Author: Jim, Sek-chu Ivy
Title: An exploration into the clients' experiences in the process of premature termination in the outreaching social work service in Hong Kong
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Social service -- China -- Hong Kong
Social work with teenagers -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: vii, 113 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: This dissertation is an initial attempt to study the outreach clients' experiences in the process of premature termination in Hong Kong. A qualitative research method is adopted with the aim of generating insights from the clients' description of their experiences in the process and their subjective evaluation about what they perceive are the most critical factor affecting their experiences in such ending process, how far their experiences affecting their satisfaction in various life domains and what are their needs and expectations about the issue of premature termination. A total of twelve respondents from the researcher's work team was interviewed. As reflected from the respondents, the premature termination in fact can lead to very unhappy experiences. Negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors among the respondents can be easily identified. These negative experiences also resulted in serious effects on the respondents' self-integrity, life goals, views of power relationship and human relationship etc. Findings also indicated that respondents' level of unhappiness is associated with the client's perceived closeness with the leaving worker. The more they feel close to the worker, the more they expect on the worker and the ending of relationship. The leaving worker's reactions in the process can also exert great impact on them. If their expectations are not fulfilled, their dissatisfaction would be the greatest. The study also indicates one important point that the more the respondents feel close to the worker, the more they tend to cover-up their negative thoughts and emotions so as not to disappoint or burden the leaving worker. However on the other hand, they wish their leaving worker can show empathy to their mixed feelings and take initiative to help them to resolve. So it is likely to assert that the client's perception of relationship with the leaving worker does have a great impact on their experiences in the process of premature termination. In this study, it is evidently clear that at last, the outreach clients can accept that worker's departure is a hard reality. They show their resistance is simply because the ending of relationship is too sudden, rush and imposing. They are not given adequate time to make psychological preparation. They consider some aspects of worker's work are especially important. These aspects are: (1) giving clear reason of leaving; (2) availability of future contact means; (3) time and timing; (4) decision and arrangement of transfer; and (5) worker's emotional reactions in the process. In summarizing their needs and expectations in the process of premature termination, some quality dimensions that they consider important in easing their tensions in the ending process are: (1) empathy; (2) communication; (3) responsiveness; (4) humaneness; and (5) assurance. At last, the study also attempts to explore the feasibility of alleviating the impacts of premature termination on clients from the client perspective. Several methods are suggested for worker's planning and implementation of termination work. These methods are: (1) Recognizing the importance of client perspective of their needs and expectations in the ending process; (2) Consciously avoid nurturing clients' dependency in the helping process which might contribute to separation crisis in the ending period; (3) A clear and mutual service contract may help to build-up client's realistic expectation about client-worker relationship, that in fact is supported by the outreach clients themselves. It is because they prefer to have time to make their own decision whether they continue to relate with the outreaching worker; (4) Recognizing the significance of differential tasks in ending, since the clients who have different closeness with the leaving worker are found to have different needs and expectations about the ending process; and (5) Avoid further negligence of the growth potential in the ending process. Worker probably can help clients to have positive views about the ending of service. It is not necessary for social workers to keep on focusing on losses or threats which may arise when the service terminates.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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