Over the past couple months, our FREE ASWB practice questions have tackled the challenging topics of child abuse and neglect reporting and elder abuse and neglect reporting. This month we present another topic that is sure to show up on your ASWB social work licensing exams, whether you are studying for your master’s level or clinical level exams: domestic violence. For those of us who do not have experience working with clients experiencing domestic violence, knowing how to approach these questions can be difficult. Even for those well versed in working with couples or individuals experiencing domestic violence, understanding what steps the ASWB is looking for you to take can pose a challenge. Our LMSW and LCSW ASWB Social Work Exam programs will prepare you well for any domestic violence questions the exam may throw your way.
How Might Domestic Violence Show Up on the Exam?
The ASWB wants to make sure you know:
- Signs of domestic violence
- Domestic violence reporting rules (or lack thereof)
- What to do in the moment if one or both members of a couple discloses physical violence
- When to refer to a domestic violence shelter
- How to engage in safety plan
- When to provide psychoeducation
- If acknowledging ambivalence and validate the client’s experience is the next step
- When to gather more information
Unlike child, elder, or dependent adult abuse and neglect, domestic violence is not reportable. Because of this, we must carefully balance client self-determination and client safety.
Our FREE ASWB social work exam practice question this week focuses on figuring out this balance. Are you ready successfully answer the domestic violence questions that will show up on your LMSW or LCSW exam? Let’s see how you do on this week’s FREE ASWB practice question:
Domestic Violence Practice Question:
A new client presents for an intake session with a social worker. The client has a black eye, her arm in a sling, and severe bruising around her neck. When the social worker inquires about the injuries, the client states, “I just tripped and fell. It’s not a big deal. I don’t want to talk about that.” What should the social worker do NEXT?
A. Challenge the client that such injuries are not due to a fall
B. Safety plan with the client
C. Continue the intake assessment
D. Provide a DV shelter referral
(scroll down for answer and rationale)
The correct answer is D. Provide a DV shelter referral.
- A is incorrect because we are not going to challenge what our client shared with us during an intake session.
- Safety planning requires the participation of the client. If she is not acknowledging violence is occurring, we cannot safety plan. Safety planning is appropriate when a client is discloses there is violence occurring, but isn’t ready to leave the person.
- C is incorrect because we cannot ignore the safety issue. While we want to respect the client’s right to not discuss what happened, we also want to ensure she has the resources needed should she decide to seek help or leave her partner.
- If someone is in a DV situation, but says they don’t want to talk about it (or denies there is a problem), then safety planning or psychoeducation are not options, as they are going against the client’s self-determination. When the client is denying there is a problem or says they don’t want to talk about it, a DV shelter referral is a good option to address the safety issue (which we can’t ignore) without encroaching on their self-determination. A DV shelter referral can be given quickly and discreetly, it provides the client with a resource, and they can choose what they want to do with it (if anything).
How did you do on this question? Did our answer and rationale line up with your understanding of how to approach domestic violence situations, or did you learn something new?
If you have any questions after reviewing the answer and rationale, you can always reach out to one of our awesome coaches; they are happy to answer any questions and provide support to you as you prepare to PASS your ASWB licensing exams with confidence.
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