An intake session is an initial appointment a client will have with you when you become a Community Support Worker (CSW). Here you will focus on gaining as much information as possible about the client while helping them to feel relaxed and calm. The intake session is vital to understanding their mental state and situation. You need to actively listen and remain engaged with the client. You will also discuss consent with them and how you will maintain confidentiality. From there, you can attempt to assist the client.
If you want to learn how to lead a successful intake session as someone in community service support worker training, continue reading!
Gather and Review as Much Information as Possible
To lead a successful intake session, you need to focus on gathering information about a client. This information can be obtained before or during the intake session. This could be through phone calls or text messages. When little information is available about the client, you will need to dedicate the intake session to learning as much as possible.
When having lots of information on a client through prior telephone calls or text messages, your intake session can be more focused on the client’s current situation and issues. Before the intake session, though, be sure to read through all the information so that you go into the session well-prepared and can get clarity on the information they provided. This will also allow you to ask more detailed questions to better understand and help your client. You will learn about information-gathering during in-class lessons in Community Service Worker training. During your practicum, you will implement what you learned while helping clients and having proper intake sessions. Your training will help you prepare questions and ways to make the client feel comfortable.
Be an Active Listener Throughout the Session
How you treat the intake session is important to its success. You need to be an active listener, engage in the conversation, and follow up on the information the client provides. To show focus on what they were discussing, you can also ask for confirmation on certain details.
Having friendly and engaged body language is also important to help them feel more comfortable and heard. Face the client whenever possible, and if you are in the process of taking notes, look up and face them whenever you have finished making a note. Make eye contact with them to assure them they are your focus and that you are invested in what they say.
During your Community Service Worker training, you will learn to listen actively and ask clients questions. The focus of this is to help clients feel secure working with you and knowing that you have their best interests at heart. As you progress through your Community Service Worker career, you will build upon your active listening skills and ability to ask the right questions so that this comes naturally.
Discuss Consent as a Community Service Worker
Assuring clients that the intake session and all sessions occurring after that are confidential will help lead to a successful intake session. This is because it helps build their trust and safety in you as a Community Service Worker (CSW). During your training as a CSW, you will be taught about client confidentiality, and you can apply this during your practicum.
There are instances where you may have to break confidentiality, though, such as a court order. If you work with other healthcare professionals, you may request the client sign an information-sharing document. This is so you can discuss their situation with other professionals. It is important to discuss confidentiality with the client to develop trust. Without laying a foundation for trust between you and the client, the intake session won’t be successful.
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