Week 3: Assessment of Children
It is essential to obtain a strong knowledge base on the relevant assessment tools used specifically with children. Assessment tools historically have been created and tested primarily on adults, more specifically Caucasian adult male subjects. Children, similar to people with disabilities or those from various ethnic backgrounds, are often ignored in research protocols. In turn, the assessment tools used with them tend to be mere replicas of those created and tested for adults. It has become clear in the social work profession as well as other disciplines that we have not paid close enough attention to the unique needs and experiences of children. It is imperative to recognize the importance of using evidence-based assessment tools that are tailored specifically for children. Children quickly develop emotionally, physically, and psychologically, and the assessment tools used with this population must be sensitive to their developmental process. Further, a child’s physical, emotional, personality, and psychological development is strongly impacted by his or her environment. Taking an ecological perspective, understanding a child’s experience within his or her home and surrounding environment, will help to identify the level of support and safety. This knowledge will help guide one’s treatment plan and intervention.
- Analyze assessment tools for children
- Analyze the importance of using multiple tools for assessment
- Analyze the ecological perspective of assessment
- Analyze the importance of cultural competence in clinical practice
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Woolley, M. E. (2013). Assessment of children. In M. J. Holosko, C. N. Dulmus, & K. M. Sowers (Eds.), Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions (pp. 1–39). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
Working With Children and Adolescents: The Case of Claudia (pp. 15–17)
Note: Depending on your concentration, you may not receive a case study book until a later term. Therefore, if you did not receive a copy of Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year in your previous course, use the linked PDF provided here. If you did receive the book referenced above, you may find the cases there or use the PDF.
Discussion: Assessment Tools
Assessments are an integral part of the planned change process. During this part of the process you will accumulate, organize, and review the information you will need to begin the planning and intervention phases of treatment. Content and information are obtained from multiple sources (the child, family members, school personnel, etc.) and in various forms (interviews, records, and observation). It is essential to collect data in a comprehensive manner—understanding the presenting problem from an ecological model that seeks to gain insight into the concern on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. Focusing on a multilevel approach to a client’s concern and taking into account the environmental factors that contribute to the presenting problem distinguishes social work from other disciplines.
By Day 3
Post a description of the importance of using multiple evidence-based tools (including quantitative, open ended, and ecologically focused) to assess children. Explain how each complements the other in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the young client’s concerns and situation. Then, describe the use of an eco-map in assessment and explain the different systems you will account for in your assessment of a child.
Support your posts with specific references to this week’s resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
By Day 5
Respond to at least two colleagues with your views on what makes this form of assessment specific to social work.
Support your responses with specific references to this week’s resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 3 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 3 Discussion
Assignment: Cultural Competence
As with all areas of the social work process, cultural competence is essential when engaging and assessing a child’s concerns. Being culturally competent includes understanding the unique needs of your client and asking how those needs can be fulfilled. Using an empowerment perspective treating clients as experts on their lives and their needs is essential. Not only does this establish your commitment to being culturally sensitive and aware, but it will enhance the therapeutic relationship. While it is essential to learn and master social work skills and techniques to be a successful practitioner, another significant indicator of a successful intervention is the relationship a social worker builds with his or her client. Some research suggests that the quality of the therapeutic relationship will account for 30% of the clinical outcome of the treatment (Miller, Duncan, and Hubble, 2005, as stated in Walsh, 2010, p. 7). Exhibiting a dedication to learning about a client’s culture, history, and current environmental factors exemplifies a social worker’s desire to build that client–worker bond.
For this Assignment, read the case study for Claudia and find two to three scholarly articles on social issues surrounding immigrant families.
By Day 7
In a 2- to 4-page paper, explain how the literature informs you about Claudia and her family when assessing her situation.
- Describe two social issues related to the course-specific case study for Claudia that inform a culturally competent social worker.
- Describe culturally competent strategies you might use to assess the needs of children.
- Describe the types of data you would collect from Claudia and her family in order to best serve them.
- Identify other resources that may offer you further information about Claudia’s case.
- Create an eco-map to represent Claudia’s situation. Describe how the ecological perspective of assessment influenced how the social worker interacted with Claudia.
- Describe how the social worker in the case used a strengths perspective and multiple tools in her assessment of Claudia. Explain how those factors contributed to the therapeutic relationship with Claudia and her family.