Data Collection Methods of Social Casework

Data Collection Methods of Social Casework

Home visit is another technique of data collection method in social casework practice. According to Hussain & Alauddin

           “Home visit is--------means of drawing

       information about the client & his problem.”

By the home visit a caseworker can acquires knowledge about the client’s home life & environment. The elements of the home life & environment can influence to creating the clients problem which can disappear from the client. For this home visit is considered as a technique of data collection.

Communication & Consultation is another technique of data collection method. By the communication & consultation, a caseworker can collect information about the client from client’s peer group, friends, teacher, colleagues & relatives who can help him to understand client & his problem.

Case records are another technique of data collection method. By the case records a caseworker can know about the previous condition of the client, his problem & problem solving process. Case records-

       should be keep confidential.

       should be written in a simple language.

       should be avoiding the abbreviation.

Interview means face to face conversation or questioning for the purpose of eliciting information to understand & analyze the client’s problem. On this aspect, the definition of Cambridge International Dictionary is- “Interview is a series of question in a formal situation, usually in order to obtain information about them.”

The questions of the interview regarding the client’s problem include-

        history of the problem.

        personal history.

        family history.

        marital history.

        occupational history.

        habits & income.

Regarding the of interview, Robert L. Barker says in the Dictionary of Social Work- “Interview is a meeting between people in which communication occurs for a specific & usually pre-determined purpose. When the interview is between social worker & the client, the most typical purpose is some form of problem solving.”

According to Encyclopedia of Social Work-

“Interview is a specialized form with uniquely distinctive characteristics. An interview is distinguished by three characteristics-

          define purpose & objectives.

          formal structure of role time &

               develop   constraints.

          process & development orientation.”

From above definitions we come to the conclusion that, interview-

is a professional relation between caseworker & client.

is an art & skilled technique.

has some definite objectives & goals.

is related to the effective observation.

is terminate after obtaining the goal.

An effective & successful interview depends on some techniques. These are-

1. Acceptance:

The first and main technique of interview is acceptance. Acceptance means consent to receive. Under this technique a caseworker must accept a client as a friend so that he can share his all problems. When the client meets with the caseworker for the first time he feels fear & anxieties about new person. For this, the acceptance will-

     reduce the fear & anxieties from the mind

           of the client.

     lead to develop counter acceptance of the

         interviewer by the client.

   establish rapport between the interviewer & the client.

2. Observation:

Observation is the driving force of interview which means watching of fortress or hostile position or movement. 

According to P. V. Young-“Observation may be defined as systematic viewing, coupled with consideration of the seen phenomena.”

 During the observation a case worker should keep his sense alert to observe-

           what the client says.

           what he did not say.

           what significant gaps between this.

           clients bodily tension, flashing,

               excitability & dejection.

3. Listening:

 Listening is an important technique of interview. Without the listening, a good observation is also impossible. An interviewer, who listens to the client with patience, can know more about the client then one who does not listen with patience. Because a man who is under stress seeks help to get relief from his anxieties and tension by expressing his story to others.

If he finds a good listener he will go on telling about his unexpressed thing. On the other hand, if he doesn’t find a good listener, he may try to conceal many relevant things and want to get rid of interviewer as soon as possible. For this a good interviewer must be a good listener.

4. Listening before talking:

Listening before talking is another technique of interview. If the client is free to talk without any hesitation then he feels comfortable to express his miserable life story. This gives the interviewer an opportunity-

         to size-up the client as he is.

         to familiar with the client’s language.

         to start the client where he is.

5. Questioning:

Questioning is the central method of interview which depends on the aim & objectives & style of the interview.

The questioning in the interview –

      is done in a friendly atmosphere to help the client.

      be directed to obtain the needed information.

      to lead the client’s conversation from pointless

          to fruitful channel.

      is done by middle way so that the client don’t

          feel pressure to express speech.

