Thursday, December 13, 2018

Audio Test Prep: The Social Work Podcast

Need a break from reading and practice tests? Have a long commute? There's a huge amount of test prepping that can be done via speakers and earbuds. And most of it is free. You really don't need more than the Social Work Podcast to get everything you might need to pass the ASWB exam.

Check out this categorized list of everything the SWP has covered over the years. Addictive disorders, behaviorism, case management, child protection... They're all there. And they're all covered by more than one podcast.

If you give a careful listen to all the SWP episodes that are more-or-less exam related, it's going to help you on question after question on the licensing exam.

Prefer to read? Read the transcripts instead. They're included on each episode's page. There are hours and hours of material here. Maybe start with the counseling, DSM, and ethics sections. Or just dip into whatever interests you most. Hearing how thoughtful social work pros approach difficult questions is a good use of your social working/test prepping time. You'll probably enjoy it too.

Happy listening!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Quick Quiz: Ethics Fill-in-the-Blanks V

One more fill-in-the-blanks quiz from the NASW Code of Ethics. You don't have to have the Code memorized--not even close. But it's ideal to understand the gist of what each section of the Code is getting at. That's where these quizzes come in. How well do you understand social work ethics?

Give this a try. The Payment for Services section. Fill in the blanks.

(a) When setting fees, social workers should ensure that the fees are _________________ and commensurate with the services performed. Consideration should be given to clients' ability _________.

(b) Social workers should ____________ accepting goods or services from clients as payment for professional services. Bartering arrangements, particularly involving services, create the potential ______________________________________ in social workers' relationships with clients. Social workers should explore and may participate in bartering only in very limited circumstances when it can be demonstrated that such arrangements are _____________________________________________________________________________ [5 conditions for bartering] . Social workers who accept goods or services from clients as payment for professional services assume the full burden of demonstrating that this arrangement will not be _______________ to the client or the professional relationship.

(c) Social workers should not solicit a private fee or other remuneration for providing services to clients who are entitled to such available services through _______________________________.

How'd you do?

These aren't easy! How many of those conditions for bartering were you able to think up from memory and common sense? If you got three, that's amazing--hope you'll give yourself a pat on the back or some other show of "nice job" to yourself.

On the real ASWB exam, there are no fill-in-the-blanks questions. Most questions are fairly complicated vignettes. But remember that lots of them lean on the Code of Ethics. Knowing this section and other will help you speed through ethics questions on the exam. That leaves more time for other test questions. Or maybe you can just get out early and start celebrating your new license.

Good luck.

Answers? They're below. Scroll down...………….

a1) fair, reasonable,

a2) to pay

b1) avoid 

b2) for conflicts of interest, exploitation, and inappropriate boundaries

b3) an accepted practice among professionals in the local community, considered to be essential for the provision of services, negotiated without coercion, and entered into at the client's initiative and with the client's informed consent

b4) detrimental

c) the social workers' employer or agency

Monday, December 3, 2018

Quick Quiz: Ethics Fill-in-the-Blanks IV

Next up, let's take on the Conflicts of Interest section of the NASW Code of Ethics. How well do you know it? Well, let's see. Fill in the blanks!

Remember, this isn't what the ASWB exam looks like. For those, check out practice tests (linked nearby). But this is ASWB exam content. It's material to review again and again. And though you shouldn't expect yourself to be able to answer verbatim what goes in the blanks below, challenge yourself to guess at the gist of what belongs in the emptied spaces.

Ready? Action!

(a) Social workers should be ______________________ conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment. Social workers should inform clients when a real or potential conflict of interest arises and __________________________ the issue in a manner that makes the clients' interests primary and protects clients' interests to the greatest extent possible. In some cases, protecting clients' interests may require ______________________________ with proper referral of the client.

(b) Social workers should not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their ____________________________ interests.

(c) Social workers should not engage in _____________________________ with clients or former clients in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client. In instances when ____________________________ are unavoidable, social workers should take steps to protect clients and are responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries.

(d) When social workers provide services to two or more people who have a relationship with each other (for example, couples, family members), social workers should ________________________________ and the nature of social workers' professional obligations to the various individuals who are receiving services.

(e) Social workers should ___________ communication with clients using technology (such as social networking sites, online chat, e-mail, text messages, telephone, and video) for personal or non-work-related purposes.

(f) Social workers should be aware that posting personal information on professional Web sites or other media might cause ___________________________________________ to clients.

(g) Social workers should be aware that personal affiliations may increase the likelihood that clients may discover the social worker’s presence on Web sites, social media, and other forms of technology. Social workers should be aware that involvement in electronic communication with groups based on race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical ability, religion, immigration status, and other personal affiliations may affect their ability to work effectively with particular clients.

(h) Social workers should ________ accepting requests from or engaging in personal relationships with clients on social networking sites or other electronic media to prevent boundary confusion, inappropriate dual relationships, or harm to clients.

How's you do? Scroll down for answers...……

a1) alert to and avoid

a2) take reasonable steps to resolve

a3) termination of the professional relationship

b) personal, religious, political, or business 

c1)  dual or multiple relationships

c2) dual or multiple relationships

d)  clarify with all parties which individuals will be considered clients

e) avoid 

f) boundary confusion, inappropriate dual relationships, or harm

h) avoid

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

YouTube Exam Prep

Sometimes you just want to sit back and be given some information. Strategies for passing the social work exam, acronyms, a little how-to. For when that mood hits, here's something to fill the space: a series of tutoring videos from YouTuber and exam tutor, Phillip Lutrell.

