Response 1: Systems Perspective and Social Change

Table of Contents

Systems Perspective and Social Change
Systems Perspective and Social Change

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.

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Respond to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:

  •  Critique your colleague’s suggestion about how to apply a systems perspective to Lester Johnson’s case. 
  • Identify one way that a concept in your colleague’s post might contribute towards advocacy and social change.
  • Discuss how you might apply the empowerment and strengths approach to one of the concepts your colleague has presented.

Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

Colleague 1: Julia

Systems Perspective and Social Change

‪ When working with clients, there are many factors at play that not only formed the client in their early years, but also influence them now. The factors that influence them now can include: family, living situation, job situation, friends, religious community, etc. These factors can all influence how a social worker can assist in intervening in a client’s life. Each of these factors can also be included in different systems that influence the client (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016).

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            Let us take, for example, the case of Lester. Lester was an independent member in his community, church community, and was able to handle his life all by himself. However, after an automobile accident, Lester has done a 180 and can no longer clothe or clean himself (Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen, 2014). This is where systems perspective comes in: what systems in Lester’s life can the social worker use to assist Lester?

From the case study, we know that Lester is close with his family, but his sister-in-law has really stepped up to the plate in helping with Lester’s care. Because of Lester’s connections with his religious community, they may be relied on for resources. Lester’s children have not been involved really at all, so they should not be counted on as a system on which Lester can rely (Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen, 2014). Lester will have to have new systems created for him, as he cannot create them for himself anymore.

            As a social worker, it is crucial to know the systems on which a client can rely. System Theory is a good theory because of its ability to be used with any client. Knowing what resources are available to a client, as well as their interactions with those resources, is key in creating a treatment plan for the client.

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Working with People with Disabilities: The Case of Lester. Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.

Systems Perspective and Social Change

Colleague 2: Lisa

Hello Everyone,

Multiple systems interact to impact individuals on many levels. In Lester’s case he is a 59 year old African American widower who suffered from injuries because of his involvment in a mulitiple car crash. “Prior to the accident he was an electrician and lived on his own in a family home”, (Plummer, Makris and Brocksen 2014). This crash caused him to depend on multiple systems in his life such as his family, rehabilitation facilities, and social workers.

All of these systems interact as aid for Lester’s recovery. Members of his family are requesting Power of attorney in order to make important decisions for him, as well as pay his bills and other things. The social worker wanted to make sure that his mental state was okay by doing assessments, and the rehabilitation centers are aiding in his overall physical recovery.

As a social worker I might apply systems perspective to my work with Lester by, allowing him to see all of the people that truly care about him, and are aiding him in his recovery. “Clients are affected by and in constant dynamic interactions with other systems including families groups organizations and communities”, (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016).. Sometimes when tragic things happen to people they become depressed, and can only see the negative.

As a social worker I would also use the systems perspective to connect his rrehabilitation process, counseling, and family matters. All of these things aid in helping Lester live a productive life despite his current circumstances. I would apply a systems perspective to social work practice by addressing all areas of a clients situation. In order to do that, a social worker needs to make sure that the primary focus is on the individuals well-being, and all of the other areas such as family, groups, organizations and communities aid in helping that client reach his or her goals, and live productive lives.

Systems Perspective and Social Change

Response 2Policy Analysis and Application

·      Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining the various costs you think will be associated with their suggested policy changes.

·      Then, explain whether a consideration of cost when adopting a policy or program contradicts the social workers’ code of ethics.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Colleague 1: Daneilia

The Case of Rita and a Possible Change to Policy

The Case of Rita discusses the time frame policy of the maximum time someone has to report a sexual assault with forensic data.  While 90 days may seem like quite a bit of time to decide whether or not to file a report, it in actuality is a short period of time especially for a person dealing with a crisis (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014).  A possible change to policy that I could foresee being something to implement is the length in time, which an individual has the ability to make a sexual assault report. 

I do not think that an individual is ready at that fast of a pace of 90 days to make a conscious decision.  Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen (2014) states how it, “…affects her or his ability to retain information and make decisions.”  Due to the clouded mindset of the client, it is difficult to make clear and concise decisions.  For this reason, I would attempt to implement a longer period of time for the decision making process.

Evaluate the Success of the Policy Changes

I might evaluate the success of the policy changes by evidence-based outcomes.  So to speak it would be based on facts such as clients being satisfied with submitting reports in a clearer mindset.  Also, depending the client’s demeanor has changed over time especially after having submitted the report.  In addition, if the client has been successful in counseling as well (i.e. making breakthroughs, coming out of a depression, not being angry with the offender).

