As part of our preparation for placement, we were required to make a role play on a given scenario in pairs. Each of us had to play the role of the social work student and the service user. We chose to use Miss Allen’s scenario, because we both had experience of working the adults. In preparation for this task, we met twice to clarify our roles and discussed the scenario as we understood it. We also discussed how we were going to assess Miss Allen, and what help we would offer her. The preparation was an important part of our task because it challenged us to think of the interview within its widest context, taking into account the particular needs of Miss Allen, agency policy and procedure and ourselves as student social workers In terms of our personal and professional expectations. We considered two approaches for the interview preparation suggested by Trevithick (2005), the reflective approach: where information is gathered up in a systematic but more empathic and intuitive way, and the checklist approach: which requires a made up list of tasks or issues that need to be considered. We chose the reflective approach because it best suited our scenario, in dealing with Miss Allen feelings we needed to adopt a more empathetic attitude. Koprowska (2005) describes this reflect approach as involving “using empathy skills to enter into the inner life of someone, through the thoughts and feelings of the person attending the interview, and the reality of their situation in terms of their home life and financial situation” (pg.145) These considerations helped us structure our interview and establish clear roles in terms of boundaries of the task, time and territory. We chose to concentrate on being open, relaxed and as natural as possible to encourage Miss Allen to talk more about her situation while we listened and gave direction to the interview.
The interview took place in an office within the social services premises. This was good...
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