Practice: Social Worker Interview

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Introduction and Alignment

In the previous activity, you reflected on your engagement competency and your areas for growth. In this discussion activity, you will observe the engagement phase by watching two provider-client interactions. Then you’ll learn first hand about engagement and the change process from a current social worker.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Create empathic client engagement that leads to empowerment and growth. (PO6)
  • Utilize reflection and self-regulation to manage effectively the intersection of personal and professional values. (PO 1)


  • Textbook: Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice
  • Video: Demonstrating a Therapy Appointment with Kati Morton
  • Video: Deiandra A. Mock Social Work Interview
  • File: Case Study Scenario.pdf
  • Website: NASW Code of Practice: Interview a social worker within your community

Background Information

Practicing your engagement skills is key to your ongoing development as a social worker. Empathetic engagement skills and strategies are not only effective, they are also a matter of best practice and ethical practice. Skilled and empathetic engagement reflects social workers’ respect for the dignity and worth of the person and demonstrates an overarching value for human relationships (NASW, 2008). Practicing your engagement skills and strategies can lead to ongoing social work competency and success.

Practice: Social Worker Interview Instructions

  1. In your textbook, Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice review Chapter 5 “Basic Skills for Direct Practice,” “Advanced Social Work Skills for Direct Practice,” and “Intake and Engagement.”
  2. Watch the following videos that depict a helping professional’s engagement with a client. For each video, reflect on the helping professional’s use of engagement skills and strategies, as well as their demonstration of key relationship qualities and their use of power.
    1. Click the video icon below to watch the video “Demonstrating a Therapy Appointment with Kati Morton,” or you may read the optional file Demonstrating a therapy appointment with Kati Morton Transcript.pdf.
    2. Click the video icon below to watch the video “Deiandra A. Mock Social Work Interview,” or you may read the optional file Deiandra A. Mock Social Work Interview Transcript.pdf.
    3. Review the assessment criteria in the grading rubric below to gain an understanding of the grading guidelines for this activity.
    4. Review the Case Study Scenario.pdf, which details the case of Hector, a 15-year-old boy in a juvenile detention center
      1. Choose a social welfare agency of interest to you. Interview a social worker at the agency.
      2. Find out the person’s educational background, i.e., BA, MSW. Ask them to comment on how and whether their academic background prepared them for this position.
      3. Ask questions that will help you understand that person’s role and work activities within the agency as well as the client population that is serviced.
      4. Ask the social worker to describe an experience when the engagement of the client went smoothly as well as a time when it was challenging. How does the social worker describe and explain the difference between the two situations? What are strategies social workers use to manage their internal responses to clients as they engage them?
      5. Ask questions related to how the social worker uses the change process within their work (Engagement, Assessment, Treatment Planning, Evaluation, and Termination).
      6. Find out what causes the person satisfaction or frustration in their job.
      7. Ask other questions, relating to class materials or to your personal interests.
    5. Turn in a 2-3 page typed report summarizing this agency visit. On the heading of your report, list the name of the person you talked with, include his/her educational credentials, the name & address of the agency, date of the interview. In your report include responses to the above outline and any other areas of interests that were discussed.
    6. Within the paper, compare and contrast the approach taken by the social worker from the interview in comparison to the videos within the workshop as well as the chapters from the textbook for this week.
    7. The paper should be written in APA formatting.

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