Working with differences -As a social Worker

As a social worker you will be working with individuals who display certain characteristics that are fundamentally different from yours. What are some of your experiences with working with individuals who are different. I will provide some feedback to this question.

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Working with differences -As a social Worker
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Reading and Resources
Corcoran – Chapter 6, pp. 90-117, “Exploring the solution”
Grady & Dombo – Chapter 6, pp. 50-62, “Assessment”
Grady & Dombo – Chapter 7, pp. 63-72, “Asking the difficult questions: What to ask and how to
Grady & Dombo – Chapter 8, pp. 73-83, “Assessing the safety of the client”
Grady & Dombo – Chapter 9, pp. 63-72, “Assessing safety of others in relation to the client”
Grady & Dombo – Chapter 11, pp. 107-123, “Role of theory in social work practice”
Hodge, D. (2005). Developing a spiritual assessment toolbox: A discussion of the strengths and
limitations of five different assessment methods. Health & Social Work, 30, 314-323.
Saleeby, D. (2011). Some basic ideas about the strengths perspective. In F.J. Turner (Ed.) Social work
treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (5th ed.; pp. 477-485). New York, NY: Oxford
University Press.
Assignment Goal:
In order to be effective, social workers must be self-reflective, which includes being aware of our triggers, our
challenges with difficult topics, the types of clients with whom we are more likely to struggle with boundaries, to
name a few. This assignment is to help you to begin what will need to be a life-long process of self-reflection as
you integrate your course material in to your identity as a professional social worker.
Assignment Description:
Listed below are a series of topic areas/questions. Students are asked to pick ONE of the questions and write a
2-3 page reflection journal to address the questions under each topic area. Students need to include at least
TWO course readings and discuss how those readings have influenced their thinking in some way, such as by
challenging their previous thinking or expanding their self-understanding in some way. Students will be graded
on the criteria below.
Topic areas:
1. Interaction Styles: Consider how you interact with acquaintances, friends, family and people you
do not know. In what ways do your interactions differ depending on the person with whom you are
interacting? How are your personal relationships different from professional relationships?
2. Working with Difference: Think about your life experiences with others so far. What have been
your experiences with people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances? Consider some of the
?dimensions of difference? addressed in Diversity class: e.g., race, ethnicity, immigrant status,
religion/spirituality, sex and gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and socio-economic
status. What steps might you take to increase your exposure to and understanding of people with
different lived experiences than your own?
3. Challenging Topics: Is there a topic you would be uncomfortable in addressing if it were brought
up by someone else (e.g., suicidality, sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, sexual orientation,
alcohol/substance abuse, violence towards others)? How might you use what you have learned so far
this semester to respond to your own discomfort, as well as to the person wanting to discuss the issue
with you?
4. On Being a Social Worker: What is the most important thing you have learned about social work
since starting the program that you think is immediately applicable to your career? What influenced
you to pursue a career in social work versus another helping profession? How do your values fit with
social work?

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