Explain the steps you think the social work profession can take in ensuring that problems are defined so that oppressed and marginalized groups are represented.

Response 1

Social and Emotional Intelligence

Respond to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:
o Critique your colleague’s analysis of the relationship between social and emotional intelligence and cultural factors. Provide support for your critique.

o Critique your colleague’s strategy for applying social and emotional intelligence to the case of Andres. Provide support for your critique.

o Critique your colleague’s suggestion for how to apply an
understanding of social and emotional intelligence to social work practice in general. Provide support for your critique.

Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

Colleague 1: T

During the time (6 years ago) when Andres was exiting middle adulthood and enter late adulthood, he was transitioning from a period of stability to a period of instability (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). Major changes were ahead that would hit Andres hard. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can be used to describe Andres past and present emotional and intellectual state. Prior to Andres diagnosis of a brain tumor and Parkinson’s disease, he achieved all of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Andres, physiological, safety, belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs were met. He was married, had children and grandchildren, had a great career, plenty of friends, and exercised daily. (Plummer et al, 2014). According to Maslow “When people fulfill the most elemental needs, they strive to meet those on the next level, and so forth, until the highest order of needs is reached (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016, p. 505). Emotionally and intellectually Andres was in a good place. Now, at the age of 68, he has disabilities and has lost most of his independence. He tries to de independent, but has injured himself several times. Activities as basic as eating and bathing unassisted are forever changed. Andres has lost his independence and has become depressed as he realizes more and more that his life is forever altered. “He now uses a cane and walker to ambulate. His speech is slow and soft. He requires assistance to get dressed and eat at times due to severe tremors and the loss of dexterity in his hands”(Plummer et al, 2014). His safety needs were not being met, especially due to his instability, disabilities, and other medical conditions. This has resulted in a lack of belongingness, low-self-esteem, and no self-actualization. But over time Andres started to accept who he has become. Even though Andres hated asking for help, he realized that asking for assistance could have prevented some of the falls and injuries (Plummer et al, 2014). Andres, accepted the help of the social worker, accepted some help from family, realized that he could not change what has happened to him, and even reclaimed some of the friendships he once had with colleagues. With help, Andres began to climb the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs again.

As a social worker, I would apply the EI test to further help Andres. Through self-awareness, I’d help him conduct an accurate self-assessment and regain his confidence. Next, I’d help him learn to take the initiative and allow others to help him, while still having self-control. Then, I’d work with him to understand his family and for him to show empathy toward them. Lastly, I would continue to encourage him to connect with more of his former colleagues and regain those relationships he once had (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016, p. 507-508). The EI test would help him better function emotionally and socially. At this point Andres is already motivated, he just needs empowerment recharge to keep him focused, despite the worsening of his condition. The social work practice skills I would apply while working with Andres is; empathy, empowerment, active listening, rephrasing, and genuineness.

References

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Working with People With Disabilities: The Case of Andres. Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Colleague 2: B

Understanding how to navigate the world draws upon several aspects of an individual’s cognition, including their social and emotional intelligence. These forms of cognition are rooted in the understanding of how the world works, which includes self-regulation of emotions and relationships (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2015). Furthermore, recognizing how roles are established in communities is yet another manifestation of social and emotional intelligence (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016). Cultural factors play an impacting role on social and emotional intelligence. This was clearly evident in this week’s case study. Andres was depicted as a proud, successful man from Honduras who was diagnosed with both a significant brain tumor, as well as Parkinson’s Disease (Plummer, Makris and Brocksen, 2014). The resulting depression interfered so significantly, causing Andres to seek guidance from a social worker (Plummer, et. al., 2014).

Prior to his disability, Andres was a successful Hispanic man, who contributed to society on many levels and was the patriarch of his family (Plummer, et. al., 2014). The decline of his health led to several limitations in his life with which he struggled to accept (Plummer, et. al., 2014). The cultural expectations of a hispanic man include considering him the head of the family and primary provider (Gregori, 2015). Since Andres was no longer in a position to uphold these traditional roles, his social and emotional intelligences were compromised. The world, as he previously understood it, required a different level of navigation that had to be initiated with acceptance of his current situation (Plummer, et. al., 2014).

As a social worker, recognizing Andres’ perspective is key in guiding him to the most positive outcomes. The reality of the situation is that Andres is not in a position to reclaim his previous life (Plummer, 2014). Therefore, the roles he is capable of embracing need to be redefined in order to build upon his compromised social intelligence. Perhaps highlighting the ways he can contribute to the families with whom he previously worked would be one way to help him navigate his way back to a life he respected. Additionally, acknowledging Andres’ perceptions and validating his frustrations can alleviate the inadequacies he may be feeling thereby enhancing his emotional intelligence (Gregori, 2015). Andres will require consistent validation and a cultural competence on the part of the professional charged with his guidance.

