Answer each of the following questions
- What has motivated you to want to become a Social Service Worker, and the IR stream in particular?
- Which social issues and/or populations are you interested in working with and why?
- Based on these social issues and/or populations, describe where your interests lie along the micro, mezzo and macro continuum and
- How are you feeling as you prepare to enter your field placement? (e.g. what are your fears and/or concerns? what challenges are you anticipating?)
- Describe specific strategies learned in this course that can help you deal with each concern, fear and/or challenge described.
- What strengths do you hold that will support you in placement? How do you see these strengths helping your placement learning experience? (think of personality attributes, personal and professional skills, etc.)
- Identify 5 specific learning goals you plan to achieve during your field practicum andhow each relates to the vocational standards. These goals should identify specific knowledge and skills you plan to achieve that are related to social service work. (Be sure to write each goal as a clearly worded sentence).
- Based on your responses to parts 1, 2, 3 and your research process (community service directories, meetings with Field Placement Coordinator, visiting organizations, etc.), describe which two organizations interest you and meet the requirements of a field practicum learning experience. For eachorganization, provide the following information:
- What is the name of the organization? Where is it located?
- Who does the organization support? (target population)
- What community needs does the organization address?
- What scope of practice does the organization address? (micro, mezzo, macro)
- How does this organization match your interests, readiness andgoals?
Motivation to be a Social Worker
Motivation to be a Social Worker in the IR Stream
What has motivated me to become a social worker in the first place, is my innate desire to do good for others. I have an innate love for humanity and have a strong urge to spend my energies and my time in helping out people who are in need. There are hundreds and thousands of vulnerable people in the world, who are in need of care and assistance and who have no one to help them out (Beckett et al., 2017). I want to be a caregiver for such people. I want to help vulnerable people access justice, and to lead their lives with dignity and respect instead of being ostracized and downtrodden by society for being marginalized and vulnerable in the first place. My desire to work in the IR stream is something that is influenced by one reason and one reason only. I reside in a privileged country, where the number of have-nots is few. In the developing world on the other hand, especially in the countries of Asia and Africa, poverty rates are high and large numbers of national populations in such countries are in dire need of external assistance and aid (Dominelli, 2017). I believe that if I am to be an effective social worker and do good for others, I should help out the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, and these are the people I can access only on international shore, in developing nations.
As a social worker, some of the issues that I would be interested in working on are related to the domains of justice and advocacy. I am particularly interested in helping victims of rape access justice and the support mechanisms that they need in order to recover and re-assume their dignity in society. I am passionate about helping out people who really need assistance and care and protection and I believe that rape victims, especially in developing countries, do not get the attention, the acknowledgement, the care and the justice that they need so as to go back to leading a normal life. Rape is something that is very difficult to recover from, for those who are unfortunate enough to experience such a crime (Gould, 2017). Legal counsel and access to justice is often unavailable to rape victims in the developing nations, and I want to be active in such places to help the rape victims acquire the representation that they need before law and order units as well as care giving units like social service organizations to survive their predicament.
Interest in Working with Rape Victims in Developing Countries
The social work interests that I have, that is, the interest in helping rape victims in developing countries to gain access to justice and acquire support needed to lead a healthy and normal life, falls within the framework of the Micro Continuum. This is because I am interested in working with rape victims on an individual or one to one basis in order to get a thorough understanding of their plight, to counsel them and then work towards getting them the support that they need. The community at large will not be my focus, and neither am I interested in helping out social work organizations or NGO’s in doing their jobs. I just want to practice social work on a micro level and interact with rape victims on a personal level, to gain their confidence and help them out on doing so.
Feelings Prior to Entering the Field
I will not deny that I am quite nervous about travelling all the way to a developing part of the world to do my social work. I am interested in visiting Nairobi in Kenya and helping out in the refugee victims here. There are many refugees in Kenya from Tanzania and other parts of the Great Lakes region of Africa. Refugees are my area of focus largely because of the fact that their plight is internationally recognized and acknowledged. I want to work with the rape victims among these refugee populations and I am particularly nervous about how I am going to approach them. I do have a set of questions ready, and everything else that I need to do field work, but to simply start the process itself takes a good deal of confidence. What does keep motivating me and giving me the impetus to actually go ahead and do this social work is the desire that I have to help mankind. I really upset about the plight of rape victims and that too among a vulnerable population like refugees, and the desire to help them out and make their lives if only a little better, is what I want to do.
