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Social Work with Children, Youth and Family

Introduction to Social Work with Children, Youth and Family 

Effective communication is the key to build positive relationships between the sender and receiver, especially at the time when sensitive topics are discussed. This needs trust, healthy relationship, collaboration, respect, and value to understand the needs of students in these types of cases (Reno, O’Leary & Garrett et al., 2018). A student in this way feels connection and belongingness to improve their overall well-being that leads to learning outcomes. In this essay, I am going to present the case of Jaxon who is 14 years old Indigenous child. He used to study in school but due to some issues, he was not willing to go to school. I will reflect on the part of the community health worker, who interviewed Jaxon for improvements in his life. She took 20 minutes interview with him and extracted all the relatable concerns that he was facing and wants to address.

The interview was held between the community health worker and Jaxon on the issues and challenges that he was facing in his daily life. Jaxon told me that he was a 14-year-old man who uses t live with his father, stepmother, and stepbrother. His father and mother were not staying together because they had divorced due to personal issues. So, Jaxon's two siblings stay with her mother and he stays with her father. Jaxon uses to miss them so much because he was not feeling connection and closeness with his father, stepmother, and stepbrother that is where was living. He did not use to attend school because he feels alone in school and sometimes, he was verbally abused by some students. Jaxon told about this matter to his teacher also, but she did not take the necessary step to avoid all this and encourage him to attend classes. The teacher, however, called his mother and father both to share with them that their child Jaxon did not attend school, by listening to this his father scolded him whereas his mother did not said him anything because she understands the matter that he is facing lot many issues at home as well as in school. Though his father’s reaction was very rude, and he did not ever felt any connection with them and always felt that he was ignored in the house. 

The community service worker took his interview to share all the concerns and know the exact matter. This was done by her so that she could find out some way after having family and teacher meetings. At the beginning of the conversation, the community health worker warmly welcomed him and made him feel comfortable (Reno, O’Leary & Garrett et al., 2018). This manner of her relaxed him from anxieties, fears, and concerns and showed great interest in listening to him. She did not make any physical contact with him, but the conversation was comfortable. The informal conversations engaged him in disclosing all the information. She used culturally appropriate greetings and introductions for conveying mandatory services to ensure his service eligibility. She established clear parameters of confidentiality and said him that she will not disclose any kind of information with anyone. This helped in building rapport and trust by offering empathetic and acceptance which demonstrated in respect of Jaxon and authenticity. I feel that establishing a relationship is a matter of developing trust and connection with the interviewer. The main point here is to be aware of the difference between deeply understanding the matter and having a superficial conversation. She asked multiple questions in the interview process and maintained the record of everything. She picked up every point that Jaxon said to have clarification on the whole matter.

Jaxon, here in the conversation was the person who explored himself and provided information to community service workers to build motivation for change. Active listening was held between both of them that held the introduction part in which she introduced herself and told him why she was here and talking to him. Summarizing the interview, in the end, discussed the concerns with him by paraphrasing and provided him with the idea of follow-up. Non-verbal attendance in conversation played a major role as she nodded her head and made effective conversation and engagement of both. The empathetic responses of her were like saying “ohh”, “really I felt bad”, “what did you do them”. This helped him feel that someone is listening to him and cares for him. The interviewer used very soft language during talks and collected all the information for later discussion and thus it is very good (Reno, O’Leary & Garrett et al., 2018). The community health worker was having all the relevant knowledge on how to deal with these sensitive issues. She expressed emotions that were required to her and Jaxon.

The worker also presented some points in the conversation that she felt very bad when he said that he uses to be alone in the house and feel disconnected from all the family members. She also empathized on the point and investigated much on the experiences he shared while he uses to school and the reason for him not going to school. Jaxon after her asking replied to her that he did not want to go school because he uses to face lots of criticism, be alone in school and his verbal pulling was done by his classmates. Jaxon informed all this to his teacher, but she did not take any steps for him and simply complained about his not coming to school. She was able to identify all the issues after having lots of investigation. Moreover, the community service worker was able to convey all the points consistently and related to every logical question (Westera, Kebbell & Milne et al., 2016).

