Complete Guide to Social Work Clients & the Questions Social Workers Asks Clients


Types of Clients in Social Work & the Questions They Are Asked

One of the first interactions a social worker has with social work clients is an assessment interview. A client assessment tool is often used to put all client details in one place so an assessment report can be completed.

The questions social workers ask in the client interview will guide the type of services and support provided in the social work client care and engagement plan.

Make sure to read our section below on social worker questions for clients, because we’ve included a free downloadable social work client interview questions example PPT and PDF.


Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll review different types of clients in social work and social worker questions for clients. This includes answering questions such as:

  1. What Are the Different Types of Social Work Clients?
  2. How to Conduct a Social Work Interview With a Client
  3. What Questions Do Social Workers Ask Clients?
  4. What Is One of the First Questions Social Workers Should Ask a Client?
  5. Questions Social Workers Ask at the End of a Social Work Client Interview
  6. How to Download a List of Social Worker Questions to Ask a Client
  7. AGS Social Work Client Assessment Tool

social work client questions

Questions Social Workers Ask Social Work Clients

Social work is a profession that involves helping people, and social work clients can be of any age, gender, race, or social-economic level in society. From helping to counsel students to assisting with medical patients with outpatient services, social workers see just about every type of person at some point in their careers.

Contact us if you have any questions or feedback about this end-to-end social work guide about social work clients, assessment tools, and questions social workers ask.

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What Are the Different Types of Social Work Clients?

The types of clients in social work are as diverse as the types of people that might need to go visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a driver’s license.

In other words, a social work client can be anyone. To understand the types of situations where people might become social work clients, we should take a look at different types of social workers and who they serve.

We’ll detail several types of social workers below and next to those the types of clients in social work they help:

  1. Child & Family Social Worker: Mainly assists children that may be in abusive situations. Other social work clients of this social worker would be families that need financial, educational, or other support.
  2. Healthcare Social Worker: Assists hospital patients and their families with emotional support, guidance, and post-hospital resources
  3. Geriatric Social Worker: Works with the elderly and their families
  4. Home Health Social Worker: Travels to homes of social work clients that are homebound due to age or disability
  5. Mental Health Social Worker: Assists those with emotional and mental health needs
  6. Substance Abuse Social Workers: Typically works with a social work client that has drug or alcohol abuse problems
  7. Psychiatric Social Worker: A licensed clinical social worker that works with more severe mental health cases
  8. Corporate Social Worker: A specialized type of social worker who works with companies and their employees as social work clients
  9. Supervising Social Worker: The types of clients in social work served by this professional are typically Foster Care families and the children they take care of
  10. Community Social Worker: Will have entire underserved or marginalized communities as their social work clients
  11. Criminal Justice Social Worker: Works with those that are incarcerated or that are at some stage in the criminal justice system
  12. Other Types of Social Workers & Clients: International social workers work with people in need around the world due to natural disasters or war, military social workers will assist veterans and military members

Social Work Assessments & Case Management Tool

Social Work Case Management & Assessment Tool!

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How to Conduct a Social Work Interview With a Client

Questions social workers ask clients in an interview will usually be guided by a client needs assessment template. This client assessment tool will help the social worker ask the right questions to fully understand the client’s situation and needs.

For those new to providing social services and asking social worker questions to a client, it’s often helpful to do a social work mock client interview for practice.

Here are tips on how to conduct a social work interview with a client:

  • Ensure you are in a comfortable space where the client feels safe
  • Introduce yourself to the client and explain what your position is
  • Ask open-ended questions, which are questions that cannot be answered “yes” or “no”
  • Actively listen and allow the social work client to feel heard and understood
  • Be aware of non-verbal clues and provide comfort as needed (e.g., “I know this must be difficult, but the more information you can share, the better I can help.)
  • Use questionnaires or self-assessment surveys as needed
  • Repeat your understanding of the client’s situation and ask them if you’ve missed anything
  • Provide details on the next steps for the client and reassure them their needs are important to you and your agency

Social Work Mock Client Interview

You can practice your interviewing skills with your friends or colleagues by doing a social work mock client interview. You’ll also find several mock interviews with example social worker questions for clients on YouTube.


Looking for a client needs assessment template, social work client reporting, and other assessment tools? Check out the AGS Social Worker’s Toolbox with Templates & Checklist!


What Questions Do Social Workers Ask Clients?

Questions a social worker would ask a client will revolve around their immediate needs and reasons for assistance. Examples of client goals in social work for assessment will change according to the situation of the social work client.

For example, the social work questions to ask clients for child and family services social workers will look different for the most part than those asked by a social worker working with military veterans who suffer from PSD.

A client needs assessment and client assessment tools are often used to guide social worker questions for clients.

What Is One of the First Questions Social Workers Should Ask a Client?

One of the first social work questions to ask clients is, “How can I help you today?”

Questions Social Workers Ask at the End of a Social Work Client Interview

At the end of a social work client interview, some of the questions social workers ask include:

  • “Is there anything else you’d like to share?”
  • “Did I miss asking you any important questions?”
  • “Are you comfortable with the next steps that I’ve outlined?”


In the next section, you can download social work client interview questions example templates.


Download a List of Social Worker Questions to Ask a Client

What questions do social workers ask clients? We have several examples that you can download below.

Our social work client interview questions example guide provides questions relating to:

  • Situation
  • Safety
  • Survival/other needs
  • Supports/strengths
  • Short-term or crisis

social work assessment questions

Download Social Work Client Assessment Questions PPT

Download Social Work Client Assessment Questions PDF


AGS Social Work Client Assessment Tool

Get several surveys with questions a social worker would ask a client, assessment templates, real-time analytics, examples of client goals in social work, and much more!

social work assessment planning toolkit

Get the AGS Social Work Assessment & Planning Toolkit


Questions Social Workers Ask FAQ

What are the different types of social work clients?

The types of clients in social work are as diverse as the types of people that might need to go visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a driver’s license.

Social work clients can be of any age, gender, race, or social-economic level in society. From helping counsel students to assisting with medical patients with outpatient services, social workers see just about every type of person at some point in their careers.

What questions do social workers ask clients?

Questions a social worker would ask a client will revolve around their immediate needs and reasons for assistance. Examples of client goals in social work for assessment will change according to the situation of the social work client.

For example, the social work questions to ask clients for child and family services social workers will look different for the most part than those asked by a social worker working with military veterans who suffer from PSD.

What is one of the first questions social workers should ask a client?

One of the first social work questions to ask clients is, “How can I help you today?”

What are questions social workers ask at the end of a social work client interview?

At the end of a social work client interview, some of the questions social workers ask include:

• “Is there anything else you’d like to share?”
• “Did I miss asking you any important questions?”
• “Are you comfortable with the next steps that I’ve outlined?”


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