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PATHWAYS TO STRENGTHENING AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN ILLINOIS. Module 5C – Problem Solving. 1. Problem Solving. Problems solving is the entire process of analyzing situations and selecting solutions. Decision Making.

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pathways to strengthening and supporting families in illinois
PATHWAYS TO STRENGTHENING

AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN ILLINOIS

Module 5C – Problem Solving

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

1

problem solving
Problem Solving
  • Problems solving is the entire process of analyzing situations and selecting solutions.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

decision making
Decision Making
  • Decision making is the act of selecting a single course of action from two or more alternatives.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

job competencies
Job Competencies
  • Use a problem solving model for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
  • Be aware the role our assumptions play in our understanding of a problem.
  • Work with a team to define a problem.
  • Use the technique of brainstorming.
  • Making a decision using the steps involved in reaching a consensus.
  • Develop a clearly thought out action plan.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model6
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

prioritizing problems
Prioritizing Problems
  • Start with the presenting problem / need.
  • Start with the problem / need that is the most important place to start from family's perspective.
  • Start with the problem / need that has the best chance of being resolved successfully with the least effort.
  • Start with the problem that needs resolution before other problems can be resolved.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model8
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

creative problem solving

Creative Problem Solving

An Illustration

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

what observations do you have about how each group solved their problem

What observations do you have about how each group solved their problem?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

assumptions
Assumptions
  • Assumptions circumscribe the boundaries of the problem and, in one sense, our minds. Our assumptions limit how we see the problem and, therefore, the solutions we generate.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving exercise
Problem Solving Exercise
  • Each small group read your exercise sheet and attempt to solve the problem/perform the tasks…
    • First –Individually (3 – 5 minutes)
    • Next - As a group (3 – 5 minutes)
      • Select a recorder, who will describe the problem and report your solution to the large group.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

group solutions
Group Solutions
  • Group Solution?
  • What assumptions were being tested in each problem
  • What shift in perception or change in assumptions needed to occur in order to be able to solve the problem

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

group solutions14
Group Solutions
  • Group Solution?
  • What assumptions were being tested in each problem
  • What shift in perception or change in assumptions needed to occur in order to be able to solve the problem

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

defining a problem situation
Defining a Problem Situation
  • Pinpoint problematic situations and the family’s feelings related to them
  • Analyze who owns what part of the situation.
  • Identify the needs of the family as they relate to the situation.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

defining a problem situation16
Defining a Problem Situation
  • Identify the needs of the family as they relate to the situation.
    • Explain that the most effective solution to a problem is one that best meets the needs of everyone concerned. This lays the groundwork for a needs based approach.
    • Clarify that the needs of every person involved in the situation are important and that no one will be counted out in the problem-solving process.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

defining a problem situation cont d
Defining a Problem Situation (Cont’d)
  • Discuss each life domain to determine if there are needs in that area:
    • Physical Needs/Living Situation
    • Family Attachment
    • Safety
    • Socialization
    • Cultural and Spiritual
    • Emotional and Psychological
    • Health
    • Educational/Vocational
    • Legal

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

defining a problem situation cont d18
Defining a Problem Situation (Cont’d)
  • Help the team differentiate between a want and a need.
  • Capture all the ideas that are expressed by asking for a volunteer to write down needs as they are identified.
  • Ask each person in succession to identify his or her personal needs, encouraging open discussion and requesting clarification when expressed needs are vague or confusing.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

defining a problem situation cont d19
Defining a Problem Situation (Cont’d)
  • Deal with the issue in the present.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

thinking creatively

Thinking Creatively

Respond to the question and then explain why you responded as you did.

This is not a test - there are no right or wrong answers. These are interesting and, hopefully, fun questions

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

thinking creatively21

Thinking Creatively

Respond to the question and then explain why you responded as you did.

This is not a test - there are no right or wrong answers. These are interesting and, hopefully, fun questions

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

how is this activity relevant to problem solving

How is this activity relevant to problem solving?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model23
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

brainstorming
Brainstorming
  • Brainstorming is a technique for generating multiple possibilities and options prior to making a decision. Brainstorming encourages participants to think creatively.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

guidelines for the brainstorming process
Guidelines for the Brainstorming Process
  • Let ideas flow.
  • Strive for quantity, not quality.
  • No evaluation of ideas at this point.
  • Have fun.
  • Be positive.
  • Encourage everyone to take part.
  • Piggyback and hitchhike on others' ideas.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

guidelines for the brainstorming process26
Guidelines for the Brainstorming Process
  • Wild ideas are welcome! Be creative.
  • Record all ideas.
  • Build upon a family’s strengths
  • Don't react to or discuss any ideas while brainstorming.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

brainstorming steps
Brainstorming Steps
  • Clarify the problem situation
  • Ask participants to propose ideas, letting ideas flow.
      • Free-for-all
      • Round Robin
      • Journaling