6.Talking & making comments:

The caseworker not only listens to the client but also talks. A successful interview depends on the interviewer skill in the art of talking & making comments. The comments of caseworker should-

      be flexible to the client.

      be in order to client’s language.

      avoid the use of technical words.

7. Answering personal questioning:

During the interview, the client asks different questions to the caseworker. The causes of these questions of the client are -

         curiosity of the client

         checking the caseworker’s attention.

For this, the answer of the clients question from the caseworker should-

           be positive.

           be frank.

           be brief.

           be truthful.

So that the feels the caseworker is attentive to listen his speech & to find out his problem & solution.


leadership is another technique of interview. Every interviewer should keep leadership in his hand. Because he possess-

         more experience.

         more professional knowledge & skill.

         more agency’s policy.

For the leadership a caseworker should be intelligent to guide or direct the client so that he can share his unexpressed speech, emotion & behavior.

9. Interpretation;

Interpretation means explanation of the situation. By the interpretation a caseworker can find out the clients


         causes of problem.

         impact of problem.

         treatment plan of problem.

But this interpretation should be consciously. So that it don’t carry the negative impact on the clients mind.

10.Termination/Closing the session:

Termination is the last stage of interview. Under this a caseworker tries to find out the solution of the clients problem & discuss with the client openly regarding the problem & solution. For this a caseworker should keep his sense alert to know –

           opinion of the client.

           role of the client.

           role & ability of the agency.

And it will be done by the client’s satisfaction as possible.

 Finally we can say that interview is a difficult process & the techniques of the interview can possible properly by the experience of the caseworker.

Interview is a effective process of data collection. The success & effectiveness of an interview depends on some conditions. According to Annette Garrett, there are four conditions of an interview. These are-

1.       physical setting of interview

2.       recording

3.       confidential nature of interview

4.       background knowledge of interviewer

Regarding the conditions of a good interview, Hussain & Alauddin remarks the following conditions in there book-“Introduction to Social Work Method”-

1.Background knowledge:

Background knowledge of the caseworker is the first & effective condition of a good interview. Every interviewer should possess some general knowledge regarding the interview so that he can take interview properly. About this Annette Garrett says that- “It is the responsibility of an interviewer to possess”

To keep a proper background knowledge, a caseworker should possess knowledge regarding the-

          representation of the agency

          rules & regulations of the agency.

          functions & limitations of the agency.

          knowledge of social casework.

          knowledge of other behavioral science.

2.Physical settings:

The another condition of a good interview is physical setting. Physical setting means the place where an interview is held. For the good interview physical setting should contains calm & comfortable atmosphere so that the client can express his internal & external things to the caseworker. In physical setting the rapport between caseworker & client can carry the success of an interview.

3. Confidentiality:

Confidentiality is another condition of interview which means to secret information. Every individual has some secret things which don’t want to share with others. These secret things can be about his conjugal life, income, & any crime.

But in the problem solving process, a caseworker tries to know these secret things. For this, confidentiality is so important. If the client gets a confidential environment from the caseworker then he feels free & will express his problem without any hesitation. So a caseworker should possess confidential environment for the client.

4. Recording:

All the information of interview is impossible to keep in the mind of a caseworker. On the other hand, without the recording information, an interview is meaningless. For this reason, during the interview case recording is so much important. In the recording, a caseworker record client’s-

        name & age.


        past & present condition etc.

Recording will be free from broadness so that it can not carry the negative on the client’s mind. To avoid the boring of the client, a caseworker should note the key words of information so that he can recall & record the information in next time.

5. Appointment & time:

The last but not least condition of a good interview is appointment & time. In the interview, appointment refers the preparation of interview both caseworker & client from previous time. For this, a caseworker communicates with the client & fixes the date & time for the interview.

On the other hand, time refers the duration of interview session. It is depends on the caseworker. For this, a caseworker should keep his sense alert on the client’s mentality so that the client doesn’t feel boring to provide answer for the length of time

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post