Family Social Worker: Case Study

As a family social worker who was assigned to case example #1, I would be inheriting a case from another worker who has already met with the family in question once before. The first step I would take would be to review the case notes. Upon initial review, I would notice that the family was Somalian, which is a culturally very different than my own. I would also reach out to the former case workers to gain an understanding of why the case is no longer being managed by them to understand what could’ve went better, and for tips on how I can add to their well-being. Possessing the attribute of critical self-awareness, I would then acknowledge the large degree of my own ignorance of this culture and proceed to do some research in order to educate …show more content…
In this way, I would be better able to engage with the family and begin to build a therapeutic alliance. Ignorance of the culture also likely plays a big influence in my own personal biases. As a former military veteran, serving in a conflict involving a culture that was predominantly Muslim, my bias towards the fact that the family is Muslim, evidenced by their use of the Koran, is a reality. In addition to my own personal experience, I am subject to the daily influence of mainstream media which tends to report violent acts of terror, often associated with forms of radical individuals who happen to be a Somali Muslim as well. In very recent cases, some of the attackers in Minnesota have been of Somali descent. Minneapolis, Minnesota has the largest population of Somali immigrants, with Columbus, Ohio being the second largest (Ohio Department of Public Safety, 2013, p. 5). On top of all of the personal and sociocultural messages, biased towards a level of fear and a sense of …show more content…
I would not jump right into the assessment, but rather spend a majority of the first session simply dedicated to building a positive, professional relationship with the client(s) present, being careful to not favor one over another in our communication, both verbally and non-verbally. In terms of communication, previous data on engagement with the Somali population in Columbus, OH suggests that older adults, in this case the mother, would be more likely to prefer the use of the Somali interpreter and the younger members of the family are more likely to prefer the use of English (Noor, 2011, p. 3). Preferably, I may try and have the female interpreter engage more with the female clients in their preferred language medium, and I would speak more predominantly with the male clients present due to the cultural norm on gender-isolated interaction (Ohio Department of Public Safety, 2013, p. 25). Before entering the space agreed upon, I would seek to give the family proper notice so that the females may properly veil themselves, being sure that the case team removes their shoes and keeps cognizant of not crossing their legs, as these things are considered rude non-verbal mannerisms. Additionally, during the session, pointing to members to signal their attention is on them is also considered an

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