Social work career involves working with diverse population. Cultural pluralism culture concept is one that emphasizes on the respect for diversity of heritages, lifestyles, values and customs. This paper will focus on my experiences and exposure to individuals from different populations. It is going to enumerate my personal qualities in expressing myself to be sensitive to people with values that are different from mine. Further, the paper will also showcase the manner in which life experiences influence my values, beliefs and feelings with variables such as; Ethnicity (culture, race), spiritual tradition that is different from those of mine like economic status, age, social status and sexual orientation. Lastly, the paper will also describe the ethical dilemma I have experience in the process of decision making and factor that have contributed to the ultimate outcome.
Ghana is a nation that has diverse ethnic groups and communities. Its population of over 24 million people and 70 diverse ethnic groups. As a Ghanaian, the nature of the country which is multicultural has broadened my scope n different people as well as their perceptions, which are different from mine. For example, while working with World Visions Ghana and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, I was able to develop ability to use and acquire values, skills and knowledge in ways that make diversity such a competent practice. I more so developed a system of feeling, acting and thinking that opens the door so I can actively seek knowledge, develop values consistent in addressing issues of sensitive nature and integrate new ideas that at times, are uncomfortable. I have also learned to be a true professional by giving up my comfort place, risking to reach out and learn things I do not know.
What is more, I have acquired ability to solve and work out people’s problems. Solving the problems of people involves learning how to acquire knowledge in a couple of ways. What is more, it also entails learning values that are different from mine while at the same time, having respect for those values. I also believe God created us in ways that are unique, something that made me a great leader in my organization as well as World Vision Ghana. Additionally, working with Hoover Wood Nursing Home also gave me the exposure to work with individuals of different lifestyles.
Ghana, being culturally diversifies has several religious practices. However, Islamic, traditional and Christianity beliefs are the major religions. Being a community advocator, I have also helped individuals solve problems when I integrated myself with different communities. I also learned the manner in which different people worship, an aspect that has helped me solve problems while I worked as a Field Officer with World Vision Ghana.
To further the latter, when I graduated from the University of Ghana Legon, I wanted to put into use what I learned. As such, I went to the countryside in order to work with World Vision there. I lived within the communities where people do not have access to water, good roads as well as other necessities. I, therefore understand how social economic status is applied while dealing with people.
What is more, being an individual that is open minded, I placed aside the pre-conceived notions and listen to experiences of others. As such, I fight discrimination, prejudice as well as oppression in all forms regardless of social-economic status. In order to be able to fight the latter, I have placed my beliefs aside and pre-conceived knowledge against the people I intend to help.
While I might not have any disability, I sympathise with individuals with disability. In fact, once, I plated the dramatic character known as “Good deeds” in English morality play “Everyman”. I played role of a cripple in a wheelchair. The latter helped change my view on people in society with physical disabilities. From the play, I also learned that for individuals to be successful social workers, it is crucial for them to integrate themselves with clients so as to understand what they go through and aid them in problem solving.
Nevertheless, my undergraduate studies as well as working experience with the World Vision and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation have prepared me to handle sensitive but important aspects like gender, ethnicity, age, gender and disability.
Nevertheless, there are instances when social workers face ethical dilemma. For example, I was faced with a dilemma while working with World Vision during one of my programs for family intervention. I will always vividly recall how a woman walked into my office in tears, something I found terrifying. She had been married for 5 years and had three children with her husband. According to the woman, her husband’s attitude had abruptly changed and when she confronted him with the issue, it sparked a fight. Later on, she realized her husband was having an affair. My role was to help the woman.
Indeed, the latter was an ethical dilemma for me. Firstly, the fundamental rights of the woman had been violated. Secondly, it was morally and ethically wrong for the husband to fight his wife. Was it better if the woman divorced her husband or stayed back and endured the suffering for the children’s sake or should I have advised the woman to put her husband in jail? For me, the dilemma was an ethical one since the woman had three children who needs to be cared for taking into consideration effects of a divorce.
Later however, I explained the implications of making either of the decisions. First, I explained once the divorce was completed, the children would experience emotional development deficit. The children, after divorce appear depressed and this can last for several years after the divorce. Older children, however are far less affected by divorce though they also bottle up negative feelings. The clampdown emotion of the latter makes it difficult for parents, teachers as well as therapists to help children process their feelings in appropriate and development ways.
Divorce does not affect children emotionally only but academically as well. Emotional stress which is caused by divorce can stunt the academic progress of the children and interfere with their lifestyle. More so, the instability of broken families contributes to education results that are poor. The poor academics could be the result of different factors like instability in homes, limited financial assistance as well as inconsistent routine.
Further, divorce also affects the social relationship of children in many ways. For instance, some of these children display distress through aggressively bullying others. This negatively impacts relationships. Others experience anxiety and this affects social interactions especially in activities like teen sports.
Domestic violence, on the other hand also has significant consequences for children, family members, the community, co-workers and friends. More so, violence effects on the health of the victim can be shocking and far reaching. Women beaten might experience different kinds of medical complications. They can also be at the increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or in some cases, unplanned pregnancies. They also miss significant amounts of work because of medical problems. What is more, domestic violence can be fatal. Domestic violence victims are less likely to commit suicide. Domestic violence as well contributed to other kinds of violence against women, and women experiencing violence at home could be more willing to accept and look for potentially risky and uncertain jobs abroad. This put them in grave danger of trafficking.
Taking into consideration the consequences aforementioned, I was in quite a dilemma not knowing what to do. Later, I decided to advice the woman to consider separation from her husband for a while then invite him to visit our office personally so we can solve the issues. The husband, with time came to the realization he was not doing the right thing and made the decision to move back in with his wife.
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