Overcoming our Achilles Heel: Community Social Work

By Heidi Tobe on July 1, 2019

[caption id="attachment_2202" align="alignnone" width="900"]Green alphabet balloons community social work[/caption]

For many of us pursuing clinical licensure, thinking about the macro social work questions that could show up on the exam sends our otherwise clinically confident selves into a mental tailspin. It makes sense; for most of us taking the ASWB social work exams (whether LMSW or LCSW), our intent is to do clinical work. Because many of us lack work experience at the community level, this topic feels daunting.

What is Community Social Work?

Community social work looks at the impact larger social systems have on people and society and works to promote social change beyond just the individual level. This can include everything from developing programs, to evaluating programs, to advocacy, to policy analysis and more. For those of us who have never done this type of work, it can feel daunting to prepare for these types of questions on the exam.

The last thing we want is for anyone to feel overwhelmed and underprepared for the community questions you might see on this topic. What we don’t want is for people to be doing well on the exam, come to a community social work question they feel unsure of, and have their confidence shaken for the remaining questions going forward. So in an effort to boost both the confidence and competence of our customers (and to ensure we continue to provide the best exam prep out there), we recently amped up our community content. Our social work team created a ‘Macro Made Manageable’ audio and corresponding handout for both our LMSW and LCSW programs. Since its release we've been getting some great feedback from our customers who have tested after utilizing this new material! Are you ready for the community social work questions that could show up on your exam? Let's find out.

Community Social Work ASWB Practice Question

A local social service agency hires a social worker to address the service gaps within the local community, identifying that hispanic clients are being served at a lower rate than other populations within the community. What should the social worker do FIRST to advocate on behalf of this community: 

A. Determine the social service needs of the Hispanic Community

B. Identify leaders of the Hispanic community

C. Meet with leaders of the Hispanic community

D. Form a task force of interested community members

(scroll below to view the answer and rationale)
















The correct answer is B

The best place to start is by identifying leaders of the Hispanic Community (B). Before meeting with leaders of the Hispanic community (C), we must first identify who those leaders are. Once we identify who the leaders are, we can meet with them. In meeting with them, they may even be able to provide us some information on what the specific social service needs are of the Hispanic Community (A). We could then conduct a needs assessment (using the cultural knowledge and expertise from steps B and C to inform our assessment) and finally form a task force.

Masters and Clinical Exam Preparation

Did you get this question correct? If so, you’re on your way to success on the community social work questions. If you didn’t, don’t worry! Our ASWB social work programs will help prepare you for these types of questions (as well as everything else you need to be successful on the exam). One of the best parts of our programs is that if you’re every struggling with a topic or question, you can email your coach for additional explanation and support. We’ve helped THOUSANDS of social workers pass their exams and can help you pass, too. Check out some of our customer testimonials and sign up today!


Commenter Name
September 10, 2019

I'm a bit confused about why the correct answer to the question is B rather than A. In the Advocacy/Organizing quick study for the LCSW exam, step one is to "integrate into the community" (not an option in this question), step two is "Identify the issue impacting the community" and step 4 is "identify Individuals and create core group" which includes "engaging local leaders". Are the steps in identifying service gaps in a different order than those in advocacy/organizing?

Commenter Name
September 10, 2019

Hi Michael, In this case, identifying leaders and meeting with them will allow us to identify what the service needs are. This isn't necessarily creating the core group group that will be working on meeting those needs, but is a step in identifying what the needs are. Feel free to email me with any follow up questions! lcswcoach@therapistdevelopmentcenter.com

Commenter Name
September 11, 2020

I felt like Michael that A should have been the answer. In the Advocacy/Organizing quick study for the LCSW exam, step one is to “integrate into the community.

Commenter Name
October 19, 2020

Identifying and meeting with leaders of the community is <em>part of</em> integrating into the community.

Commenter Name
March 19, 2021

Can you provide further clarification because I also thought it would be A, after reviewing the Macro quick study.

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