Going into this interview my main aim was to gather as much information as I possibly could. I also wanted to develop a good relationship with the client and gain her confidence. First impressions have lasting impacts on a relationship (Compton et al, 2005). The interview was only 10 minutes long so it is hard to get enough information in that time frame without appearing to rush the client. The first couple of minutes I introduced myself and explained my role to the client. It is important to make the purpose of the interview clear to avoid any misunderstanding from the client. If this is not done it may lead in both the worker and the client having different expectations from the meeting (Compton et al, 2005). Lorna being an involuntary client role clarification is especially important when it comes to the worker’s dual social control and helper role. It is important to inform the client what is negotiable and what is not (O’Conner et al, 2008). I made it clear to Lorna that she was required to enrol in parenting classes and it was not negotiable. I however mentioned this to her in a tone that made her feel like she was not being forced. I then informed her about confidentiality and made sure she understood what it meant. As this was my first ever interview I was quite nervous, however I tried to appear confident so that my client could not tell.
As Lorna is an Aboriginal client my aim was to be culturally sensitive and try and interpret her responses and body language based on that. I took care not to ask questions that may seem too confrontational to her, as this was our first interview. I made a note of the responses that may need further examination but I did not want to go into too much detail, especially with only 10 minutes to gather as much information as possible. I made it a point to get as much information about the children and how she is coping with them because that is the reason why we are involved. I took care not to show any kind of reaction when she mentioned things that concerned me as a social worker. She mentioned having many people come in and out of the house and how she sometimes shouts at the kids because they did not listen to her. These are areas given more time I should have tried to get more details on.
During the interview I paraphrased many of her responses. This was just to make sure I was on the same page with the client and I was not misinterpreting she was saying. This was also to assure her that I was actually listening to what she was saying.
I asked mostly ended questions. Some of the questions I asked the client where how she felt about the constant moving and what she planned t do now that the children where starting school. During the interview I also made a few encouraging noises to try and encourage the client to talk more without disrupting her.
The feedback I got from my group regarding my micro skills was good. I was told I was able to make the client feel calm and comfortable. She started off agitated and uneasy, according to the class “I absorbed the situation and did not let the client’s state throw me off. I listened and responded in a calming way”. The other feedback I got was that I did not make assumptions based on the client’s culture and during conversation I was able to move between the client and her children in a cohesive way”. I was told I had gathered quite a lot of information in the short