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Free Social Work Exam Practice: School Social Work

school busGetting ready to get licensed? Here's a free practice question to give you a sense of what you might encounter on the ASWB exam:

A school social worker contacts a parent to set up a meeting after a child is referred by the principal because of frequent absences. The parent asks the social worker how much information will be shared with the school principal. How should the social worker respond FIRST?   

A. Tell the parent that since the social worker is a school employee, all information can be shared with other school staff.  

B. Explain that no information will ever be shared unless there is a release of information or it involves abuse or neglect.  

C. Discuss specific guidelines that have been developed with the school regarding confidential information policies.

D. Request the mother sign a release of information that will allow information to be shared freely with the principal.   

How would you answer?

Let's take the responses one at a time.

A. Info automatically shared. Not it. Social workers should not share all information with school staff, except in the unlikely instance that sharing information is a specific policy developed by the social worker and the school.

B. No info shared. Also not correct. In addition to mandated reporting, there may be times that some information will be released. This should be outlined in the social worker's policy.

C. Discuss policies. Could be it. The social worker should have a policy in place regarding confidentiality, and this should be shared with the parent.

One more to consider.

D. Get a release signed. Yes, but the question asked for what should be done FIRST. Before being asked to sign a release, the mother should be given more information about confidentiality and the pros and cons of signing a release.

To sum: School social workers need to develop specific policies regarding confidentiality and sharing information. These policies should be developed in conjunction with the school. Students and their parents should be made aware of these policies, which is the best first step in the process described in this question.

Worth repeating and remembering that if the question includes FIRST, BEST, NEXT, there's usually a reason for it being there. Those big capital letters generally signal the need for a little extra attention when choosing between two decent-seeming responses.

How'd you do?

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