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

brainstorming steps cont d
Brainstorming Steps (Cont’d)
  • Record ideas as they are generated without discussing or evaluating them.
  • Encourage people to build on each other's ideas.
  • When people have run out of ideas, allow for a few minutes of thinking time and reflection.
  • Clarify the ideas.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

brainstorming steps cont d29
Brainstorming Steps (Cont’d)
  • Cluster or group ideas into categories.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

nelson family meeting activity
Nelson Family Meeting Activity
  • Divide into groups of six
  • Review the Nelson Family Meeting Scenario – decide who will play each role
  • Role play the family meeting, focusing on brainstorming solutions to address Juanita’s work and education needs
  • Caseworker will…
    • help the team define the problem situation
    • lead the team in brainstorming potential solutions

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

what is your feedback regarding the brainstorming process

What is your feedback regarding the brainstorming process?

How might you use this process of defining the problem situation and brainstorming options in a family meeting that you facilitate?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model32
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

what is consensus

What is “consensus”?

Consensus is a decision that has been reached when most of the team agree on a clear option and the few who oppose it think they have had a reasonable opportunity to influence that choice. All team members agree to support the decision.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

misunderstandings about consensus
Misunderstandings about Consensus
  • Consensus means everyone agrees.
  • All team decisions should be made by consensus.
  • The final consensus decision reflects the first choice of each team member.
  • Consensus is fast and easy.
  • Consensus is compromise.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

what are the advantages of using a consensus decision making approach in family meetings

What are the advantages of using a consensus decision making approach in family meetings?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

two prerequisites for consensus decision making
Two Prerequisites for Consensus Decision Making
  • Most - the minimum percentage of team members present at the meeting who agree or disagree with a decision.
  • Support – Doing your part to implement a team decision

What would be some of the conditions that would need to be met for you to support a consensus ?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

levels of support
Levels of Support
  • Minimal Support
  • Moderate Support
  • Maximum Support

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

consensus building steps
Consensus Building Steps

Step 1 – Pare down the list (Options)

  • Spontaneously reaching agreement verbally
  • Multi-voting

Step 2 – Reach agreement on a criterion (a standard used for evaluating an option).

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

after school supervision brainstorming activity
After School SupervisionBrainstorming Activity
  • Brainstorm criteria in each of the following categories:
    • Cost
    • Transportation
    • Activities
    • Child safety
  • Narrow down the options to 1 or 2 in each category.

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

analyzing options chart
Analyzing Options Chart

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

tips for managing decision making sessions
Tips for Managing Decision Making Sessions
  • Be clear on the process
  • Explain any tools or techniques
  • Ask about assumptions
  • Always confront differences assertively and collaboratively
  • Promote “Group Think”
  • Stick with consensus building even if the going gets rough
  • Be particular about achieving closure
  • Stop the action if behavior gets ineffective
  • Once “most” is reached elicit support from each member

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model42
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

factors to consider when developing an action plan
Factors to Consider When Developing an Action Plan
  • Other individuals who will be affected?
  • Resources needed?
  • Who needs to be
    • informed?
    • involved?
  • Evaluation of the plan?
  • Back-up Plan?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

consensus decision making and developing an action plan activity
Consensus Decision Making and Developing an Action Plan Activity

Return to role play groups. Select a new facilitator.

  • Define most for your group.
  • Discuss and agree on criteria that will be used to evaluate potential solutions.
  • Pare down brainstorming list of potential solutions to 3 - 5 top priorities.
  • Apply criteria to top 3 - 5 solutions and select an option.
  • Develop an action plan

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

what worked well about the process any problems

What worked well about the process?…any problems?

What criteria was used to evaluate the options?

… the top 3-5 options?

… the final decision?

… the action plan?

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving model46
Problem Solving Model
  • A problem solving model is a structured method for defining, analyzing and solving problems.
    • Step One: Acknowledge the Problem or Unmet Need
    • Step Two: Analyze the Problem and Identify the Needs of the Participants
    • Step Three: Generate Possible Solutions
    • Step Four: Evaluate Each Option, Considering the Needs of the Participants and Select an Option
    • Step Five: Develop an Action Plan and Implement the Option Selected
    • Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

monitoring
MONITORING
  • Careful, consistent observation
  • Review of how the solution is working in regularly scheduled team meetings

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

problem solving summary
Problem Solving - Summary
  • Team’s focus is on understanding and responding to the family’s needs and the original safety issue.
  • Six Step Problem Solving Model
    • Impact of our perceptions and assumptions
    • Brainstorming process
    • Consensus
    • Components of an action plan
    • Monitoring
    • Evaluating

Division of Service Support, Office of Training and Professional Development

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