Problem solving, task centered practices and narrative therapy are the three strategies that I will deploy in order to carry out my social work in the developing countries of the world. I will apply problem-solving methods in order to help the victims that I am helping out to hit upon the solutions to the problems that they are faced with, on their own. I will be establishing specific measurable goals that can be achieved with ease, which is why the task centered practices will come greatly to my aid in the process of social work. The narrative therapy will help me to understand the perspective of the victim after which I can organize aid practices and solutions to help them out, in addition to the solutions that are arrived at as a result of problem solving methods. All the three processes of problem solving, task centered practices and narrative therapy will involve engaging with the rape victims on a personal level through communication (Howe, 2017). This effective communication is what is needed, as communication often poses as a barrier to social work practices, with victims seldom ever opening up to their care givers (Kadushin & Harkness, 2014). The three strategies of problem solving, narrative therapy and task centered practices involve a lot of talking and dialoguing, and will give me the scope I believe, to reach out to the rape victims and let them know that I understand their situation and that I am there to help them.
Micro Continuum Approach
Empathy, boundary setting, and active listening are three attributes that any social worker must have (Greene, 2017). These are attributes that I have myself. I therefore believe that I am suitably well-positioned to carry out social work. I can empathize with the rape victims needs and concerns to some extent, as I grew up in an abusive household and suffered sexual abuse when I was in my teens, Boundary settings is something that I always respect and believe in doing when talking to people I am not well acquainted with. I often establish boundaries of my own and expect other people to respect them, so I can do the same with the victims that I work with. Active listening is also something that I can capable of doing, because when I listen to a person speak I listen with all concentration. I follow every word and every mannerism and take it all in without getting distracted, hence hearing out the victims narrative and then adopting social work practices and measures to help them out is definitely what I can do.
The following learning goals are what I wish to accomplish as a part of the social service work I do.
I believe that acknowledging and respecting diversity among any population in any part of the world is extremely important. It is also necessary to remember that marginalized people usually hail from ethnic and cultural backgrounds that do not relate or identify with the mainstream (Hepworth et al., 2016). The refugees that I intend on working with in Kenya, and the rape victims in particular, are likely to be from different cultural and religious backgrounds as they are forced migrants, seeking shelter in Kenya from the atrocities being committed in their home countries like Tanzania and the other countries in the Great Lakes region. I believe that the social work that I do here with help to understand cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, and learn what makes people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds stand out, especially in situations of vulnerability and oppression where they become easy targets of the oppressors.
Learning how to do social work in as ethical a manner as is possible is something that I wish to learn from the field. It is necessary to adopt an ethical approach when working with groups of people or with individuals, irrespective of whether they are privileged or underprivileged. I wish to learn how to do social work ethnically. This entails asking the rape victims the right questions at the right time, not forcing victims to answer my questions if they don’t want to and to conduct interviews and group discussions only at a time that is deemed to be comfortable to the groups or individuals I will be working with.
Strategies for Social Work
The concept of social justice is something that I believe I am going to learn about greatly as a part of the whole social work process. Since I will be working on helping rape victims gain access to justice, I will be learning about what the law making procedures associated with helping victims of rape. I specifically want to learn how legal counsels are to be approached to help rape victims, what compensation can be achieved for rape victims in addition to other forms of justice like imprisoning the rapists for a lifetime etc.
The social work that I do, even if on a very rudimentary level, will I believe position me for a professional career as social worker someday. The experiences that I gain as a result of this social work, that is the experience gained through speaking to rape victims, helping them to find solutions to their problems and enabling them to survive in society again, will go a long way, in my view, in helping me gain the skills and attributes that I need to do social work on a professional basis someday.
Learning how to render service, to help out people in need unconditionally, without wanting anything in return is going to be an inevitable outcome of my social work, I believe. My primary purpose in doing this social work is to give service to the needy, to serve them in accessing mechanism of justice and social support to survive the dire situation that they find themselves in.
Name of the Organization and Location
The name of the first organization, where I am interested in doing my social work at is the Centre for the Victims of Torture. It is located in Nairobi in Kenya. The second organization that I am interested in helping out with is HIAS, also in Nairobi, Kenya. It works primarily with the urban refugees in Kenya and aims at protecting them and empowering them.
People who are supported by the Centre for the Victims of Torture are refugees in Kenya, who have been fleeing oppression and violence in the neighboring African countries. The people supported by HIAS are urban refugees who have been fleeing conflict situations from all over Africa, be it the coast of Ivory, South of Sudan etc, Nigeria, the Central African Republic etc.
The first organization provides such refugees, especially those who are victims of torture and rape, with the mental counseling services they need to survive their plight and move on in life. The second organization, HIAS, gives refugees the protection that they need in the form of legal help, advocacy and counseling to overcome their predicament.
The scope of social work practice addressed by the first organization is micro. It extends support and services to victims of torture and rape among the refugee population in Nairobi by providing individual care and counseling. The scope of social work practice addressed by the second organization is also micro. It focuses on specifically helping the urban refugees in Nairobi on a one to one basis.
Since I am eager to work with rape victims on a one to one basis in order to help them access social justice, I believe that both organizations are ideal for me to work with as both the organizations can give me access to the refugee victims of torture who I can do social service, for.
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