The conversation of both involved many skills that need description such as empathy, observation, probing and narrowing the focus, prompting, clarifying content, paraphrasing, a reflection of feeling, summarizing, giving and receiving feedback, and asking questions from Jaxon. As explained earlier, she actively gets involved in the conversation and I realized when gone through the conversation. She showed respect for Jaxon and enabled him to speak what he was feeling. Empathy is a great feeling that helps in understanding what the client thinks and feels to deal sensitively (Kaltman & Tankersley, 2020). The community health worker responded accurately to Jaxon’s feelings and emotions. Observation is the quiet activity that presents the way she was neatly dressed and calm (Gagneur, Lemaître & Gosselin, et al., 2018) and allowed her to know all the reactions of Jaxon while he was discussing everything about his life circumstances.

She was having awareness of interpretations of observations and critically made assumptions and jumped to conclusions and observations. In the conversation, she probed, and narrow down the focus by getting more information in the form of statements, questions, and interjections. She narrowed the focus by referring to a series of questions by helping the client describe their concerns. Community workers are involved in clarifying physical, cognitive, and emotional content. She sorted out all the confusion and ensured accurately grasp what he was saying. This helped Jaxon in thinking about the situation and realizing the uncomfortable concern and situation. She said that the matter will be discussed with his parents like mother and father also with the teacher so that they could find out some way for him

She presented all the values being a community service work that is personal, professional, and societal. This had helped her in getting internal satisfaction because she did her duty well. A community service worker is a person who engages within society dealing with all the problems of society. She worked professionally and asked all the relevant questions to extract all the information. This will help the society like there are many students like Jaxon who face this issue and this conversation will help others also to say what issues they are facing. This will automatically help in the reduction of mental issues and personal problems. She managed all the issues within the interaction when he felt low. She asked the next question in a very polite manner when felt disappointing about what happened with him (Carr, 2017).

Conclusion on Social Work with Children, Youth and Family 

This was the conversation that was held between Jaxon and the community service worker to make out some way so that Jaxon could feel comfortable and enjoy his living. He was here feeling separated because his father was not loving him, and his real mother and siblings were living apart from him due to issues faced by them. This conversation was an opportunity for him to share all the views and ensure his safety. He was a student but did not use to go to school due to some issues that were there in his family. The community service worker did an interactive interview from which she came to know what matters to him and why. In the end, she gave an appointment for discussion with the key role players in his life.

References for Social Work with Children, Youth and Family 

Carr, D. D. (2017). Motivational interviewing supports patient centered-care and communication. Journal of the New York Nurses Association45(1), 39-43. https://www.nysna.org/sites/default/files/attach/1142/2017/08/2017-08-01nysnaJournalv45n1.pdf#page=41

Gagneur, A., Lemaître, T., Gosselin, V., Farrands, A., Carrier, N., Petit, G., ... & De Wals, P. (2018). A postpartum vaccination promotion intervention using motivational interviewing techniques improves short-term vaccine coverage: PromoVac study. BMC Public Health18(1), 811. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5724-y

Kaltman, S., & Tankersley, A. (2020). Teaching motivational interviewing to medical students: A systematic review. Academic Medicine95(3), 458-469. https://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2020/03000/Teaching_Motivational_Interviewing_to_Medical.38.aspx

Reno, J. E., O’Leary, S., Garrett, K., Pyrzanowski, J., Lockhart, S., Campagna, E., ... & Dempsey, A. F. (2018). Improving provider communication about HPV vaccines for vaccine-hesitant parents through the use of motivational interviewing. Journal of Health Communication23(4), 313-320. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10810730.2018.1442530

Western, N. J., Kebbell, M. R., Milne, B., & Green, T. (2016). Towards a more effective detective. Policing and Society26(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2014.912647

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