Interview in Social Case Work
The interview is the most frequently used, social work skill by the social case worker. It is the structured interaction between a worker and client. In the interview process the case worker and the client have face to face purposeful and professional conversation. The objective of an interview in social case work may be as informational (to make a social study), diagnostic (to arrive at an appraisal) and therapeutic (to effect change).Social Study interviews: –
Information regarding life history is collected through the interviews. The information enables the worker to understand the client in relation to the social situation.Diagnostic decision making interviews: –
This type of interviews geared towards appraisal and determination of the eligibility for a service. These interviews help in making administrative decisions. For example the child welfare worker interviews the faster case or adoptive applicant to determine it the agency should place the child with them.Therapeutic interview :–
The interview aims at bringing change in the client, in social situation or personality or both. The goal is more effective social functioning on the part of the client as consequence of the therapeutic changes.
Skills to be used by the case worker during interview –
Five groups of skills that should be used during an interview: observation skills, listening skills, questioning skills, focusing, guiding and interpretation skills and climate setting skills.Observation skills –
It includes the workers ability to use understand non verbal behavior of the client. It includes understanding the body language, opening and closing sentences, shifts in conversation, recurrent references, inconsistencies or gaps in information shared and points of stress and conflict indicated by the client.Listing skills –
It involves understanding what the client is attempting to communicate. Listening includes an attitude of acceptance, openness and focus on what being said by the client.Questioning skills –
This skill refers to knowing and asking the various types of questions. Questioning is an art and an important skills. Various type of questions such as open ended and close ended should be asked while interview. Open ended question allows expression of feeling and give the workers an opportunity to understand the client perception of the situation.Focusing, guiding and interpretation skills –
It includes capacity to paraphrase and summarize, confront and to be silent. Paraphrasing and summarizing clarity what has been said. Confrontation is bringing out into the open feelings, issues and discontents. It involves looking at these elements and attempting to find ways to deal with them. Silence may indicate resistance, frustration, or anger but it also can provide a time for worker and client to be reflective. It is the workers responsibility to direct the interview but not to control it. The worker by focusing, guiding and directing enables the process of case work to proceed towards the desired out come.Climate setting skills –
This skill refers to enabling or facilitating work. The three characteristics that enable the case work process are empathy, genuineness and non possessive warmth. Empathy is the capacity to communicate to the client that the worker accepts and care for the client. Genuineness is the capacity of the worker to communicate to the client that the worker is trust worthy and non possessive warmth is the capacity to communicate to the client both concern and desire for an intimacy.