CHAPTER 7 BEGINNINGS Settings, Modalities, Methods, and Skills I ndividuals, groups, families, and communities in need of social work services are potential clients until they accept the agency’s service and the agency agrees to provide it. Summary of Content 1. Degree of Choice Engaging potential clients in a social work relationship requires us to consider the degree of choice they have in using our help. Services may be mandated, offered, or sought. Mandated social work services vary in their degree of “involuntariness.” Court-mandated services carry prescribed consequences for clients if they fail to comply with court orders and are likely to be experienced as coercive. Institutions or agencies can also impose a social work service as a condition for example, for receiving Suboxone to combat a heroin addiction, a client must commit to attending group counseling. Social workers should anticipate that individuals who are mandated to see them are likely to struggle against their power and authority. Social work stu- dents must learn to be direct and honest about the source of the mandate, their own authority and responsibility, limits on confidentiality, and definitions and potential consequences of noncompliance.
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