Friday, February 7, 2014


Here is another WWSWD- What do you think a social worker would do in this situation:

A medical social worker who works on the cancer unit in a children's hospital has grown very fond of a refugee family from Bengal who comes in with their 9 year old son every week for chemotherapy. The social worker has built a great rapport with the family and always stops by to either provide resources or just to check in with the family, along with a translator, every week. After a couple months, the social worker finds out from the 9 year old himself that his mother moved out of the home and it is now only the father that is caring for him and his two younger siblings aged 4 and 6. The social worker, who is well aware that the father already works two jobs to keep the family afloat, asks the father, through a translator, who is caring for the kids during the day while he is at work. He states that nobody is caring for them and that they care for themselves. WWSWD next?

a) Educate the father on the different laws in the US and tell the father that he needs to hire a babysitter and make him provide a verbal agreement that he will.

b) Don't say anything, because you've known the family a long time and  know the kids are very mature for their ages and honor that it's part of their culture to care for each other.

c) Educate the father on the different laws in the US and report this negligence to the Department of Family Services to investigate the home and provide resources.

d) Provide father with a list of local daycare services.

The answer is (c) As a medical social worker, you are unable to do home visits and have very little authority over the welfare of the children outside of the hospital environment. The best bet is to inform the authorities so they can evaluate the home and provide the needed resources for child care or create a care plan with friends or neighbors for their safety. It's important to know what your role is and to not assume that a family will follow up with resources, especially with this language barrier. 

For more thought provoking test questions, check out SWTP

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