Getting 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
B. Explain that no information will ever be shared
unless there is a release of information or it involves abuse or
C. Discuss specific guidelines that have been developed
with the school regarding confidential information
D. Request the mother sign a release of information that
will allow information to be shared freely with the
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
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
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