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Vision of Hope Center for Help Skilled Assessment

Vision of Hope Center for Help Skilled Assessment

Vision of Hope Center for Help Skilled Assessment


Introduction and Alignment

You had the opportunity to reflect on your engagement competency and needs for growth in the journal activity. In this discussion activity, you will observe the assessment phase of the social work practice framework by watching a provider-client interaction. Then, you will apply assessment skills and strategies with a hypothetical client.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Apply social work theories to client engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation at the micro practice level. (PO 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Utilize reflection and self-regulation to manage effectively the intersection of personal and professional values. (PO 1)


  • Textbook: Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice
  • Video of Your Choice from list or Instructor Approval
  • Website: NASW Code of Ethics

Background Information

Practice of assessment skills is key to ongoing development as a social worker. Customized assessment skills and strategies are not only effective for clients, but they are also a matter of best practice and ethical practice. Skilled and empathetic assessment reflects social workers’ respect for the dignity and worth of the person. (NASW Code of Ethics, 2008) This may be most evident in a social worker’s continual empathetic pursuit of the client’s perspective on who they are and what they want. Practicing your assessment skills and strategies leads to ongoing social work competency and success.

Please choose one of the following films as the basis for your psychosocial assessment, theory-based analysis, and treatment plan. The client chosen must be of a different ethnicity then your own. You may choose a different film then those listed below with prior approval from the instructor.

Note: In order to proceed with this assignment, you will have to choose a point in time in the development of the character and his/her story to begin your assessment. Also, you will have to creatively insert yourself in the story as the social worker.

  • The Color Purple
  • Antwone Fisher
  • Ordinary People
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • El Norte
  • Precious
  • The Doe Boy
  • Rain Man
  • Crash
  • As Good As It Gets
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Girl, Interrupted
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower
  • Still Alice
  • Infinitely Polar Bear
  • Good Will Hunting


  1. In your textbook, Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice, review Chapter 9 “The Assessment Process,” as well as Appendix C. pages 312-315.
  2. Using the form below, complete a psychosocial assessment of the character you have chosen. Use each topic in the psychosocial assessment form below as a paragraph heading in your paper.
    1. Identifying Information
    2. Reason for Referral
    3. Presenting Problem
    4. Physical Functioning (Include Medical)
    5. Cognitive Perceptual Functioning
    6. Emotional Functioning
    7. Social and Family Functioning
    8. Behavioral Functioning
    9. Motivation
    10. Spiritual/Religious Affiliation
    11. Environmental Systems
    12. Cultural Factors
    13. Strengths
    14. Barriers to Service
    15. Worker’s Impressions of the Client
  3. Be sure to keep in mind the following areas when assessing the client above:
    1. Identifying information: demographics, work, family, prior treatment, home/living
    2. Reason for referral/route of referral
    3. Presenting problem: history of problem, prior attempts to solve problem
    4. Physical/behavioral observations: physical appearance, grooming, indications of
      organic problems, mood, unusual habits.
    5. How you relate to each other: communication style of client, nonverbal communication,
      emotional state of the client, your feelings about client, including empathic connection or lack, feelings evoked transference/countertransference issues
    6. Developmental history: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, education, relationships,
      parenthood or not; divorces/separations; losses.
    7. History of trauma: abuse, violence, substance abuse, traumatic losses, etc.
    8. Factors of diversity: culture, race, ethnicity, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality; differential physical or mental abilities. Intergenerational factors.
    9. Psychosocial effects of oppression: “violations of clients space, time, energy, mobility, bonding, or identity due to membership in a marginalized population group; alienation from self or others due to institutionalized oppression, stage of identity formation as member of a group; strengths, resources, and sources of personal power in responding to oppression; primary patterns of coping with membership in a marginalized group
    10. Attitudes toward parenting nurturing and development. Joys and problems
    11. Social networks: family and friends, coworkers, etc.; short-term or long; supportive,
      draining, conflictual
    12. Home environment: conditions, hazards, supports; source of stimulation, peace,
      conflict, etc.
    13. Other relevant information
    14. To what extent does the problem involve stress due to current developmental tasks
      (adolescence, parenting, etc.) or current situational stress or trauma?
    15. To what extent is problem result of lack of fit between needs and environmental resources?
    16. What internal and environmental strengths does client have that can be used to work
      toward improvement in the situation and/or functioning?
  4. Review the NASW Code of Ethics and consider its application to the assessment phase of the social work practice framework.
  5. Review the grading criteria in the rubric below to understand the grading guidelines for this assignment.

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