Thank you for your interest in the Social Worker role with Blackstone Valley Prep. A characteristic of our organization’s hiring process is a focus on exercises that are similar to the day-to-day work for the open position. We feel that these exercises give candidates an opportunity to make a meaningful assessment of how a role will fit them and allow us to observe a candidate’s skills first-hand.
Exercise 1: “Jay” is a first grade student. “Jay” has a history of exhibiting unsafe behaviors in school. These behaviors include; swearing at teachers, throwing items around the classroom, and physical aggression (scratching, punching, and kicking) directed towards staff. “Jay” has a behavior chart in place. He obtains check marks for having a safe body and following directions during each subject. If he earns a certain number of check marks, he is able to get a desired reward at the end of the day. The goal of the behavior chart is to implement a system that allows
“Jay” to be held accountable for his behaviors, conduct a check-in with his teachers after each subject, and for staff to collect data on his behavior patterns.
In addition to “Jay’s” behavior chart, he has a crisis plan in place. “Jay” is aware of his crisis plan. The crisis plan is used when “Jay’s” behaviors are at their peak intensity; swearing at teachers, throwing items, and physical aggression directed towards staff. When “Jay” displays these behaviors, the Dean of Students provides behavioral support to the classroom teachers.
The Dean of Students sets a timer for one minute, “Jay” is given an opportunity to use a coping skill, in order to calm down and remain in class. If the timer goes off and he has not calmed down, he is escorted to a small space, where he can calm down in a safe manner. “Jay” has ten minutes to calm down in the small space. He is then given the option to complete missed classroom work for ten minutes or talk about his feelings and then complete classroom work, prior to returning to class. If “Jay” is unable to complete these tasks and the escalation lasts longer than 40 minutes in length, a phone call home to his mother is completed.
During this case scenario, “Jay” was unable to calm down in the small space. He was five minutes from the 40 minute mark and was given a reminder by the Dean of Students. When the reminder was given, “Jay” began to escalate as evidenced by crying and stating “do not call my mom, do not call my mom, she will hit me.” The Dean of Students is trained to contact the Social Worker when student report statements, as noted above. As the school’s social worker how would you assess the student? What would be your next steps? Please develop a plan of action.