Abstract This paper explores the topic of the disenfranchised population of the African American Culture, how the Generalist Intervention Model will be effective in my intervention, how African Americans were impacted by past situations, oppression and discrimination, resources available to this group, problems with this group, and social justice and social welfare. Introduction This paper examines the African American culture and how the social worker as a Generalist can intervene on their behalf. African Americans were used for slavery and denied any civil rights for many years of human history.
African Americans experienced racism and discrimination but it did not impact their determination to seek freedom. Many people in US History fought for Civil Rights and failed many times. It was not until the revolution war that changes were attempted. Historical Background The struggles of the African American culture have existed for almost all human history. During the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to slaves as a cheaper labor source. The first slaves arrived in Virginia around 1619 and slavery existed in America for the next 250 years.
Many African Americans were captured during African wars and raids, and then sold to white traders (Williams, 2005). African Americans were treated poorly and striped from many rights. It was not until the revolutionary war that the cease of slavery was attempted. Some blacks were freed but were still mistreated in several ways. Blacks were not allowed in most public places and attended their own schools. The fight to end slavery was difficult, but abolitionists finally won. Slavery ended in the United States in 1865, but the people who were once slaves didn't get treated fairly after slavery ended.
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Therefore the Civil Rights Movement continued (Williams, 2005). African Americans have been the victims of both institutional and individual racism in ways that have left almost indelible imprints on every man, women, and child (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, pg. 457). Problems for African Americans African Americans experience discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and education (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, pg. 456). Job opportunities offered to African Americans are usually the lowest paying ones. This problem tends to lead to a higher poverty rate in the African American culture.
Almost 24 percent of African American families live in poverty, according to the U. S. Census Bureau (2006) (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, p 456). In 2003 the U. S. Census Bureau reported that African Americans have been said to have the highest rates of disability. Also, African-Americans tend to have a higher percentage in mental disorders. African Americans are often incorrectly diagnosed with having a mental disorder because they are often prone to use the emergency room for medical attention (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, p 456).
Some other problems seen in the African American culture are communications patterns and family experiences. Many times the African American language is misunderstood for a lack of education. In all cultures grammar and speech are different but can be translated as the same meaning. As a social worker we must understand the different cultures and their way of communication. Another issue that a social worker should be educated in is family experiences. African American churches have played a big role in the history of the civil rights movement (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, p 457).
A major part of the social worker knows the background of the client’s religious views. Religion has a major impact on the history, decisions, and values of the client. Knowing the problems, experiences and historical background of any client can help the intervention process. The African American culture has had many obstacles and setbacks as they tried to gain Civil Rights. In today’s society African Americans have the same rights as other cultures in the United States. However, bitterness from past actions against African Americans is still an issue in today’s society.
The purpose to analyze social policies such as Civil Rights are to specify the rights of specific groups such as women, men, persons of color, persons of every national origin, persons with mental and physical challenges, older persons, children and youth, persons of all faiths, and persons with specific sexual orientations (Jansson, 2009, p 7). Violation of the Civil Rights can be declared as unethical from an outcomes perspective (Jansson, 2009, p. 41). When people are denied the rights enjoyed by others, they are less likely to be an asset to society (Jansson, 2009).
African Americans were stripped from having the same rights as others. First-ethnical principle views include honesty, due process, fairness, and not killing (Jansson, 2009). Many African Americans were killed from hatred acts and unfairness. The relativist approach views of what constitutes unacceptable violations of civil rights are powerfully shaped by culture and politics (Jansson, 2009, p 42). African Americans were denied the right to vote. The Civil Rights Acts have allowed the vulnerable population of African Americans to enjoy the rights that they were once stripped of. Intervention
What is Generalist practice? Generalist practice knows a wide array of skills, working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, and the work in based on a body of knowledge, practice skills, and professional values (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, p 3). The social worker links people with programs or services through a process of careful assessment. The advocate presents and argues for services for a single client who otherwise would be rejected, as well as fights to modify rules, regulations, or laws on behalf of a class or group of clients who usually might be discriminated against.
The evaluator carefully collects and evaluates data to assess client or community need to formulate a plan of intervention. The outreach worker actively reaches into the community to identify people who need services and to help them meet their needs (Gibbs, Locke, Lohmann, 1990). When practicing the generalist approach the Generalist Intervention Model is the foundation. The GMI is a practice model that provides step-by-step directions concerning how to undertake the planned change process, which is general, directed at addressing problems (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull, p 32).
There are three major features of the GMI, 1) eclectic knowledge base, 2) core seven-stepped planned process, 3) generalist approach. Eclectic knowledge base is when a wide range of skills to target any size system, and professional values are used. A social worker should be aware of the different cultures and values of individuals. When assessing a client the seven-step planned process should be used. These processes consist of engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination and follow up. Using the planned process can help the success in a client’s outcome.
Using the generalist approach means that any problem can be looked at and evaluated from many levels of intervention. (Kirst-Ashman ; Hull) Another aspect to be considered when using the generalist approach is the level in which you will practice on. There are three levels that can be used in social work practice, macro, mezzo, and macro interventions. The practice of macro social work is the effort to help clients by intervening in large systems. Examples include lobbying to change a health care law, organizing a state-wide activist group or advocating for large-scale social policy change.
Macro practice is one of the key distinctions between social work and other helping professions, such as psychiatric therapy. Macro social work generally addresses issues experienced in mezzo or micro social work practice, as well as social work research. Macro practice empowers clients by involving them in systemic change (Jansson, 2009). Mezzo social work practice deals with small-to-medium-sized groups, such as neighborhoods, school, or other local organizations. Examples of mezzo social work include community organizing, management of a social work organization or focus on institutional or cultural change rather than individual clients.
Social workers engaged in mezzo practice are often also engaged in micro and/or macro social work. This ensures the needs and challenges of individual clients are understood and addressed in tandem with larger social issues (Jannson, 2009). Micro practice is the most common kind of social work, and is how most people imagine social workers providing services. In micro social work, the social worker engages with individuals or families to solve problems. Common examples include helping individuals to find appropriate housing, health care and social services.
Family Therapy and individual counseling would also fall under the auspices of micro practice. Many social workers engage in micro and mezzo practice simultaneously. Even the most ambitious macro-level interventions have their roots in the conversations between a single social worker and a single client. Conclusion In conclusion the African American Culture had many struggles with obtaining their civil rights. Generalist social work can be a major benefit in helping the African American culture. The generalist practice engages in all walks of life.
The generalist approach can help individuals gain needed resources and gain an equal opportunity in today’s society. References Gibbs, P. , Locke, B. L. , ; Lohmann, R. (1990). Paradigm for the Generalist Continuum. Journal of Social Work Education, 232-243. Jansson, B. (2009). The reluctant Welfare State: Engaging History to Advance Social Work in Contempory Society. Belmont: Brooks/Cole. Kirst-Ashman, K. , ; Hull, G. H. (2012). Understanding Generalist Practice. Belmont: Brooks/Cole. Williams, G. (2005). History of the Negro race in Maerica. New York: Putman's Sons.
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