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Essential Skills For Social Work Practice

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Reflective Writing: Week 9


After completing the week 9 assignment involving Mrs. Bargas’ case study, we were required to undertake a role-play discussion where we were required to play the role of a social worker. Personally, I admit that the exercise was very informative and engaging. Rather than relying on what I learned in class, the exercise gave me the opportunity to experiment what I digested from watching Mrs. Bargas’ case/video and also applying what I picked from the various sources I read while doing the assignment. I believe that the role-play was extremely helpful in developing my social worker’s skills.

Personal experience

Watching my video was kind of awkward since previously, I did not consider myself confident enough to perform the way I did. Initially, I had the perception that social workers play a crucial role in dealing with societal issues but the role-play gave me hands-on experience. It came to my attention that social workers are charged with the responsibility of handling clients’ sensitive information. According to Cournoyer (2011), these interpersonal skills are referred to as core conditions or facilitative qualities. For instance, I could see myself asking the interviewee to provide personal information such as mentioning their family members and where they have lived in the past.

Important social worker skills learned

I realized that getting such personal information requires interpersonal skills to ensure that the client is comfortable. I learned that at the heart of a social worker’s skills is being able to facilitate effective communication (Brandler & Roman, 2015). As my client responded to the questions I asked, it came to my attention that a social worker needs to be an active listener. I am happy that I exhibited this skill because as the client answered the questions, I could see myself nodding which is an indicator that I was actively engaged in the conversation.

I noted that emotional intelligence is a crucial element to a social worker whereby one is required to be empathizing with others and at the same time be sensitive to their concerns (Di Fabio & Kenny, 2015). I learned that needed to be aware of myself and keep in mind that I am a social worker. Recognizing myself as a social worker required me to balance the information that I already had with the information provided by the client. On top of emotional intelligence skill, I also learned that a lot of critical thinking is required in dispensing social services efficiently (Rutter & Brown, 2015). It struck me that clients’ problems may not always be pre-meditated. It is crucial for a social worker to apply critical thinking skills to identify the problem from the information provided by the client. After the problem has been identified, the social worker needs to evaluate the programs available and recommend the one that is most applicable to the problem.

Response to Nicole Rodgers’ video

The discussion exercise required us to comment on our peer’s video as well and in this case, I chose Nicole Rodgers’. Watching her role-play made me realize that she had learned a lot in the week 9 module. I noted that she started the interview very well by welcoming the client and thanking them for attendance. I believe that this is a crucial skill for a social worker to set a comfortable environment for the conversation. She was mindful to inform the client concerning confidentiality and also saught the client to point out anything that was unclear. Rodgers exhibited good listening skills as she maintained eye contact with the client and nodded occasionally in agreement. Although the client seemed nervous and kept moving in her chair, Rodgers tried to empathize with her situation and make her feel comfortable through tonal variation. Her tonal variation revealed that she was concerned about the welfare of the client.


I am very excited by the role-play discussion as I believe that I learned and developed crucial social work skills. From the exercise, I learned that a social worker needs to have effective interpersonal skills. It is important for a social worker to have emotional intelligence, empathy, critical thinking, active listening, and effective communication skills.


Brandler, S., & Roman, C. P. (2015).Group work: Skills and strategies for effective interventions. Routledge.

Cournoyer, B. (2011).The social work skills workbook. Brantford, Ont: W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library.

Di Fabio, A., & Kenny, M. E. (2015). The contributions of emotional intelligence and social support for adaptive career progress among Italian youth.Journal of Career Development,42(1), 48-59.

Rutter, L., & Brown, K. (2015).Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work. Learning Matters.

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