Here's a holiday-themed free practice question to help get you ready to pass the ASWB exam:
A client tells a social worker that he was fired after no-showing for work on Labor Day. He plans to sue his former employer for wrongful termination. What can the social worker tell the client about his legal standing?
A. The social worker should refrain from advising on legal matters and refer the client to a lawyer.
B. Suggest the client find an attorney on his own.
C. Discuss other issues that may have led to the client's getting fired.
D. Let the client know that, in most states, employers aren't required to give days off on federal holidays.
What's your answer?
Let's do what we always do--take the answers one at a time.
A. Refer to a lawyer. Law is out of the scope of practice for social workers, but knowing a little something about law can come in handy. Let's put a pin in this one. It's a maybe.
B. Suggest client find attorney. This is less helpful than the first answer, so probably not the right one. Strike it.
C. Discuss past issues. This is tempting. "Discuss" is almost always tempting. Let's mark this as maybe also.
D. Inform client about law. Hmm, is this right? Is this an overreach for a social worker? If you're a social worker, particularly if you've worked in a residential setting, you've probably been asked to work holidays, even the big federal ones like Labor Day. So it can't be that no one works on federal holidays. Come to think, plenty of businesses are open on holidays. So this could be right. Let's maybe this one too.
That leaves three maybes (more than the usual two): Refer, discuss, or inform. There's no acronymed guideline that will give you the right answer in this case. In some questions, each type of offered answer will be right. Refer will be correct in a scope of practice question. Discuss will be right in a rapport-building and therapy skills question. Inform will be right in a more fact-based question. So which one is this?
Well, if you already know that businesses are not required to give days off on federal holidays, you know there's no reason to refer to an attorney. There's also not a lot to be gained by discussing the client's past job performance. Which leaves a best answer: D) Inform the client--tell him the facts of his situation.
One additional clue that this might be the right choice: the question asks what the social worker can tell the client about his legal standing. D is the only offered answer that actually does that.
As ever, one answer doesn't rule out the other answers. It's just the best answer. Think of it this way: a social worker has time to give one answer and one answer only to a client. Which should the social worker choose?
Hope this helps as you tackle more and more practice questions, and, eventually, the real 170-question ASWB exam itself. Speaking of practice, we've got a ton here. Hit Sign Up to create an account and get started!
Happy studying and good luck on the exam!
(PS Some Labor Day history here. Good to know.)
September 6, 2021