Assessment, Evidence-Guided Practice, and Practice Evaluation 61 In most cases, the source of information is clients themselves, and this includes what they say verbally, as well as what they convey nonverbally and indirectly. Other sources of information might be family members, teach- ers, probation officers, and other social workers obtaining data from these sources usually requires clients to sign a release form. Workers need to be mindful that whatever their information source, it reflects only one point of view or perspective. Assessment is based upon two types of reasoning. Workers employ deduc- tive reasoning when they apply knowledge to specific client situations, and inductive reasoning when they use information that they have collected from clients and significant others to develop an assessment about what that information means. Developing accurate inferences based upon the informa- tion that has been collected requires cultural competence and sensitivity to diversity (see chapter 4) in order to ensure that clients’ mannerisms, views of themselves and their environment, language, and means of interacting with the worker are not misinterpreted. 2. Life-Modeled Assessment A life-modeled approach to assessment has three main emphases: 1. Client participation is encouraged to the maximum extent possible through- out the helping process. 2. Adopting the life-stressor and level of fit formulations provides workers and clients with a way to make sense of the information and provide direction. 3. The worker continually engages in moment-to-moment assessment and is willing and able to change focus and direction when needed. Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person- in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies.
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