How can families address potential societal barriers?

  

DUE THURSDAY, JULY 7,2016
Families are as unique as the individuals who form them. While you
may utilize the same or similar techniques, while working with family systems
(through the steps in the GIM and related practice skills), it is also
important to recognize that each family has its own unique needs and
experiences in the world. The empowerment perspective states that an essential
aspect of working with individuals and families is to address their feelings of
powerlessness and oppression. Empowerment is a process; and one part of that
process is to gain an awareness of the oppressive structures evident in our
society. Oppression, in the form of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia,
can impact a familys quality of life and ability to thrive. Empowerment
practice includes discussing potential societal barriers that may have
contributed to the familys concerns.
For this Discussion, review
this weeks Learning Resources. Select a diverse family system, such as a
family with differences in sexual orientation, a family with differences in
race or ethnicity, or a family with members who are managing a disability.
Then, consider potential barriers they might encounter in society. Finally,
think about how a social worker might address one of these barriers on an
individual, family, organizational, group, or community level.
Post by Day 4a
brief description of the diverse family system you selected. Then explain a
potential barrier they might encounter in society. Finally, explain one skill a
social worker might use to address this barrier on an individual, family,
organizational, group, or community level.
Support your posts and responses with specific
references to the Learning Resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for
your references.
RESOURCES
FOR THE WEEK
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H.,
Jr. (2012).Understanding generalist practice(6th
ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
o Chapter 9, “Understanding Families:
Family Assessment (pp. 330-360)
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H.,
Jr. (2012).Understanding generalist practice(6th
ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
o Chapter 10, Working with Families (pp.
361-394)

Introduction:
Families play a vital role in our society and come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. The experiences, needs, and challenges that a family may face can vary greatly from household to household. As a social worker, it is critical to recognize that families and individuals can experience feelings of powerlessness and oppression. Empowerment practice emphasizes the importance of gaining awareness of oppressive structures, such as racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia, that can impact families’ quality of life and ability to succeed. This discussion will explore how a social worker can address societal barriers that diverse family systems can encounter.

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Description:
In this discussion post, we will consider a diverse family system, such as a family managing a disability, a family with members of different races or ethnicities, or a family with differences in sexual orientation. The focus will be on the potential barriers that they may encounter within our society. Specifically, we will discuss how social workers can use empowering practice skills to assist them on individual, family, organizational, group, and community levels. By identifying societal barriers and exploring ways to help families overcome them, social workers can improve their clients’ lives. This discussion will refer to the course’s learning resources, “Understanding Generalist Practice,” to support our arguments.

Objectives:

1. To understand that each family system has its own unique needs and experiences in the world.
2. To become familiar with the GIM and related practice skills for working with family systems.
3. To recognize the importance of addressing feelings of powerlessness and oppression when working with families.
4. To gain an awareness of oppressive structures evident in society and how they can impact a family’s quality of life.
5. To identify potential societal barriers that diverse family systems (such as a family with differences in sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, or members managing a disability) might encounter.
6. To learn one skill a social worker might use to address societal barriers on an individual, family, organizational, group, or community level.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Develop an understanding of the unique needs and experiences of each family system.
2. Utilize the GIM and related practice skills when working with family systems.
3. Recognize and address feelings of powerlessness and oppression when working with families.
4. Gain an awareness of oppressive structures in society that can impact a family’s quality of life.
5. Identify potential barriers diverse family systems might encounter in society.
6. Develop one skill a social worker might use to address societal barriers on an individual, family, organizational, group, or community level.

Selection of Diverse Family System:

A family with members who are managing a disability.

Potential Barrier in Society:

The family might encounter accessibility barriers in society, such as inaccessible transportation and buildings. Disability discrimination in the workplace and inaccessible education systems might restrict their opportunities for employment, education, and overall integration into society.

One Skill a Social Worker Might Use to Address this Barrier:

The social worker might use advocacy skills to advocate on behalf of the family for accessible transportation and buildings, and to address disability discrimination in the workplace and education systems. The social worker might also provide the family with resources and support to increase their awareness of their rights and opportunities. Finally, the social worker might work with the family to develop a support network and establish community partnerships to increase the family’s participation and inclusion in society.

Solution 1:

Brief Description: A family with members who are managing a disability.

Potential Barrier: A potential barrier that a family with members who are managing a disability might encounter in society is the stigma and discrimination associated with disabilities. Discrimination can manifest in different forms such as social isolation, exclusion, and labeling.

Skill a Social Worker may use: On an individual level, a social worker can employ the skill of individualized empowerment counseling to address the identified barrier. The counseling can help the individual to recognize their personal strengths, to identify areas where they could use support, and how they can achieve their goals. Family-level empowerment interventions can also be helpful by assisting family members to support and provide advocacy for their loved ones. The Family Assessment (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2012) can be useful in assessing the family strengths and resources that can be drawn upon when addressing the identified barrier. In addition, community-level interventions like advocacy for disability-friendly policies and challenging the societal norms and attitudes towards disabilities can be used to address the barrier.

Solution 2:

Brief Description: A family with differences in race or ethnicity.

Potential Barrier: A potential barrier that a family with differences in race or ethnicity might encounter in society is systemic racism. This can manifest in different forms such as unequal opportunities, access to resources, and treatment by law enforcement.

Skill a Social Worker may use: A social worker can use the policy practice skills to address the identified barrier on an organizational and community level. Policy practice can involve advocating for policies that work towards reducing the impact of systemic racism, addressing and challenging institutional racism, and supporting the development of programs that provide equal opportunities for all communities. The Family Assessment (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2012) can be used to identify the resources, strengths, and barriers that can be addressed through policy practice intervention. In addition, a social worker can use community organizing to engage the community in advocacy initiatives aimed at addressing the identified barrier.

Suggested Resources/Books:

1. Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2012). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
2. Greene, G. J., & Herek, G. M. (1994). AIDS, identity, and community: The HIV epidemic and lesbians and gay men. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
3. Valentine, C. W. (2009). The handbook of sexuality in close relationships. Mahwah, NJ: Taylor & Francis.

Similar asked questions:

1. What is empowerment perspective and how it is essential for working with families?
2. How can social workers address societal barriers for families with differences in sexual orientation?
3. In what ways can classism and homophobia impact a family’s quality of life and ability to thrive?
4. What is the role of a social worker in empowering families with managing disabilities?
5. What are the steps involved in the generalist practice of understanding and working with families?

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