Within the videos, get walked through a series of practice questions (LMSW/LCSW) level, with Lutrell walking through best practices for passing-minded exam takers.

Maybe try an A/B test by taking a practice test before and after watching the videos. Did the wisdom in the videos help? It should. Are you ever-more ready to pass the social work licensing exam? Yes, you are.

Happy prepping. Happy holidays. And good luck on the exam!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Quick Quiz: Ethics Fill-in-the-Blanks III

Next up in our tour through quizzified sections of the NASW Code of Ethics, 1.03, Informed Consent. Your task: summon, through memory and common sense deduction, the missing phrases from each paragraph. Aka, fill in the blank!

(a) Social workers should provide services to clients only in the context of a professional relationship based, when appropriate, on valid informed consent. Social workers should use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the___________ of the services, ___________related to the services, limits to services because of the requirements of a third-party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives, clients' right to refuse or withdraw consent, and the time frame covered by the consent. Social workers should provide clients with an opportunity to ask questions. 

(b) In instances when clients are not literate or have difficulty understanding the primary language used in the practice setting, social workers should take steps to _____________________. This may include providing clients with a detailed verbal explanation or arranging for a qualified interpreter or translator whenever possible. 

(c) In instances when clients lack the capacity to provide informed consent, social workers should protect clients' interests by ________________________________________, informing clients consistent with the clients' level of understanding. In such instances social workers should seek to ensure that the third party acts in a manner consistent with clients' wishes and interests. Social workers should take reasonable steps to enhance such clients' ability to give informed consent. 

(d) In instances when clients are receiving services involuntarily, social workers should provide information about the nature and extent of services and about the extent of clients' right to _______________. 

This is not easy. Don't beat yourself up for not getting these. Instead, give yourself a pat on the back for attempting them. You've just reviewed the first part of the Informed Consent section of the Code of Ethics, material that is very likely to show up somewhere in the 170 questions on your social work licensing exam. Nice work!

For the answers, scroll down...………….

a1) purpose
a2) risks
b) ensure clients' comprehension
c) seeking permission from an appropriate third party
d) refuse service

Monday, October 8, 2018

Quick Quiz: Ethics Fill-in-the-Blanks II

How well do you know the NASW Code of Ethics? Let's test your knowledge.

Here's the bulk of section 1.09, Sexual Relationships. Minus the blanks. Your task: fill them.

(a) Social workers should ___________________ [when] engage in sexual activities, inappropriate sexual communications through the use of technology or in person, or sexual contact with current clients, whether such contact is consensual or forced.

(b) Social workers should not engage in sexual activities or sexual contact with clients' relatives or other individuals with whom clients maintain a close personal relationship when there is a risk of __________________________ [consequence]. 

(c) Social workers should not engage in ________________________ [behavior] with former clients because of the potential for harm to the client. If social workers engage in conduct contrary to this prohibition or claim that an exception to this prohibition is warranted because of extraordinary circumstances, it is social workers--not their clients--who assume the full burden of demonstrating that the former client has not been exploited, coerced, or manipulated, intentionally or unintentionally.

(d) Social workers should not provide ______________ to individuals with whom they have had a prior sexual relationship. Providing _______________ to a former sexual partner has the potential to be harmful to the individual and is likely to make it difficult for the social worker and individual to maintain appropriate professional boundaries.

What do you think?

It's not really your job to have every line of the Code of Ethics memorized. The idea here is to get you to think that little bit extra about what's in the Code and be that much more ready to pass the ASWB exam because of it. Done!

Scroll down for answers....

A. under no circumstances

B. exploitation or potential harm to the client

C. sexual activities or sexual contact

D. clinical services

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Quick Quiz: Code of Ethics Fill-in-the-Blank

Here are the first four paragraphs of the Privacy and Confidentiality section of the NASW Code of Ethics, but with some crucial parts excised. Your task: Fill in the blanks. Don't expect to get exact phrasing--only those with photographic memories would come close. Just aim for the basic gist of each missing phrase.

(a) Social workers should respect clients' right to privacy. Social workers should not solicit private information from or about clients except for ________________________. Once private information is shared, standards of confidentiality apply.

(b) Social workers may disclose confidential information when appropriate with valid consent from ____________________________________________________________.

(c) Social workers should protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service, except for compelling professional reasons. The general expectation that social workers will keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is necessary to prevent _______________________________________. In all instances, social workers should disclose the _______ amount of confidential information necessary to achieve the desired purpose; only information that is directly relevant to the purpose for which the disclosure is made should be revealed.

(d) Social workers should inform clients, to the extent possible, about the disclosure of confidential information and the potential consequences, when feasible _________ [time frame] the disclosure is made. This applies whether social workers disclose confidential information on the basis of a legal requirement or client consent.

How'd you do?

Find out by scrolling down for answers...

Will this be on the exam? The material, yes. But not in this form. Expect vignette questions that draw on crucial areas throughout the NASW Code of Ethics.

a) compelling professional reasons

b) a client or a person legally authorized to consent on behalf of a client

c1) serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or others

c2) least

d) before