Communication Is A Core Social Work Skills

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Sam the service user was played by an actor. I conducted a 10 minutes mock interview with him. Two members of academic staff and one real service user were observing the progress of the interview. The assessment was filmed. To be able to reflect critically, I was provided with a copy of the video clip along with the observer’s feedback. The remit of the task was to gain a broad understanding of Sam’s background. I believe that the role playing exercise along with this reflective account helped me a great deal to understand and develop some of the key skills involved in effective communication and interviewing clients. Communication is a core Social Work skill (Trevithick, 2005 p1). Through verbal and non-verbal communication, service users are enabled to explore their difficulties. Consequently, service users may gain a clear understanding on how to cope or resolve their issues more effectively.

After the interview, I allocated some time to reflect on the role play activity. Considering the short nature of the interview and my limited experience in assessing service users 1to1, I felt positive about my overall performance. I exhibited some key skills,but also, I noted some shortcomings I need to address before commencing into professional practice. The way a social worker interviews a client can have a profound impact on the quality of the responses given.

Looking back at the interview, I feel that I structured the interview well. I feel that I introduced myself, my role
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