Respond to at least two colleagues with recommendations of what skills social workers might employ to separate and/or reconcile personal values with professional responsibilities in the scenario presented. Discuss how the barriers to services identified by your colleagues can be overcome by a professional social worker working with LGBTQ clients. Use at least 1 reference.
Colleague 1: A
I believed I am not excluded from this heterosexism. I am from a community with a strong cultural heritage and morals. The word “gay” is generally used to describe an individual who is less than or incomplete to a man. However, the world in the 19th and 20th century has observed a change and acceptance of disparities, the society has evolve and there is freedom to practice religion of your choice, sexual orientation, and even your self-identity (Clinton, 2011). Despite the evolution, the lesbian, gay males, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people are despised and discriminated within our communities, and government parastatals (Clinton, 2011). The LGBT people according to Adams et al., (2013, pp. 381), are targets to “exclusion, denial of civil and legal protections, and in some cases, overt acts of violence”. An example of hate crime and terrorist act on gay was the recent mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando leaving 50 dead (New York Times, 2016, June 16).
Personal opinion, values, and beliefs should not be mixed with professional ethics and code of ethics in social workers. Social workers utmost responsibility is protect the client and fight for injustice without prejudice or bias mind. According to NASW (2001, pp.10), “cultural competence refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each”. Despite my upbringing I respect diversity and I have come to respect individual orientation.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., &
Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd Ed.). New
York, NY: Routledge Press.
Clinton, H. R. (2011). United Nations Address on Global LGBT Rights. U.S. Department
of State. Retrieved from http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/
National Association of Social Workers. (2001). NASW standards for cultural
competence in social work practice. Retrieved from
New York Times (2016, June 16). Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50
Dead. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/us/orlando-nightclub-
Shooting.html on 7/11/16
Colleague 2: M
Scenario: The client, Adam, in this scenario is an African American male who identifies as gay. Adam has been having relationship problems with his partner and is coming to the community center for therapy and advice on working through his relationship issues. The client has a history of abuse from former partner and father as a child. He has never completed any therapy sessions or opened up about his past trauma and this is the first appointment with the center. The social worker assigned to Adam is Cindy, a Caucasian female who is of a Southern Baptist religion. She has been a social worker for one year and has never encountered a LGBTQ client. Cindy thinks the LGBTQ is an abomination and expresses to her boss while reading the intake her anxiety and disgust with Adam lifestyle. Adam arrives for his first appointment and storms out of the center after Cindy asks if he has ever read what the bible says about homosexuality as the first intake question.
Different religions have different views on the world and the way things should be played out in our society. According to the Pew Center (2012), most religions oppose same sex marriage and relations. If you are a social work who is religious, working with someone who is in the LGBTQ community could be difficult. Acceptance and empathy is key to being a social work, judgement is not accepted in any way when you are a social worker as you work with very vulnerable people on a daily basis. Some clients that are LGBTQ will have long history of abuse, oppression, and marginalization based on their identity or sexual orientation, as social workers we will be responsible for addressing these topics. In all helping professions it is very important to leave your personal beliefs, biases, values, and religious ideals at home. In our society we are very diverse, as a social worker you must embrace diversity. The NASW encourages social workers to provide empathetic care to a diverse population of people and embrace the differences that we have as a society. Our professional ethics and values should be distinct in empathy and non-judgmental approach to all populations, regardless of personal beliefs. It is important to remember we do not get paid for our ideas, beliefs or values; It is also important to remember we have a code of ethics to provide our services, which embraces diversity.
In the scenario it is clear that Cindy does not support the LGBTQ community, however the NASW does and in turn she is failing to fulfil the social work code of ethics. Her approach to the client involved a religious approach which is off limits unless addressed by a client. Cindy personal beliefs about gay people have led her not to be able to successfully work with Adam and caused him to leave the session after only one question. The impact she has made on Adam can be extremely negative as he was weary to receive services in the beginning and this was his first attempt to address the abuse and trauma he has endured due to being LGBTQ in this society. Cindy should have approached this as any other client and respected the client’s lifestyle regardless of her religious opinions.
Being in a helping profession it is very important to realize and embrace diversity. We will encounter many races, religions, sexual orientations, and many other distinctive diversity characteristics in which we have to appreciate as social workers. Minorities have been oppressed and discriminated against throughout history and social workers are there to help people through crisis situations. Clients do not want our personal opinions, they want our professional opinions.
It Gets Better Project. (n.d.). It gets better. Retrieved September 6, 2013, from: http://www.itgetsbetter.org/
Pew Research Center (2009). Religious Groups’ Official Positions on Same-Sex Marriage. Retrieved from: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/07/religious-groups-official-positions-on-same-sex-marriage/
Respond to a colleague’s post by offering an additional development theory and explaining its connection to the act of bullying. Please use the Learning Resources to support your answer. Use at least 1 reference.
Colleague 1: K
HE CONSTRUCTS ASSOCIATED WITH MORAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN AND BULLYING BEHAVIOR
Children learn how to “self-regulate” (p. 350) their behavior when they are raised by parents or guardians who instills the importance of being honest into them, applies discipline when they misbehave, and exudes positive reinforcements when they behave morally. Parents must behave honestly and morally on a consistent basis in order for their children to model after them. Moral development in children is derived from their familial experiences (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016). Children who show aggressive behaviors towards their peers are thought to have certain character traits that lead them to become either of two types of aggressors: Bullies, or Bully-Victims (Gasser and Keller, 2009).
