The first technique I would apply to the initial meeting is ensuring that Tanya feels safe. Introducing the safety topic to children is essential as it would help them feel safe and know that their need has been identified. To introduce the safety topic, it would be essential to use a worry meter, which allows me to assess how worried or unsafe Tanya feels and then explore the issues that make her feel unsafe (Stiborova, 2020). I would also assess what makes Tanya feel safe and help her identify the difference between little and big worries. This will help establish trust and allow Tanya to express her fears and feelings openly and trustfully.
The second technique would be treating Tanya especially, ensuring she feels she is unique. This would mean using tools that can enable me to find out Tanya’s wishes and needs, identify her strengths, and build rapport with her. I would also find out what she likes, her thoughts and feelings about the future and current situation, and what she would like to see happen to her and her family.
The last technique would be to make the meeting fun. The environment I will meet her needs to be child-friendly and fun. I could use memory boxes to help with memorabilia and use the friendly map to gauge the level of safety that Tanya feels within the environment and make appropriate changes. Family is an integral part of the Hispanic culture. During the discussion, it would be essential to emphasize the value of family and try to find out any needs that Tanya might have within the family.
Stiborova, E. (2016-2020). 30+ tools for 1:1 work with children (assessment, planning & intervention). http://www.socialworkerstoolbox.com/30-tools-11-work-children-assessment-planning/
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Tanya is a 10-year-old Hispanic female whom her teacher referred to meet with the School Social Worker. Tanya’s teacher reported that Tanya often plays alone at recess and lunch and always seems nervous around the other children in her classroom. Tanya is reserved and feels anxious about meeting with the Social Worker.
Using the readings and the above vignette, please identify three engagement/assessment techniques you could apply to your initial meeting with Tanya. Please consider any cultural considerations.
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