For this week’s critical thinking discussion, please read the excerpt from the Court Case Involving a Therapist’s Refusal to Counsel Homosexual Clients found below.
Begin a respectful and scholarly discussion based on the questions posed in the Commentary section of the court case excerpt. Address each question as if they were posed to a social worker.
Also consider how NASW Code Ethics would direct professional behavior. Since this topic can be a “hot topic,” I want to make sure to remind everyone about profession etiquette despite your personal position on this issue.
As you answer the questions in the court case, please be aware that your answer to the question that asks, “To what degree protect you from an ethical or legal violation?” should include how the NASW can help protect you from a legal or ethical violation. National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
This isn’t what I signed up for’.Authors:Huey, Laura
Ricciardelli, RoseSource:International Journal of Police Science & Management. Sep2015, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p194-203. 10p.Document Type:ArticleSubjects:POLICE-community relations — Research
RURAL police — Research
COMMUNITY policing — Research
POLICE social work
LAW enforcementAbstract:Although some insight into the sources and scope of occupational stress among rural police officers exists, historically, researchers have focused largely on their policing styles, rather than the relationship between what officers do and how they feel about their work as police in rural jurisdictions. To address this lacuna in knowledge and literature, we draw on data collected from semi-structured interviews conducted with 20 active police officers, each of whom is presently assigned to one of seven rural police detachments in a province in Eastern Canada and field observation of police working in a rural detachment in this same province. In adopting a role theory perspective, we first reveal how officers operationalize their roles as law enforcers, peacekeepers, social workers and/or knowledge workers. We then examine their experiences of role strain as a result of mismatches between their desired versus actual occupational role(s). The majority of officers aspired to hold either the law enforcement or social worker role, which they saw as being most closely associated with their perceptions of what it means to be a ‘police officer’. However, most felt they performed tasks related to less desirable roles, which was tied to role strain. Training recommendations are discussed for officers recruited for rural policing. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
2.ND Reference Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: An Administrative Approach to Diversity.Authors:Quinn, Tara L.Source:Child Welfare. Nov2002, Vol. 81 Issue 6, p913-928. 16p. 1 Chart.Document Type:ArticleSubjects:GAY teenagers — Services for
CHILD welfare workers
SOCIAL work with youth
FOSTER childrenAbstract:Research indicates that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) teens in the care of a northeastern child welfare department do not receive adequate services due to the workers’ homophobic attitudes. These teens are at high risk for alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness, prostitution, and suicide. A training module was developed for administrators. Pretest and posttest instruments measured their education and support of GLBTQ issues before and after the training. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Child Welfare is the property of Child Welfare League of America and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
In 2000, a master’s of social work (MSW) student conducted a survey of a state child welfare department in the Northeast that gauged workers’ beliefs, attitudes, and training needs surrounding issues of sexual orientation and identity. Findings supporting the existence of homophobia among workers as a whole were statistically significant. Of workers, 33% reported beliefs based on myths and stereotypes about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) people. Almost half of respondents indicated that they were either not aware of services for GLBTQ youth or did not respond to the question. Of respondents, 10% to 37% left the attitude questions blank, increasing the chance of underreported biases.
Based on this research, one can conclude that GLBTQ youth in state care do not receive adequate services, including worker interaction, case management, and service referrals. Child welfare department workers make service referrals for individual and group counseling, support, activities, and other forms of involvement within the GLBTQ community.
Beyond this department, GLBTQ teens face issues specific to their sexual orientation. They are at higher risk of physical and verbal abuse as well as isolation from their families. In other instances, their families ask them to leave home. In their peer groups, GLBTQ teens may lose friends during their coming out process. Peers can also be abusive and degrade and reject GLBTQ youth. At school, GLBTQ youth may feel isolated and unaccepted. Lack of education and discussion about issues of sexual orientation often elicit feelings of not belonging, and belonging is extremely important for teens. Cultural and social norms view GLBTQ lifestyles as deviant. GLBTQ teens live in a culture that produces homophobic attitudes and marginalizes them.
Systemic issues within child welfare departments also contribute to the disservice of GLBTQ clients. In this study, the state’s lack of space for out-of-home placement extends to the problem of youth living on the streets. Funds are insufficient to increase out-of-home placements.
Another systemic problem is the lack of training for the state’s child welfare workers about sexual orientation. The department does not mandate training on this issue and does not offer it as part of the initial training for new workers.
As a consequence, GLBTQ teens face mental health, self-concept, and identity issues; increased risk of suicide; and homelessness after being thrown out or running away. The lack of services for these teens is not only detrimental but can be fatal.
A nonprofit organization providing support, advocacy, and educational services in this state to youth with sexual orientation and gender identity issues reports that 40% of its clients are involved with the state child welfare department. These youth report significant homophobic attitudes and behaviors by their social workers, which Nocera (2000) substantiated.
To ignore this problem would mean selecting the “deserving,” or those with socially acceptable lifestyles, to be clients, rather than embracing all people. Ethically, this would undermine the values of social work practice, particularly that of self-determination. The social work profession has the responsibility to advocate for and work with marginalized and stigmatized populations to promote social welfare, change, and justice. The root of social work is based on social change, which is necessary to alleviate individual suffering and promote and encourage healthy human relationships and interactions.
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