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What should the SW do first?


A counselor at a local high school contacts a social worker in the child welfare protection
agency and describes the situation of a 14-year-old girl reporting sexual abuse by her
father. The social worker’s FIRST step should be to:

A. Remove the child from the home
B. Interview the child immediately
C. Contact the police
D. Contact the family


The correct answer is “B” – Interview the child immediately. The question asks what the social
worker’s FIRST step should be. After interviewing the child, the social worker will be in a
position to determine how best to proceed with the case. Removing the child from the home
(answer “A”) is not correct because the social worker must first determine the circumstances of
the case before taking such drastic action. Contacting the police (answer “C”) is not correct as
the worker does not yet know whether the police need to be involved. Contacting the family
(answer “D”) is not correct because the worker must first respond to the school counselor’s
referral by following agency procedure, which is to interview the child immediately.

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