The_Generalist_Practice_-_Chapter_5 - Chapter 5 Engagement...

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Chapter 5 Engagement and assessment are the first two steps in the planned change process. Each is important to the eventual outcome of the helping relationship between the generalist social worker and the client system. Engagement is concerned with the process of establishing the client-worker relationship upon which subsequent steps depend. Assessment considers the process of gathering and organizing data and information in order to arrive at an accurate picture of the person-in-environment situation. Engagement Focuses on establishing a professional relationship between the worker and the client system. Professional worker-client relationships are characterized by a clear purpose, a commitment to meeting client needs, ethical standards of practice and worker emphasis on communicating warmth, genuineness, and empathy. Engagement begins with the first contact between worker and client. Sometimes referred to as “intake,” this initial contact may be over the phone or in person. Engagement occurs whether the client willingly initiates the contact or is required to meet with the worker. The generalist practitioner understands the common activities and actions needed to successfully complete the engagement phase. These activities include: Greeting clients in such a way to encourage them to talk to you. Using more formal forms of address indicate respect for the client, which is a critical element when working with individuals or groups that have experienced discrimination and adverse treatment from others. Demonstrating effective attending skills that communicate your interest in the client’s situation. Effective attending skills enable the worker to understand precisely what the client is saying, including both verbal and nonverbal communications. Examples of attending skills: listening, making eye contact, leaning forward to communicate interest, and nodding or otherwise encouraging the client to continue. Attending skills also allow focusing on both client thoughts and feelings. Discussing agency services and client expectations. Help the client realistically assess whether the worker and agency can help. The worker should describe the services offered by the agency, any costs involved, and the possible length of such services. If the agency’s services do not match the client needs, helping the client find an appropriate agency or organization that can help is your responsibility.
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Deciding whether the agency and worker can be of
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The_Generalist_Practice_-_Chapter_5 - Chapter 5 Engagement...

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