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Interview Paper Tamesha Green SW 3010, Practice Methods February 6, 2014 000351530

This by far was one of the most difficult assignments for me to complete. Calling total strangers and asking them for help was outside of my comfort zone, and the thought of asking for help was mortifying. After gathering information from the internet about local agencies that may have social workers, I began to call these agencies to complete this assignment of interviewing a Social Worker that has a bachelors Degree and that was licensed. I called a variety of agencies and never would I have imagined that all of them had an adverse response to my questioning, except for one. Section 1. My confidence began to leave after each rejection. After the fifth hasty and

rude hang up, I began to see a constant dislike for asking How are you? This question was as hard to get a positive response from as asking are there any licensed Social Workers that work there. A complete grasp for this lesson was quickly gained. In total 18 calls were made, no one ever took down my phone number in attempts to call me back. On one call, I did reach a supervisor on the first try which made me very happy, but she was unable to help me with my request. After the eighth phone call I understood two things, 1. No one wanted you to know how they were doing and 2. They were not able to give out that type of information. I could not understand why finding the answer to these questions was so difficult. I experienced frustration, anger, helplessness over the duration of these 18 calls. I became completely aware of how clients may become annoyed and agitated when looking for assistance. I am totally aware of the helpless feeling that can arise when you are in search of someone for help and there seems to be more rejection then answers. Calls number 13- 18 were more positive in tone and nature but still unable to yield the individual with the perquisites for this interview. After taking a break from

3 the bleak interview search, a phone call to a friend to express my frustrations yielded a positive lead to an agency that she claimed was always willing to help someone. After a call was made I again encountered another nasty receptionist who answered the phone, this time there was not going to be a deviation from my plan of finding this social worker. Calmly an explanation for the call was presented and then a direct answer to this seemingly elusive question, Yes please hold. A sense of excitement began to build as the phone rang on the other end. She answered, very polite and responsive to the questions at hand, she even set the appointment to conduct the interview. Section 2. Ms. Celeste Spruill was more than willing to be of assistance for our Friday afternoon meeting. I met her at her place of employment, North Central Development center, previously North Central Mental health agency. The agency changed from Mental Health to Development Centers March 1, 2013. She attended Michigan State University, and graduated in 1977 and obtained her social workers license thereafter. She is classified as a Social Worker case manager, and helps individuals with obtain income, education, medical attention and jobs. The ages she assists ranges from 18 to 80, services pertain to the basic needs of clients from job placement, to G.E.D testing, medical assistance, higher education and illiteracy. She told me that a lot of her clients have mental disabilities that range from low functioning, not being able to read and or write, to high functioning being able to attend college, but some range of mental disability is present. She is responsible for helping the client in any area they may need assistance, from filling out Social Security applications, job applications, to helping them find adequate childcare or housing to parenting classes. She related that one major concern of hers is the illiteracy rate amongst African Americans and the large number of clients she sees over 30 th at

4 are high school drop outs. This problem becomes a generational cycle where education is not valued and domestic life is lived in poverty. I was told that she was the best and she assumes the position, she feels as though she is not exempt from problems that other people have, she is very proactive and levels herself with the consumers and feels as though she is not exempt from any of their circumstances. May 1, 2013 North Central mental health agency changed its name and reestablished its foundation within the community. They are now called North Central Development centers. I could tell she was very proud of the change that had taken place with the establishment. She boasted about the back to school fair they held for one of the largest school districts in Detroit, the onsite medical facility, and the technology center that they also have to better assist the consumers. She explained that the development center is not just working for the community but for its employees as well. There is an ongoing mandatory training for the span of employment of each individual, this training helps the social worker with issues on diversity, sensitivity, dealing with the youth and dealing with the elderly. She told me that the development center was the best thing that happened for that community, from birth to 80 they are very community oriented and they receive the same response from the community. The micro practices at the facility deals with individuals and assisting with their needs. The mezzo practices deals with getting the community involved and responding to the needs of the community as well. I asked her what was the best part of her job? She said helping people, and seeing their objective materialize. Section 3. In conclusion, interviewing someone only gives you a glimpse at what it is you are researching. Ms. Spruill reminded me that social workers are not taught to be social workers, they are born social workers. A meeting that was suppose to last 45 minutes

5 nearly ran for 2 hours, this was one indication that this lady really had compassion for assisting others. This assignment taught me to be patient, have empathy and to be understanding, but most importantly never stop doing what I love to do. Being able to understand what a consumer may go through when looking for assistance, helped me to realize that taking the time out to answer the phone or to return a call may just be the assistance that a client may need. I do not wish for anyone that may be in need of help to feel the anguish that I felt when calling these agencies. Another lesson that was taught to me by Ms. Spruill was to always listen to the consumer, they may tell you vital information that can lead to you succeeding in helping them or lead to you deeming them non compliant. After she failed to hear a client say he was unable to read or write she almost closed his case without assisting him, because she thought he was not cooperating with his action plan. She reiterated that, listening to a client was by far the most important aspect of her job. If she had not had taken the time to bring the client in and ask him again why he was not in compliance with his treatment plan, he may have fallen through the cracks of the system. This was more than just an interview session, at times it felt as though I was the client; the professional took over the interview from the rookie and for every question that was asked, she also had one. This exchange was healthy; it showed me that no matter what setting you are in you can always learn from others, help others and grow from what knowledge that is gained. This interview did not detour me from becoming a social worker it helped me to see that I was on the right path, and it gave me some key components to help guide my professional career.