How to Understand Outreach: LMSW Exam Prep

By Emily Pellegrino on October 11, 2012

A ring of hands

One of the things that I've always loved about social work is that there are so many different roles we can perform in this field. For the LMSW exam it's important to know the essential functions and responsibilities of these various roles. One of the roles that may show up on the LMSW exam is that of a community social worker. As a community social worker it is important use outreach as a means of helping individuals in the community. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the term outreach.

Sample Question:

Which of the following BEST defines outreach?

A. The act of directly representing or defending others.

B. Actions taken to minimize and eliminate social, psychological, or other conditions known to cause or contribute to physical and emotional illness and socioeconomic problems.

C. Activities done in communities to bring services and knowledge regarding the availability of services to people in their own environment.

D. The act of coordinating services for client's within an agency.

Outreach is generally done at the local and community level and can be performed in a variety of ways. For clients, outreach can be performed by offering educational programs, assistance as needed, and also serving as a liason between the agency and the client. Outreach can also be done by promoting awareness within a community, organizing events, and working with local law makers to develop legislation. All of these activities, and many more, are a part of the act of outreach. The Social Work Dictionary defines outreach as, "The activities of social workers, especially in neighborhood-based agencies, to bring services and information about the availability of services to people in their homes or usual environment" (Baker, 2003).


The best answer here would be C. A would better fit the role of an advocate which is another area that community social workers may fill. B better defines the act of prevention, and D is the role that a case manager would perform. All of these are good terms to know as you continue to prepare for the LMSW exam.

Coming up next week: Prevention

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your LMSW exam? If you're preparing for the social work exam, check out our LMSW Study Materials. Learn more about what is an lmsw license and exam prep at The Therapist Development Center.

Looking for more practice questions and some study tips? Check out our new Social Work Exam Study Guide:

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