Beginnings 97 through a tuning-in exercise in which some students take on the role of “client” and others the role of “worker.” If possible, elicit a case from a student or provide one of your own in which a client asks the worker a question, like the dreaded one to a young intern from an older parent: “Do you have children?” Ask the “clients” what they might really be asking, and then ask the “workers” to craft a reply that puts into words what the client is really asking the worker. 6. After a brief lecture explaining the role that activity can play in engaging clients, ask students to share examples from their work. You can begin with these examples and then invite other students to share any challenges that they have faced in this regard. This is likely to include instances where a student has not used activity when it would have been appropriate or used it inappropri- ately (i.e., an activity does not reflect the needs and developmental abilities of the client or it is used to the exclusion of other forms of interaction). 7. We find that the best way to illustrate the skills associated with begin- nings with a group and family is through a role-play. One possibility is to break the class into small groups and ask a student to assume the role of “worker” in each group. An alternative method is for the instructor to demonstrate the distinctive skills associated with offering a social work service to groups and families. You are likely to find that students need you to model these skills before they can do it. In either case, provide the context for the case, including whether the service is offered, mandated, or sought. Ask students who will be role-playing mem- bers of the family or group to tune into their respective roles. In the case of a group, students should consider their back stories, as well as their feelings and reactions to beginning with a group of strangers. In the case of the family, students should decide among themselves who will play what family member, and then consider how that member is likely to approach a first meeting with the worker. After the groups have presented (or you have demonstrated beginnings skills), ask the class to review the worker’s efforts, identifying from the shoes of perspective members what and how the worker’s interventions affected them and their willingness to engage in the group or family service.
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