Case Study “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary

Case Study “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary

Case Study “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary

In many societies certain groups possess more resources and hold more power than other groups. In some of these societies, racial discrimination and racial tension also exist. While members of the societies may openly acknowledge that unequal distribution of power and racism are present in their society, many fail to examine the complex relationships between privilege and racism. Social workers must understand this complex relationship so they can educate and empower their clients. Empowerment is the cornerstone of social work practiceIn the book Black Empowerment, the author,Barbara Solomon, writes, “Empowerment refers to a process whereby persons who belong to a stigmatized social category throughout their lives can be assisted to develop and increase skills in the exercise of interpersonal influence and the performance of valued social roles” (p. 6). Empowerment practice is based on a collaborative relationship between worker and client, initiated to promote the client’s power through self-actualization, self-determination, and the fulfillment of personal goals (Gutierrez, Parsons, & Cox, 1998). Further, this process includes increasing your clients’ awareness of the structural oppression that exists and its impact on them. It is the role of social workers to empower clients and to bring about awareness of the inequalities that exist in society. This is done two fold—through work with clients on the micro and mezzo levels and on a macro level through work in organizations and communities. Social workers cannot effectively empower clients without first understanding the mechanisms of oppression and how they impact their day-to-day work. Then social workers can recognize the impact on their clients’ lives and apply the appropriate skills.

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To prepare: Review the case study “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary.”
 
·      Post an explanation of the relationship between racism and privilege.

·      Furthermore, explain how the concepts of racism and privilege relate to “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary.”
 
·      Explain the impact of racism and privilege on social work practice.
 
·      Provide recommendations for how you as a social worker might use an empowerment perspective when responding to Mary.

 ·      Be specific and provide examples from the case. Also, identify specific skills social workers might employ.

 

 

References (use at least 2)

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.

Chapter 11, (pp. 77–86)

Chapter 12, (pp. 86–92)

Chapter 14, (pp. 96–101)

Chapter 15, (pp. 102–109)

National Association of Social Workers. (2007). Institutional racism & the social work profession: A call to action. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkers.org/diversity/InstitutionalRacism.pdf

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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].

Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary”

Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary

Mary is a 47-year-old, single, heterosexual Caucasian female. She lives with her 52-year-old sister and 87-year-old father in the home in which she was raised. She also has a 45-year-old sister who lives 10 minutes away and a 23-year-old daughter living on her own. Mary and her family members do not maintain friendships outside the family. Mary has been unable to work for the past 3 years because she says she has felt too frightened to go too far from her home. As a result, she has been financially reliant on her family members for these last few years. Prior to this lapse in employment, she had been a school bus driver and an administrative assistant at a warehouse distribution center. Mary has no history of drug or alcohol abuse. She is well groomed and physically fit with a diagnosis of hypoactive thyroid, for which she is treated with Synthroid®. Mary was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS) by the clinic psychiatrist. Case Study “Working With Individuals: The Case of Mary