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Social Work Case Presentations

case presentations for social workers If you take ASWB exam content outlines to heart, you've got a lot of information to learn before sitting for the social work licensing exam. The outlines (available at aswb.org--search "ksa" or "content outline") contain more than one, regular human mind can reasonably expect to hold on a given day. Just reading over the list takes setting aside a chunk of time. Understanding it all, more time still.

Take, for instance, the clinical outline: "The concept of empathy" you probably don't have any trouble with. But what exactly is meant by "methods of networking"?  (It's in the "Consultation and Interdisciplinary Collaboration" section, so, okay, it's establishing and maintaining contacts in various fields. Not a big deal.)

The point is, don't spend a lot of time worrying about each little item on the content outlines. Many--most?--people pass exam without even knowing that the outlines exist.

Here's one item that you'd likely ignore if you're prepping quickly--and you'd probably get away with ignoring it, too: "Elements of a case presentation." The item is also in the Consultation/Collaboration section. If you've worked in a hospital setting or unusually crisis-light social work setting, you may have encountered formal case presentations. Here're a good case presentation's basic components:

  • Demographics
  • Key findings
  • Background
  • Formulation
  • Interventions and Plan
  • Reasons for Presentation

These bullets are explained in the Case Presentation Outline linked here (from csub.edu). Even if you've never done a formal case presentation, you've likely communicated all of these, one way or another, when discussing clients. It's pretty straightforward stuff.

Keep in mind, this isn't a list to memorize. It's not Erikson's stages. It's a guideline. Different settings and different supervisors will have different approaches. Just know--for the exam--that there are basic elements you can expect to see in a case presentation, and that social workers should, per the Code of Ethics, work collaboratively with others, even if they (gasp!) aren't social workers.

Here, some more wisdom about case presentations from around the web:

Hope this all helps. Good luck on the exam!

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Third DSM-5 Practice Exam Launched on SWTP!

dsm-5 exam 3 If you're taking the ASWB exam after July 1st, 2015, then plan to be facing down questions derived from the DSM-5. That means don't be surprised or confused by the disappearance of the five axis system and the GAF. Be ready for questions about "Autism Spectrum Disorder," "Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder," etc.

Get familiar with the DSM changes using PsychCentral's DSM-5 Resource Guide or the APA's DSM-5 Fact Sheets. Put that new knowledge to the test by taking the newly launched DSM-5 versions of SWTP's full-length practice exams. The third exam went up this morning! Sign up to get started. Good luck!

DSM-5 Exam Practice

dsm-5 get practice get licensed Taking the ASWB exam after July 1st, 2015? That's when the exam switches over to DSM-5. Get ready with our new DSM-5 practice tests. And stay tuned here for more DSM-5 resources and information. Good luck on the exam!

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Focusing on DSM-5

focusing on dsm-5 Come summer (July to be exact), DSM-5 is what you'll need to know for the ASWB exam. If you're getting an early start at studying, here are some resources to help you sort out the changes between DSM-IV-TR and the big, new manual.

Regardless of whether you're studying DSM-5 or 500, remember this: you don't need to learn every detail of every page for the licensing exam. The material you're most likely to encounter on the test is the very material you're most likely to encounter in social work practice--particularly community practice. That means the basics: Depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, psychotic disorders, PTSD, personality disorders, developmental disorders. If you've got that stuff more-or-less under your belt, you can breathe easier. It's most likely going to be okay.

One way to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed is to ignore the big purple book altogether. Consider getting the more concise Desk Reference instead. Or, save your cash and let the world wide web tell you everything you need to know. Here, some great places to get started. Good luck!

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Update: Our first DSM-5/ASWB practice exams are up! Create an account to get started.

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Happy Social Work Month!

Hey, social workers, it's Social Work Month!

happy social work month Get involved here. Have a happy. And good luck on the exam!