Colleague 2: Patricia

Policy Change and the Case of Rita

     In the case of Rita who is a 22 year old Latina who was sexually assaulted by a friend of a fellow co-worker.  She went to the hospital to have a sexual assault kit done and was given medication to treat any possible STDs along with emergency contraceptives.  She did not feel comfortable filing a report or pressing charges because she was very traumatized and blamed herself for the incident.  According to Rita’s state policy for reporting sexual assault cases to local law enforcement, she only has 90 days to make a decision.  

For someone who has experienced this type of trauma, that is nearly not enough time to explain the details of what happened during the assault let alone make a rational decision on weither or not to file charges against the perpetrator.  A policy change that would be effective would be to eliminate the 90 day filing limit. Even with the filing limit, the sexual assault kit would not be any good so there would be no evidence and the perpetrator would have fled.  

Measuring Policy Change

     A strength based perspective would be a good way to measure the effectiveness of the policy change.  It allows the victims to decide when they are ready to report the assault or if they even want to report it.  If they want to report it, then they can have to sexual assault kit done and press charges right after the incident without feeling pressured and they can give a detailed description of the incident to law enforcement.

Response 3Evaluating Policy Implications

·      Respond to at least two colleagues by examining their critique of the current campus policies and suggestions for change.

·      Analyze the feasibility of their suggested policy change and provide your thoughts on any gaps not addressed in the original post.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Colleague 1: Rachel

In the case of the Johnson video, policies in which the perpetrator and the victim have to tell their stories in front of each other could be intimidating towards the victim. In the clip, it was obvious that the man calling the victim a “slut” aroused emotions inside of her, therefore making it harder for her to maintain her composure. Also another policy that could be changed could be leaving the decision to press criminal charges in that hands of one person.

What makes him so credible to distinguish if either party or being truthful or not? What if he has a biased towards man accused of sexual assaults? At lease having more that one authority figure deciding on the fate of the complaint might be beneficial. As well as interviewing each party separate therefore the victim could feel comfortable telling their story might also be beneficial.

Colleague 2: Jesse

Current universities campus policies on sexual assault occurrences can cause victims to develop mental health issues, such as depression and/or anxiety. In Talia’s case she expresses her anxiety around the situation through her body language because she has to be right beside her perpetrator. Once her rapist voices his thoughts Talia becomes enraged (Laureate Education, 2013).  Having both the victim and perpetrator come into at the same time causes unneeded stress on the victims.

Talia experienced physical and psychotically stress having to face her rapist. I think the school should have appointed an advocate for Talia so she would have known and understood her options and also to provide moral support for Talia. One change I would implement would be to assign an advocate for any criminal accusations between students.

They would help the student navigate through the process and provide emotional support through this tough time. The success of this policy change could be evaluated by how the victims feel about the added support through their situations. I would also add some type of counseling afterwards to periodically check in on the students’ mental health and how they are coping with their feelings after the incident.

Response 4The Social Work Advocate in Politics

·      Respond to at least two colleagues by offering a suggestion for how your colleague might gain political and/or lobbying experience for the political issue your colleagues described.
·      Also, explain the steps you might take to incorporate policy advocacy in your practice based on insights, experiences, and/or opinions your colleagues described.

·      Be sure your explanation takes the perspective of a social work professional with a responsibility to uphold professional ethics.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Colleague 1: Jesse

The role a social worker lobbying and campaigning is to advocate for our clients. The NASW talks about how social workers can aid our society by writing policy changes, lobbying, organizing agency and community events, and helping make changes to laws for disadvantaged members of society (NASW, n.d). Our passion is to be a voice for those who feel unheard or unrepresented.

We stand up for those who face inequalities. Social workers that are elected officials have the opportunity to make powerful and positive changes. They are able to bring new light and new views to policies and laws that might need revising or changes. I feel as though I have learned a lot from my colleagues in this class. They have shown me a lot of different aspects and thought processes. This class as allowed me to see other point of views and broaden my way of viewing situations.

Colleague 2: Lisa

Hello Everyone,

The role of lobbying and campaigning in social work practice is necessary, and is a form ofadvocacy for marginalized and oppressed groups of people. “Lobbying is simply the purposive, goal directed, planned process of attempting to influence the position of a decision maker usually an elected one”, (Popple & Leighninger, 2015). I strongly believe that social workers might have a powerful and positive effect as elected officials because they know how to advocate for marginalized groups of people, they research issues that affect people, they plan and set goals before implementing them, and they know where and how to get the resources that people need.

“Social workers are powerful as elected officials in charting the way forward on particular issues of concerns, particularly those affecting disadvantaged groups”, (Rome, Harris &  Hoechstetter, 2010). The experiences and opinions of my colleagues have had an impact on my won experiences and opinions in many ways. Sometimes listening to another persons point of view can either make you stick to your own opinions, or in some cases change the way you think about a particular issue. This will also happen on our jobs as well. Social workers should ask colleagues their opinions when faced with difficult situations and sometimes just to see if you are on the right track to handeling a situation.

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