Studying for the LCSW Exam?

By Bethany Vanderbilt on August 16, 2013

Are you preparing for the LCSW exam? Well, you've come to the right place. Each week, we'll use this blog to explore one of our Top 50 "hot topics" and how it might appear in test items. We'll begin this week with Topic #1: Child Abuse & Neglect. Curious about our Top 50? Check out the LCSW or MFT Exam Prep tab on our website to find out more about our workshops and study tools.

MFT & LCSW Exam Prep: Child Abuse and Neglect

Alright folks, let's get started.  We’re kicking off the Hot Topics Blog with a review of Child Neglect. As you prepare for the LCSW exam it's important to know how  neglect may show up in a test item? Here’s a sample question:

Sample Question:

During an initial assessment with a 7-year-old boy, a therapist observes that the boy is small in stature and appears listless and gaunt.  He is difficult to engage in play and mostly unresponsive to questions about school and friends.  The therapist notices that the boy is trying to sneak candy from a dish into his pockets.  What should the therapist do NEXT?

A. Comment on the child's behavior

B. Call in the boy's mother to tell her about the behavior

C. Assess for further signs of child neglect

D. Make a note of the behavior and intervene if it is repeated

According to the Social Work Dictionary, child neglect is defined as “The failure of those responsible for the care of a minor to provide the resources needed for healthy physical, emotional, and social development.  Child neglect is seen as an act of omission by caregivers because of limited abilities or resources or other circumstances; it is differentiated from child abuse, which is seen as more willful,” (Barker, 2003).

So, what are some indicators of child neglect?  As clinicians, we would be looking for developmental indicators, like a delay in social or motor development; physical indicators, such as poor weight gain, failure to thrive, or a protruding abdomen; or emotional/behavioral indicators, such as self-stimulatory behaviors (instead of seeking out adults for comfort), chronic drowsiness, hoarding or stealing food, social withdrawal or awkward peer relationships.


The best answer choice is, in this case, C, since the child in the question is presenting with several indicators of possible child neglect.  Answers A and C do not address the potential seriousness of the situation; answer B may be included in your assessment, but is not enough by itself.

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your social work exam or MFT exam? If you're preparing for the social work exam click here- LCSW Exam Prep; if you're preparing for the MFT exam, click here MFT Exam Prep. Learn more about our exam prep at the The Therapist Development Center home page.

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

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Coming up next week: Abuse and Neglect of Elderly/Dependent Clients    



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