometimes many problems for the staff, and they cases are handled. While some enhance the process for veterans, some do not. The social workers are asked about the process with respect to outcomes. Her personal feelings sometimes along with others may cause them not to speak out. The disappointment with the system does concern many of the social workers that want to help. They many times feel they have their hands tied behind their back with truly helping the veterans.

Building a relationship with men and women that have very little trust to begin with is quite hard. Her idea is veterans only remember the promises made to them about care after their time in the Military serves. Many veterans never told about the many obstacles that may lay ahead for them to reach their goal. This becomes a difficult movement for the veterans to trust, and wait for answerers they to receive help. The system, built with many seemly deadfalls to hold up that help. While we, “social workers” keep veterans waiting and interested waiting for that help. veteran’s loose interest of become very disappointed in the system. A percentage does stop waiting for this process to fulfill its obligations. She wishes the process could move much faster, or at least have a way providing temporary help till the longer systems does it process. We should never have a process in place that keeps veterans from help when they come seeking this. One veteran that falls through the cracks is one to many. With the fear of PTSD in many of these lives, they do not need to be felt that no one cares. Every little change that may seem no significant to us is a major change in their lives.

Policies that could help are the ones she mentioned above could also include fast tracking some cases. A social worker needs more latitudinal movement when veterans came in for help. To try to separate the environmental concern’s from a life is very difficult when needs immediate. Trying to put yourself into the life of veteran many times is difficult. Her mention of not getting involved in the client’s life was something that is very hard for someone dealing with veterans. We cannot look at a veterans as the same as the general population. These groups have many different hardships, with added pressures.

Her closing words and ideas referred to a system that not closed to new ideas. Ideas are like ways the ground troops can share how the ideas and polices of management are truly working. Collaboration sometimes lacks at that point. Some just look at numbers and cost rather than lives affected by decisions. She hope that in the ten years things can change form the policy makers in extending more help, and flexibility to the social workers to make decisions.