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Cournoyer, The Social Work Skills Workbook 6th Edition, ©2011 Instructor’s Manual Developed by Patricia Clark, Northwestern State University of Louisiana Chapter 1: Introduction Outline I.


SOCIAL WORK AS A PROFESSION A. Social workers serve in diverse settings and deal with complex situations. 1. It is not possible to acquire specialized expertise for each of these settings. 2. Therefore, social workers learn those skills which are common to competent practice with all client populations. B. Social work approaches all client populations from a similar perspective. 1. Client, person, or consumer rather than patient, subject, or case 2. Assess rather than diagnose, study, examine, or investigate 3. Strengths, assets, resources, resiliencies, competencies, and abilities rather than problems, obstacles, deficiencies, or pathologies C. Social workers adopt common professional values and adhere to a code of ethics.

SOCIAL WORK SKILLS A. A social work skill is a circumscribed set of discrete cognitive and behavioral actions that are consistent and congruent with: 1. research-based knowledge; 2. social work values, ethics, and obligations; 3. the essential facilitative qualities or the “core conditions”; 4. the characteristics of professionalism; 5. a legitimate social work purpose within the context of a phase or process of practice. B. NASW has identified twelve skills needed by social workers and CSWE has identified ten core social work competencies. (pp. 7-8) 1. In most cases, the words skills and competencies refer to the same things and can be used interchangeably. 2. The skills/competencies addressed in this book reflect social work values and require professional knowledge and expertise in their application. 3. They are consistent with the top ten qualities that employers of college graduates seek in their prospective employees. C. The skills addressed in this book serve the tasks associated with commonly identified phases of social work practice, the essential facilitative qualities exhibited by effective professional helpers, and the fundamental characteristics of professionalism. 1. Phases of social work practice a. Preparing b. Beginning c. Exploring d. Assessing e. Contracting f. Working and evaluating g. Ending 2. Essential facilitative qualities a. Empathy b. Respect c. Authenticity 3. Professionalism a. Integrity b. Professional knowledge and self-efficacy

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c. d. e. f.

critical thinking and lifelong learning Self-understanding and self-control Cultural competence and acceptance of others Social support


COMMON AND NONSPECIFIC FACTORS A. Research has found that certain factors present in helping relationships significantly impact outcomes. 1. Client factors and situational factors: personal strengths and limitations and the environment 2. Relationship factors: the nature of the client-worker relationship (positive or negative) 3. Expectancy factors: client attitude 4. Model and technique factors: theoretical approach adopted B. There is also a correlation between certain qualities exhibited by social workers and more positive outcomes for the client. 1. Empathy, caring, nonpossessive warmth, acceptance, affirmation, sincerity, and encouragement are characteristics of an effective helper. C. Identifying and measuring all the factors that affect the outcome of the helping process is extremely complicated. 1. Social workers in different settings emphasize different qualities. 2. No matter what the setting, however, certain aspects of the worker-client relationship that appear related to effective outcomes have been identified. a. Mutual liking and respect b. Clear explanations about what to will happen and what is expected of the client c. Worker warmth, genuineness, sincerity, and empathy d. Goal-directed activities e. Involvement of others in the client system D. The professional working relationship between the social worker and the client differs from other relationships in that 1. it is formed for a recognized and agreed-upon purpose. 2. it is time-bound. 3. it is for the client. 4. it carries authority. 5. it is a controlled relationship. E. The characteristics of effective helpers are often called the facilitative qualities. 1. When consistently demonstrated by helping professionals, these qualities contribute to the development and maintenance of a professional rapport with clients. 2. When social workers consistently reflect these qualities, the risk of harm tends to decrease and the likelihood of benefit tends to increase. 3. Helping professionals express these qualities differentially according to the individual client, the unique circumstances, the nature of the social worker’s role, and the phase of service. 4. The essential facilitative qualities are empathy, regard, authenticity, and professionalism. IV.

EMPATHY A. This is the process of joining in the feelings of another person while not overidentifying with them and retaining the ability to let go of the other person’s feelings. 1. Empathic connection increases the probability of developing rapport and a productive working relationship with the client.


REGARD A. Social workers must view each human being as unique and inherently valuable. 1. Clients have the fundamental right to make their own decisions. 2. This does not preclude the worker from making professional judgments or from offering suggestions or advice.

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AUTHENTICITY A. Social workers must be genuine and sincere in their interactions with clients. 1. Words and deeds must match. 2. Clients prefer dealing with a person who seems real. B. Genuineness does not give workers license to say whatever they feel. 1. Expression of the worker’s thoughts and feelings for any purpose other than serving the client is, at best, inefficient and at worst, harmful.


PROFESSIONALISM A. Professionalism is integral to the values and ethics of social work and includes 1. integrity, 2. professional knowledge and self-efficacy, 3. ethical decision making, 4. critical thinking and lifelong learning, 5. self-understanding and self-control, 6. cultural competence and acceptance, and 7. social support.

Solution manual the social work skills workbook 6th edition cournoyer  

solution manual the social work skills workbook 6th edition cournoyer. Full file at

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