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ASWB Exam Practice: Elder Abuse Screening

sw interviewHere's a question from our free study guide. ("What free study guide?" The one you get when you create an account on SWTP. Sign up and it's yours.)

A hospital social worker meets with an elderly woman after nurses express concerns about possible elder abuse. The woman resides with her grandson and was admitted for pneumonia, but nurses have discovered several bruises on her arms and legs. When the social worker goes to talk to the woman, her grandson and several other family members are present. The social worker wants to interview the woman today as she may be discharged soon. What should the social worker do?

A. Provide the woman with a business card and ask her to call if she needs anything.

B. Ask the woman if she would like to talk to her alone.

C. Interview the woman with her family present.

D. Ask the family leave and interview the woman by herself.

If you encountered this question on the ASWB exam, how would you answer?

Let's take the responses one at a time. Remember to read all responses. Don't just stop at one that feels probably-the-best-of-the-bunch.

A. Business card. Could work, but the woman may not feel comfortable calling; if she is being abused, her family may not allow her to call.

B. Talk alone? Yes. It is important to interview the woman alone so she can provide any information about possible abuse in a safe, private environment. However, the woman may not feel safe saying that she wants to meet alone, so asking this question may not help. Let's see if that answer can be beat by any of the others.

C. Interview with family present. If the woman is being abused, she is not likely to share this with the potential abuser present. So, no.

D. Ask family to leave. Ah, here we go. To appropriately assess for abuse, the woman should be interviewed alone. The social worker should ask the family to leave so that the woman can be free to provide information without fear of consequences from her family.

We have a winner! (TL;DR it's D.)

Learn more about elder abuse here. It's a topic that is likely to come up in social work practice and on the social work licensing exam. Get ready.

Get even more ready for the exam with our complete, 170-question practice tests. Each question of each exam has thorough rationales like the one above. Get practice, get licensed. Good luck!

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