In their research Gasser and Keller, (2009) revealed that bullies have spontaneous personalities, and do not think about how they are going to attack their target. However, bully-victims, strategize and plan their attack. Also noted in their research, was the fact that some bullies are classified as being socially competent because of their charisma; they had social and communication skills, they proved good at controlling/leading others, and they were successful in attaining their goals. Bully-Victims were found to unable to function in society because of being inefficacious aggressors. They are meticulous, shrewd, and cunning, and are focused on planning their attack on their target.
BULLYING USING CYBERSPACE, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND OTHER COMMUNICATION METHODS
Within the teenage population bullies target their victims via the internet through social media and networking sites such as: Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They also use text-messaging via cellular phones. These sites are open to the general public, making it easy for bullies to share whatever information he/she desires. Social media has given the bully a new level of confidence in intimidating behavior because he/she has a sense of anonymity. In person, the bully has a small audience and the attacks take place in an inanimate location, but through the use of social media and other communication tools, he/she is able to enter into the private places of their victims; e. g. text-messaging, and home computers. They have a larger audience in which to share their venomous remarks, sharing personal information; such as photos, and gender identity Sulkowski, Nichols and Storch (2009). Cyberbullying is responsible for an increase in teenage substance abuse, difficulties in school, and creates hostility amongst friends.
HOW HAS BULLYING EVOLVED THROUGH THE USE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY?
To this day, bullying still takes place either in person, and/or through electronic media. Prior to the invent of social and electronic media, victims were targeted in person. Because of the popularity of social and electronic media, cyberbullying has opened the door to an unprecedented level of aggression that has taken on another construct which does not require any personal interaction with the victim (Sulkowski, Nichols and Storch, 2009). Victimizers can attack unsuspecting adolescents whom they have never met. It is important, therefore that as children learn how to navigate the internet, for parents or guardians to closely monitor their children’s use of social and electronic media. Bullies are indiscriminate on where they find their victims, and children new to the internet, and cell phones, are easy targets for becoming victims without ever meeting their aggressor.
Dempsey, A. G., Sulkowski, M. L., Nichols, R., & Storch, E. A. (2009). Differences between peer victimization in cyber and physical settings and associated psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence. Psychology in the Schools, 46(10), 962–972. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases
Gasser, L., & Keller, M. (2009). Are the competent the morally good? Perspective taking and moral motivation of children involved in bullying. Social Development. 18(4), 798-816. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning
Respond to a colleague’s post by expanding on how the act of bullying can affect the psychological development of both victim and observer. Then offer an additional social work intervention, skill, or practice that might change this cycle of events. Please use 1 Learning Resource to support your answer.
Colleague 1: J
Instagram is a fascinating place. People can post pictures of their lives with captions and people (sometimes complete strangers) can follow and comment on these pictures. When I was placed in an elementary school, I witnessed 3rd and 4th graders who had Instagram accounts and would often times try and figure out my username to try and follow me. Instagram is indeed, fascinating, but in my opinion, it also allows for a huge amount of the cyberbullying that takes places in today’s society. Imagine: a young girl who goes on Instagram and looks at model’s pages- models who are beautiful and perfect and fit- and still sees people tearing them down for every little thing that is wrong with them. The girl looks in the mirror and imagines what people would say about her. To make herself feel a little bit better, she, too, begins calling models “fat” or telling them to “go eat a cheeseburger.”
While this young girl may not have witnessed first-hand the attack of another or encouraged it, she will still be effected by it. When people call a seemingly perfect model ugly or fat or too thin, how are the rest of us supposed to be considered pretty or thin? (The purpose of this statement is to highlight the frantic thoughts of a young girl, battling body images.) The girl now will hyper-focus on herself, as well as take part in the damaging remarks that “everyone else” makes too. She rationalizes this by thinking, “well, everyone else does it, and it doesn’t have any real damage on the person.”
As a social worker, I feel that cyberbullying would be one of the hardest things to handle, especially within a school setting. Cyberbullying can take place at school or home, but it is brought back to school the next day. As Monks, Madhavi, and Rix(2016) state, “This suggests that cyberbullying, although arguably mainly occurring out of school hours, is related to school and may have a negative impact on children and young people within school, as they are being cyberbullied by other children from their school” (pg. 41). This is and can be a tough problem to take care of. The social worker has to be empathetic to the child, as well as the bully, who is clearly suffering from issues him or herself. The desire to protect the child being bullied is obvious, but the bully should be shown compassion as well.
There are things that can be done. By working with the school staff, assemblies and in-classroom presentations can be given on the effects of cyberbullying. There are organizations such as the Great American NO BULL Challenge, with an actual victim of cyberbullying as the campaign’s spokesperson. They find that kids react better to kids talking to them, as opposed to an adult lecturing them (Scholastic, 2012). Ultimately, there is no real way to stop cyberbullying for good. However, there are ways to educate and encourage kids to talk each other in respectful and non-threatening ways.
Edgington, N. (2012, February/March). The Girl Who Got Even: A True CyberbullyingStory.
Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://choices.scholastic.com/story/girl-who-got-even-true-cyberbullying-story
Monks, C. P., Mahdavi, J., & Rix, K. (2016, June 1). The emergence of cyberbullyingin
childhood: Parent and teacher perspectives. Psicología Educativa, 22(1), 39-48. doi:10.1016/j.pse.2016.02.002
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