When you are new to social work, home visits can be a daunting process. Unlike working in an office, home visits can sometimes feel like you are out in the field, all on your own. Despite this feeling, there are a couple ways you can easily hold meaningful visits and feel more comfortable doing your job.
Be personable and not commanding
From the moment you arrive at your clients' house, you begin making an impression. If you hope to build a successful working relationship, you want to be personable and not commanding. For example, don't knock harshly on the door and always ask for permission to sit down to talk. While you are coming to see them due to a child welfare concern or other serious matter, you also want to help the guardians and children feel free to open up to you.
In your office, you are able to control the environment in which you conduct your interview. In a home visit, however, you may encounter moderate-to-serious distractions you will need to address. For example, the children's guardians may have the television on or music turned up. If this is the case, politely ask them to turn it off or down. This way, you can remove any distractions that may interfere with your visit and ruin your chances of getting to know and assess the children. Bring along coloring books, games or fun children's books to put children at ease and keep them from getting distracted as well.
At ProSolutions Training, we offer numerous social service courses, such as "Conducting Purposeful Visits with Teens" for interested professionals. Contact us today to learn more!