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Connolly (2004:51) states, “Tuning-in requires workers to think about the client, their social situation, and the structural factors that have led them to presenting to the agency”. In the first level of tuning-in, the social worker would consider Adam’s Down’s Syndrome and how this affects his life in all aspects. Background reading would be beneficial to facilitate a working knowledge of the condition and the range of development and understanding involved. Watson (2002:25) observes of the manifestations of Down’s Syndrome, “the level of intellectual impairment varies between individuals…achievement of developmental milestones may be slower.”
As Adam is entering a period of change in that he is in his final year of school and contemplating his choices for the future, theories of transition, incorporating issues of loss and change are important, as Marris (1974) argues, “that change whether voluntary or imposed, positive or negative, involves loss as well as gain for those involved”.
As Adam is a Vulnerable Adult as defined by the DHSSPS Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, (2006:10) as, ‘a person aged 18 years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services …by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness or who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs model would be relevant in that his basic fundamental needs for survival and safety are paramount to assisting Adam to fulfil his self actualisation potential.
The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (NI) Act 1978 outlines the duty to provide Adam with services supported by The Health and Personal Social Services (NI) Order 1972 (Amended 1991 and 1994) articles 4 and 15 which set out legislation required for supporting and assisting Adam as stated, “To make available advice, guidance and assistance, to such extent as it considers necessary.” OPSI...