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Case work interviewing methods in a child guidance setting : an analysis based on records of privately referred cases for 1948-1950 in the Child Guidance Clinic at Vancouver Glover, Ernest Geoffrey

Abstract

This study concerns itself with the social worker's contribution to the services of the Provincial Child Guidance Clinic in Vancouver. The focus is on the interviewing methods of the worker as a factor in treatment. The analysis is derived from case records of 141 patients admitted for service in 1948 and 1949, as well as from one case record admitted for service in 1950 which illustrated the worker's methods in interviewing. A preliminary review was made of the evolution of social case work interviewing over the last 20 years and 13 methods were derived. The integration of social case work and mental health services is drawn from literature on social case work and child guidance published in the United States. The nature of interviewing by social workers at the clinic is seen in relation to the clinic's program of diagnosis and treatment. The examination of records for a two year period indicate that diagnosis was a large part of the clinical program. About 38 percent of 141 cases discontinued their contact with the clinic immediately after the diagnostic conference. About 89 percent of interviewing carried out by social workers was on a short-term basis and the proportion of treatment interviewing on an advanced intensive scale was five percent. The study of selected cases indicates that the social worker could contribute more to the services in the area of intensive casework interviewing. Limitations on his capacity to do so may have been imposed by imperfect physical facilities. Mothers received 41 percent of the interviews in 141 cases as compared with 31 percent with the child and nine percent with fathers. There is a need for greater interpretation to fathers of their importance to the child's emotional development. The type of case work interviewing being done with some adults seems to indicate that future development in the program might well include them within its focus. A suggestion is made that more purpose and direction may be given to treatment if workers are more conscious of their skills. The agency would be able to meet its responsibilities to community more successfully if increased appropriations were made.

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