Meeting with a new client presents new possibilities for student social workers. In this
instance, Paco is a 14-year-old Native American boy whose recent behavior and quiet,
withdrawn nature has had his teachers suspecting that something was bothering him. Since I am
the social work practitioner at the junior high school charged with not only helping students, but
also teachers cope with and solve problems in their everyday lives, Paco has been sent to see me
by his teacher so that I can help him identify and solve his problem.
What Paco’s first thoughts might be upon seeing me
There are numerous thoughts that could cross Paco’s mind upon seeing me. Since he is
still only 14 years of age, he might think that he is in trouble for something he did or how he
behaved. On the other hand, he might think that it will be helpful to talk with someone about his
problems upon seeing me. Moreover, he might think that it is a waste of time to pay a visit to the
social work practitioner’s office. Also, he might look at my dress code and think of how elegant
how to look.
How Paco might be feeling about meeting me
Paco might be experiencing a lot of mixed emotions about meeting with me. These range
from curiosity, anxiety, scared, to being overwhelmed, and worried. Moreover, he might be
feeling confused as to why he has to pay me a visit. He may not feel comfortable enough to open
up to me about his problems on the first visit, so I have to be understanding. Also, Paco might be
feeling that it is a waste of time or even be intimidated or shy about meeting me.
Concerns I have about meeting with Paco
He might not feel free enough to open up to me about his problems immediately. It may
take some time for him and I to establish a rapport, and build trust that will enable Paco to open
up and converse. Judging by his quiet and withdrawn nature, Paco could be suffering from
loneliness, which may have started from home. It may be that his parents do not take a keen
interest in knowing how he is really fairing on. Additionally, Paco could be having low self-
esteem or even be suffering from teen depression. Teen depression is a mental health problem
that not only causes a loss of interest in activities, but also a persistent feeling of sadness (Benton
& Young, 2018). Also, difficult childhood experiences such as neglect or bereavement may be
causing Paco to act strange. Most times the problem lies deeper than what is actually exhibited.
There are a lot of students, especially teenagers who are struggling with mental health
issues such as depression and anxiety. Paco is an example of such students. He might be
performing well at school, but his recent quiet and withdrawn nature has caused teachers to
suspect that something is wrong with him. Special attention and care should be given to these
students before the problem escalates. School social workers are tasked with the responsibility of
helping students, parents, and the staff to identify the problems/issues that can interfere with
student learning. What is more, they try to resolve the emotional and behavioral problems which
students might be facing.
Benton, S., & Young, S. (2018). Best practices