Saturday, August 05, 2006


I have finally been called in for an interview! I've applied for a washington county DHS position, social service specialist. I was asked to answer screening questions before granted an interview, and then they send you a letter requesting you to call to schedule your interview if you passed the screening questions. I PASSED! Here are my answers to the questions.... wish me luck!

1. Please describe your experience and/or knowledge of working with clients with addiction issues.
Most every client I see and help has had some type of addiction pass through their life. Regardless if this addiction is their own; it has shaped their life and affected their choices. Some of these clients have had addiction affect them through their parents’ addiction, and then into their own use. Each client I have worked with has had their story of how addiction had affected them. I have seen girls who have had severe methamphetamine addiction and have come out in recovery and conquering their fear of relapse, and I have seen the fetal alcohol teenager who is unable to control her anger and attention. My primary study in college was drug and alcohol addiction. I have studied Idaho State’s statistics for teenage use, and have worked with women who were date raped after binge drinking at the local bar. My experience and knowledge of the workings of addiction issues have crossed many fields, and have helped me to understand the long lasting affects it can have on the generational family.

2. Please describe your experience and/or knowledge of working with Child Welfare Clients.
In the past two years of working at Albertina Kerr I have met and helped over a hundred clients. Many of these clients have been part of the DHS system, and have had little support systems. When working with these clients I find it is important to support them with more community based activities, such as skills trainers and activities leagues. I’ve had several clients recently who have had no family involvement, and are in need of mentors and adult support systems. Many times these clients are given CASA workers to help understand the process of their case, and other times they have moved into a therapeutic foster home with a family who is capable of helping this client develop healthy family system beliefs.

3. Please describe your knowledge of community-based services in Washington County. Include an explanation of your experience with connecting people to those resources.
Community-based services are services that are provided by government, non-profit or for-profit organizations. These services tend to have a broader range of services available for clients, but are still monitored by governing agencies. Working in Multnomah County primarily has given me very little experience working within the Washington County. Albertina Kerr, in my opinion, is a prime example of a community based services, and works within all the local counties to help clients. I’ve worked with Washington County’s school district to help clients with their IEP, and to assist them in joining appropriate after school activities as well as community activities to assist them in staying safe in the community.

4. Please describe your experience communicating with and resolving conflicts/disputes within groups or between individual parties. Specify the nature of the conflict and what actions you took to resolve the dispute.
As I am currently working in a program with 14 different teenager girls, I see many opportunities that can cause many conflicts to occur, and being the supervisor of that group brings me in as the mediator of conflicts. It’s important to me to help the girls to work together as a group, and to support each other during their treatment. So, when conflicts arise I attempt to help them realize their strengths about each other. When two clients are cautiously at conflict I will usually sit down with each one individually and ask them to evaluate why they are targeting or upset with their peer. This gives them the chance to really understand what the conflict is about without causing more friction. Typically this will help the client to see that their inner conflicts, a bad home visit; difficult therapy session; or feelings of hopelessness may be why they are having problems with their peers. If this time does not resolve any negative views, then it may be something that will be talked about with their therapist. If it does resolve some of the conflict, then I feel it is important for the two clients to sit down together, with mediator, and talk about how they were reacting to each other.

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