Encouraging clients to understand their emotions, as well as their relationships will serve to enhance their emotional and social intelligence. The world is comprised of unwritten “rules,” that must be adhered to in order for individuals to fit in smoothly with society’s expectations (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016). When individuals understand and initially abide by this social code are they in a position to challenge the expectations. For example, a young woman who would like to play football will have an easier transition if she first acknowledges that this is not the norm and prepares herself for the people who claim she should not attempt the sport. Once acknowledging this societal code, the young woman is in a position to break through the established norms and make a name for herself. Social and emotional intelligence is required for individuals to “fit in,” because only then can these individuals make the choice to “stand out.”

References

Gregori, E. (2015) ‘The Cost of Disability for Hispanic Males’, Hispanic Review, 83(4), pp. 467–483.

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Response 2

Discussion: The Impact of Social Policy

· Respond to at least two colleagues who chose a different case from the one you selected by explaining a proactive approach you might develop for a social policy that addresses the problem facing the client in the case your colleagues selected.

· Explain the steps you think the social work profession can take in ensuring that problems are defined so that oppressed and marginalized groups are represented.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Colleague 1: D

Tessa’s Case

I chose to focus on Tessa’s case in Social Work Policy: Benefit and Administration and Provision. “The Division of Family Development denied her application because she refused to disclose her legal name and Social Security number” (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen, 2014).

Since Tessa was unwilling to provide pertinent information, it prohibited her from receiving services. Tessa had only been unwilling for fear of her ex-husband tracking her through the system (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014).

The visitation agreement set forth by the court for Tessa’s daughter Maria, barred Tessa from taking Maria into another state. Then in turn due to Tessa violating the agreement, Maria was placed into the care of her grandparents (on her father’s side) in what was considered her home state (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). In that particular situation there were multiple policies in place that Tessa had to work with.

Tessa was forced to choose between changing her name and her social security or leaving it as is and attempt to regain her daughter. There are two parts to this so if Tessa chose to change her information she would have the ability to receive the services she’s requesting. Or Tessa could leave her name and social security as is and take a risk that her ex-husband will find her and harm her as well as having the possibility at retrieving her daughter Maria.
Due to the inability by the Department of Human Services to fully protect Tessa, she had to step forward in changing her name and social security. So the lack of policy in keeping personal information secret/secure in the department’s system, Tessa had to choose the latter and take the loss in finding her daughter (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014).

Policies Affect Social Agencies

Policies can affect social agencies in the manner that the agencies will be hindered in delivering all services to clients. For example: in Tessa’s case the worker did not have the ability to ensure Tessa was protected if she took the latter and not change her information and prevent her ex-husband in finding her in the system (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). Another way that policies affect social agencies is by being limited to working with another state in child custody agreements. Typically once it is set in one state in the court, that is what is set forth and abided by.

Social Worker’s to work with Clients such as Tessa

Social workers’ can work with clients such as Tessa by gaining knowledge in the policy area as well as advocating for certain rights. We have to realize that there is not always a policy for every situation/person. There are people/things that still need to be advocated for and everything will always have a process. It is always benefical as well to network with others not just in social work but in the government line as well to gain knowledge or have the support to justify a bill/policy.
Reference
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing.

Colleague 2: T

For this discussion, I chose the case of Tessa in the case study “Social Work Policy: Benefit Administration and Provision” by Plummer, Makris and Brocksen (2014). I chose this case because I am currently doing my Field Experience at a Family Violence Crisis Center and Shelter that serves victims of Domestic Violence (DV) /Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) like Tessa in the case study.

The Social Welfare Policy in this case study that had the greatest direct effect on Tessa and her family was the denial of her benefit application due to her refusal of giving her legal name and social security number (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). For most people, giving your legal name and social security number is not an issue, but for a woman victim of domestic violence, this simple request could trigger so much fear. This is especially true since Tessa is already dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). Her fear is so great; it is causing her to make a decision that prevents her from receiving benefits but also keeps her connected to her child. That would be a hard decision for any mother to make, I would hope. Especially since Tessa feels that her and her daughter, Maria, has experienced abuse according to the Plummer, Makris and Brocksen (2014) text.

The social worker in this case realized and honored Tessa’s dilemma and did her best to give Tessa security by explaining the system conceals victims of DV, but Tessa is in a very vulnerable time that could mean life or death for her, so her trust is not easily given, rightfully so (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). The Dept of Human Services Social Worker who works directly with Tessa sees and understands this because of her direct contact with an actual victim of DV, but the policy makers at the time probably doesn’t take this into consideration due to the lack of direct contact with clients. In this case, the social worker was creative and found a workaround for Tessa to create an alias and apply and receive benefits, but look what it eventually cost Tessa (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014)? The additional policy that Tessa’s lawyer explained about changing her name, even for safety purposes, causes her to lose her only daughter according to the text (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). As mentioned in my opening, how awful is it that an already abused person now has to make a decision to give up something very dear to her, a child, in order to create a healthy life for herself. I would hope this social worker finds a way to share the effects of this case to policy makers through advocacy, writing and macro-level practice to encourage services that doesn’t tear families apart. This would encourage our Social Work Ethical Principle of the importance of human relationships that states ”Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities” (NASW, 2016).

References

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year.

Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). (2016). Retrieved from National Association of Social
Workers: http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

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