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Sundy Preston 1

SocWF310
11/24/12
Organizing & Communicating Assessment Information
Eight Preparatory Steps
1. Reviewing
a. Find out if the client is a man or woman and if there is any more information or
history about them like their work or previous contact information.
b. Find out how old the teenagers are and what school they go to.
c. Do research to find out what kind of teenage programs are available at the school
or in the area.
d. Find out if there is any low income housing available in the school distrust the
kids currently attend.
e. Look up some single parent support groups.
f. Keep an open mind to who my client is and what their situation is.
2. Exploring
a. Talk to the scheduler to see if there is any more information regarding my client.
Did the client mention why their living conditions was not good long term?
b. Contact the kid’s school and ask teachers and school counselor if they can share
any information about the family.
c. Keep an open mind regarding my client and realize that the things people share
with me will reflect their own biases.
3. Consulting
a. Seek advice from my supervisor about how best to prepare for this interview.
o Concerning Safety
o Location of interview
o Agency policies or legal obligations
o The nature of the consultation
4. Arranging
a. Secure an interview room that is comfortable for the client and his two children if
he/she decides to bring them. Find one that has a game room or TV room for the
teenagers so that it will be comfortable to meet with the parent alone for some
time. Make sure the interview room is private and a safe welcoming environment
for my client.
b. Make sure I am clean and professional looking for the interview.
c. Allow the client and family to take their seats first.
5. Empathy
a. Explore what my client might be feeling.
Sundy Preston 2

i. He/she might be feeling overwhelmed because they asked about help for
making ends meet. They might feel ashamed that they are not able to
provide a house and adequate funds to make ends meet. They might feel
alone being a single parent. They might feel embarrassed that their
teenagers have to go without allot of things that they need. They might be
anxious to get out of their family’s house.
6. Self-Exploration
a. When I interact with this client I might feel frustration because he/she has not
figured out how to get on their own two feet and they have two teenagers
depending on them. I would feel bad for the teenagers that their parent is not on
top of it enough to get their own place to live and hold it together. I was raised
during my teenage hood by a single parent and it was frustrating for me.
b. Perhaps I could talk to some single parents to learn more about what it is like and
have a better understanding of what they might be going through. I would have to
set my own biases aside when talking to the client.
7. Centering.
a. To center and prepare for my interview I would talk to my councilor about my
frustrations about single parent’s inadequacies. Will do some meditation and
relaxation before the interview so that I can be calm and realize that my emotions
and biases are because of my own perspective and that this person is separate and
completely different than my experience. I will imagine putting my emotions and
biases in a box and up on a shelf to deal with later after the interview so that I can
be without judgment toward this client.
8. Preliminary Planning and Recording
a. Introductions.
b. Identify purpose and direction of meeting.
c. Establish ground rules.
d. Address any concerns about our agency or my role.
e. Determine the identities and characteristics of the family members.
f. Explore the problem or issue that stimulated the phone call.
g. Explore the history, development, and consequences of the problem.
h. Explore the risk or protective factors.
i. How has the family attempted to address the problem?
j. Explore the strengths and resources the family has.
k. Explore the client’s quality of life.
l. Establish a goal together.
m. Conclude the interview with some sense of what the next step in their process.


Sundy Preston 3

The Six Beginning Components
1. Introduction: Hello and welcome, my name is Sundy Preston (I would shake their hands)
I am a social work intern at this agency. I will be doing your intake interview today.
Please come in and have a seat where you feel comfortable.
2. Seeking Introductions: How are you guys doing today? I have been looking forward to
meeting you. Please each introduces yourselves so I know your name and a bit about you.
a. How do you feel about our first meeting?
3. Describing Initial Purpose: The purpose of our meeting today is to find out about your
family and what unique skills and resources you have. We can then see how best we can
serve you in your unique circumstance.
4. Orienting Clients: This agency offers many different services and they also work closely
with other agencies that have access to even more services. Let’s see what we can put our
strengths and resources together with our services to support your family in the best way.
5. Discussing Policy and Ethical Factors: There are some policies and guidelines I need to
go over with you and have you sign that you understand these. This is to make sure you
understand and that we are both protected with privacy and confidentiality unless there is
some information that puts anyone in harm’s way.
6. Seeking Feedback: What do you think about what we have talked about so far? What
questions do you have about this process?
My Positionality and the Clients
My positionality is that I am a social worker for the agency that this client is seeking help
from. I am in a position of power over whether they get help with our services or not. I have
education and understanding of the issues and services this family is faces with and they may
not.
My Clients positionality is that they are a single parent to teenage children and I am not so I
do not have a firm understanding of what that is like. They also are in a position of need and
perhaps desperation and I am not.
Two Possible Open Ended Questions
1. Will you tell me more about your situation?
2. I understand that you’re looking for activities for your kids; will you tell me more about
that?
Three Possible Questions To Find Clients Strengths
1. Can you tell me about a time in your life when you overcame the odds?
2. How have you gotten through some of lives struggles?
3. What would people say are some of your attributes?