Guide Social History Assessment

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I truly began to realize the value of a social history after a group of lawyers came to me and asked if I could help them explain a criminal defendant's life experiences to a court. They were representing a man who had never been convicted of a crime until one night when, under the influence of alcohol and a drug cocktail, he drove by a police officer who was issuing a traffic citation to a stranger, pulled a handgun from his glove compartment, and killed the officer.

I knew little about criminal behavior, but as they told me the man's story, I realized I knew a lot about his history. He had suffered every form of childhood abuse and never received support or treatment for the lasting effects of the trauma. The history of his victimization intruded into his victim's life, generating a new history of [Page xii] victimization.

This information gives specialists key facts about a child's background

I knew that somehow the study and disclosure of these histories could open opportunities for healing and safer futures. In the role of expert witness, I am sometimes asked to review the court records of a defendant who has been sentenced to die. In these records, I examine the testimony of social workers and other mental health professionals who presented trial testimony regarding the defendant's social history. Too often, I have left my desk after a court transcript review with grave concern, aware that the apparent skill of the prior witness is sorely lacking, because facts of the history, their interpretation, and the expert opinion have been so superficially offered to the court.

And so I felt compelled to write this book for professionals of multiple disciplines that rely on social histories. This includes those who conduct social history assessments—such as social workers, psychologists, counselors, nurses, psychiatrists, and other helping professionals—and those who use them—such as judges, lawyers, historians, biographers, and human service case managers.

My experience is with social history assessments in diverse settings, therefore I wrote the book for general use. The majority of my experience is with survivors of victimizing experiences, so most of my case examples are drawn from those populations. I have tried to put a variety of resources at the professional's fingertips: summaries of theories about human social behavior, tips for gathering and interpreting histories, and tools for summarizing and communicating information.

Those readers who are learning about social history assessment for the first time will need to grasp the whole content of the book, including Chapters 2 and 3 , which cover essential theory for understanding the material in the remainder of the book. Readers with advanced human services professional education may be able to skim the two theory chapters and move on to the material about conducting the assessment. The book is a resource for developing thorough and comprehensive histories, though it includes tools that are useful in situations such as managed care settings, where interventions are brief and the history needs to be done as quickly and concisely as possible.

Learning to conduct thorough histories forms an excellent foundation for also conducting them succinctly with focus on major presenting concerns. I cannot name them all, but I particularly stand in awe of people like David Bruck, John Blume, Drucy Glass, Pamela Blume Leonard, Scharlotte Holdman, Kathy Wayland, and the thousands of others who have given their lives to helping people understand how life history influences human behavior for better and for worse.

I am also grateful to the American Psychological Foundation Randy Gersen Memorial Fund, which awarded support for my work on this book. Arlene Bowers Andrews , PhD, LISW, community psychologist and Professor of Social Work at the University of South Carolina, has extensive experience in community-based practice and research, program evaluation, and services systems for families affected by turbulence.

At USC, she was a founder and former director of the Institute for Families in Society, an interdisciplinary research center that conducts research to enhance families through community partnerships. Prior to her academic career, she was the founding executive director of Sistercare, a multi-county system of services to families affected by intimate partner violence, founding executive director of Prevent Child Abuse-South Carolina, and a board member of multiple community and regional organizations, including the Southern Regional Council. She served for 8 years on the South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Children and Families and is an active volunteer in faith-based youth development work.

She has been an expert witness on matters of family history and human behavior in federal and several state courts. The Story of Salkehatchie Summer Service , and several articles and book chapters regarding violence prevention and community systems development. CQ Press Your definitive resource for politics, policy and people. Remember me? Back Institutional Login Please choose from an option shown below. Need help logging in? Click here. Don't have access? View purchasing options. Online ISBN: Online Publication Date: May 31, Print Purchase Options.

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Social History Assessment

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Digication ePortfolio :: Kyle Dyer SW Practice I :: Sample Social History

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Social history (medicine)

At this time, his grandmother was given custody of him and his sister. During the period of time that he lived with his parents, the client witnessed his mother hit his father and both of his parents participate in drug-related activities. He was homeless for the first year that he lived with his grandma, transferring from missions to temporary apartments and motels.

The client was sent to Milton Hershey School because his grandmother was struggling from a number of mental health issues, including Schizophrenia. She had a suicide attempt recently and remains living with her grandmother. The client has no relationship with his father, but is working with the social worker to begin the process of getting his mother as his guardian. The client is a sophomore at Milton Hershey School.

The guidance counselor from his previous school described the client as a hard-working student. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features.


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New Releases. Description This book gives an historical background to social history assessment and presents its relationship to social ecology theory and human development. It also describes what a social history assessment looks like and gives guidance on how to conduct social history assessments including the tools needed for developing a social history and information on interpreting the assessment and making meaning of the history.

Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Table of contents Preface Ch 1.