For this assignment you will be
reading a case scenario in your text and responding to some questions related
to the impact of the environment on behavior and choices, the impact of the
client-human services professional relationship, and how identifying potential
ethical issues and the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) Ethical
Standards can help guide you in working with clients.
CASE SENERIO Portrait
of a Single Father
Gary didn’t know what to do. Linda had just ruined his
day and probably his life. She had just told him that she was pregnant. How
could this happen? What could he do?
Gary, a 17-year-old high school sophomore, had never
done very well in school and had even flunked sixth grade once. Ever since
then, he’d been taking special ed classes and was just barely squeaking by.
He had always considered himself a freak. He liked to
do a lot of drugs—that is, whenever he had the money to get them. He also liked
to listen to booming hip-hop and was intimately familiar with radio station
WROK’s top-ten hits. His uniform included well-patched blue jeans,
construction-worker boots, and 18-inch-long, somewhat scraggly, greasy hair.
Beneath this exterior, Gary was an extremely sensitive
person. He really cared about other people, although sometimes he had trouble
showing it. This thing about Linda and a baby had really shaken him up. He
really loved Linda. In fact, she was the best thing that had ever happened to
him. She actually cared about him. It seemed like nobody had ever done that
before. Gary really didn’t have much self-confidence. The fact that Linda cared
simply amazed him.
Gary lived in Chicago with his mother and younger
sister, Hillary, age 11. He cared about Hillary, but they really didn’t have
much in common. There was too much of an age difference. Sometimes they stuck
up for each other, though, when their mother went out with some new boyfriend
and came home drunk. That happened pretty often. His mother was really
something else. It seemed like she loved him, but she had always had a horrible
problem accepting responsibility. A lot of times he felt like he had to take
care of her, instead of vice versa. No, she wasn’t one to depend on much.
Another problem was that they were dirt poor. He could
never remember having a lot of things. For years he had wanted to learn how to
play the guitar. He picked one up two years ago at a sleazy neighborhood
auction, but it never 290291really sounded like much. The other problem, of
course, was that he felt he had absolutely no talent. He often thought the
guitar looked good, though, sitting on an old peach crate in his basement room,
his place of retreat.
Sometimes Gary thought about his father out in Utah.
Although he had only seen him once in the last 10 years, he talked to him
sometimes on the phone on holidays. His big dream was to go out and live with
his dad and his dad’s new family. Gary liked nature and camping. He thought
that Utah would be the perfect place to go to and get away. In his more somber
moments, he realized this was only a dream. His dad was pleasant enough on the
phone, but he knew he really didn’t care. It was fun to think about sometimes
though. Sometimes when he got a better batch of drugs, he’d just sit in his
room and think. He dreamed of all the wonderful things he’d do in Utah. That’s
what it was, though, just a dream.
Gary dreamed a lot. He didn’t have much hope for the
future. He thought that was pretty hopeless. One of his teachers asked him once
if he ever thought about going to college. College, hah! How could he ever
afford to go to college. He couldn’t even afford a Super Big Kmart guitar. The
other problem was how poorly he always did in school. He stopped really
studying years ago. Now he was so far behind he knew he’d never catch up. He
didn’t like to think much about the future. There was no future in it.
But now Gary’s problem was Linda—Linda and the baby.
It’s funny how he already thought of it as a baby even though it wasn’t born
yet. He liked the thought of having something that was really his. He liked
Linda, too, and he didn’t want to lose her. She was crying when she told him
she was pregnant. He bet she’d like it if they lived together, or maybe even
got married. Then he could move out of his mother’s apartment. He could be free
and on his own. He could drop out of school. School wasn’t much anyhow. Maybe
he could get that second-shift job slinging burgers at the local hamburger
shack. That wouldn’t be too bad. He could see his friends there. They could
have a good time.
Yeah, that’s what he’d do. He’d do a good thing for
once in his life. He’d marry Linda and be a father. Maybe everything would be
all right then. Maybe they’d all live happily ever after.
Gary and Linda did get married 10 months later. By
then, Linda had given birth to a 6-pound, 8-ounce baby boy whom they named
Billy. The problem was that things really didn’t get any better. They didn’t
change much at all. Gary was still poor. Now, however, he was poor but with
adult responsibilities. He still couldn’t afford a guitar. He had to go to work
at the hamburger shack every day at 5:00 p.m. just like he used to have to go
to school every morning. There wasn’t much money for him and Linda to have any fun
with. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t much money to do anything much at all.
Their small apartment was pretty cramped. Sometimes the baby’s crying drove him
almost crazy. He and Linda weren’t doing too well either. When they weren’t
fighting, they weren’t talking. Things hadn’t changed much at all; he still
didn’t have much hope for the future.
This case example isn’t meant to portray the thoughts
of a typical teenage father. For example, Gary was very poor. In reality
teenage parents originate in all socioeconomic levels. However, this example is
intended to illustrate the lack of experience and information adolescents often
have available to them. Without information, it’s difficult to make insightful,
well-founded decisions. A major job of a social worker is to help young people
in a situation like this rationally think through the alternatives available to
them. Potential services need to be talked about, and plans need to be made.
Young people often need both support and suggestions regarding how to proceed.
They need to examine their expectations about the future and make certain that
they’re being realistic
Next go to www.nationalhumanservices.org website and
review the NOHS Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals.
reading the case study and NOHS Ethical Standards, reflect on the situation
Gary finds himself in, his environment, and possible ethical considerations in
the case and that the worker may need to consider as part of an ethical
approach to the client and his family. Answer
Discuss how Gary’s
environment has influenced his behavior and decision-making during his
Discuss how working with
a Human Service Professional (HSP) in a reciprocal relationship may help Gary
change his behavior and decision-making to address his current life challenges.
Considering the case
study details and the NOHS Ethical Standards, identify one ethical concern you
would have when working with Gary and/or his family. Provide one NOHS Ethical
Standard that you believe would be important to apply in this case to ensure
this ethical issue is addressed within the client and HSP relationship. Refer
to the specific NOHS Ethical Standard in your response.
Discuss one specific way
using ethical standards impacts the behavior of a HSP when working with clients
such as Gary.
Provide the name and
contact information for one human service agency you believe a HSP could refer
Gary to in order to provide assistance with his current issues. Explain how you
believe this agency could specifically assist Gary.
responses to the assignment questions, explain how Gary’s case outcome might
change from the ending offered in the case study epilogue. Discuss how
familiarity with ethical standards and available resources strengthened the
relationship between the Human Service Professional and Gary in your response.
Your paper should be 6 complete paragraphs,
resulting in approximately 2 pages of text in addition to the cover page and
the final reference page. It also should be free of spelling and grammatical
errors. Your Assignment should be double-spaced, using a 12 point Times New
Roman font. APA FORMAT.
Your Assignment should include a cover page and
a final reference page where you cite your course text and any other sources
you choose to include in the paper. The only required sources are your text and
NOHS Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals.
important to always attribute credit to the proper sources when relying on the
text, articles, websites, or other sources. You must credit your work when you:
Summarize concepts and
theories that you learned in the text, articles, or internet sources.
Use others’ ideas,
theories, and concepts in constructing Discussion topic responses or completing
Use direct quotes in the
context of your paper (when quoting directly, you must use quotation marks).