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SWSP6013 Dagadag Assessment

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Added on: 2022-11-19 04:36:35
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            In this dynamic world, we are face with issues and challenges brought about by the changing demands of our society. We all look forward to living in a harmonious environment while having all the resources we need. Striving for this arises complex issues that is inevitable for mankind. One of these is oppression and privileges which can be rooted on our different backgrounds. There are empowered, and some are marginalized. This is where the practice of social work is needed to make sure all people living in the society can live harmoniously with the limited resources.

Diving in the complex field of social work is a challenge. It involves unmeasurable knowledge and skills. Unpacking the knowledge and skills needed, critical thinking is the basic tool in achieving the most desirable outcome for the service user. According to Morley, Ablett & Macfarlane (2019) critical thinking is questioning any presented ideas, arguments, and the current situation we are faced with. These current situations can be the present downside in the aspects of the society that we can analyse as a hindrance for justice and equality. Presented with different cases and situation, we are required to reflect, analyse and, assess on how to respond making sure that we alleviate the person’s situation rather than sinking them to being oppressed.

Critical self-reflection is vital in the day-to-day operation of social workers since it is the best strategy to address presented cases. It is a strategy since developed theories and practices of social work doesn’t solve various cases or social problem contrary to the saying one size fits all. Being a competent worker, one must dissect, and question all presented information and how it developed to be an issue of concern. Critical self-reflection can be explained further in the following example, a physically impaired person cannot access funding from the government due to complicated use of technology compared to an able-bodied individual. As a social worker I must assess where I can lighten the burden sustainably by practicing equality or breaking the barrier. Therefore, I will present a simple way for the service user to access the technology and claim his funding. Reviewing the actions done in the given example critical self-reflection is putting myself in the situation of the people I’m working with rather than trying to protect and maintain the current inequalities and social divisions (Morley, Ablett & Macfarlane. 2019). The outcome of the action done above showed that both are now equal and can co-exist in the society given the right resources and support. It is believed that critical self-reflection promotes a positive change for the betterment of humanity and not to empower the empowered (Fork 1993), accepting the limitation of our system and acknowledge the fact that we are all different according to our background.

Being in a diverse country, all of us came from various walks of life to which is amazing since it promotes better understanding on the way other people lead their lives. In every background we are identified by our social location which is our position in the social stratification (Kubiak 2005).

I identify myself as a migrant who came in Australia for a greener pasture. I am twenty-five years of age, married and blessed with a son.  Back in my home country the Philippines, I came from a working-class family since my parents are both working and can sustain our needs together with my two brothers. I grew up on a community which has a strong faith in Christianity mixed with traditional belief, practice, and tradition. As a devoted Roman Catholic, I looked for a community here in Australia where I can build a stronger support which I found it fascinating since I socialize with other races who have the same faith. Being in a close-knit community, I was enlightened that a sexual preference as defined as one’s personal physical or emotional attraction towards other people (Healey, 2014) is mostly based on the norm of male to female vice versa. On the other hand, brought by open mindedness I became aware that sexual preferences are a wide range to explore especially coming here. I see that LGBTQ can fully express themselves without being judge unlike in my home country that it is a big issue since we are raised as devoted Catholics. Moving on, the social norm of age in my home country is that seniority is more advantaged compared to younger ages, they are more entitled of privileges such as discounts, promotions, and decision making (Moreno 2013). In contrast to the Australian setting, there is an equal treatment of all ages especially in the work force. I consider myself as an able-bodied person both mentally and physically (Foley, 2011) but have a brother who is physically challenged due to spinal injury. I can describe my geo-political location to be engaging and participatory. We do have a lot of benefits received due to the influence of politics. I aspired to be a politician, but luck wasn’t on my side to which I acknowledge as my privileges.

Placing my social location in the intersection has a wide gap compared from back home and here in Australia. According to Leaven (2003) privilege is characteristically invisible to people who have them thus leaving us to appreciate oppression brought about by personal experiences. In the Philippines, I was born in an urban municipality which is known to be the melting pot of the Cordillerans and Ilocanos a minority group of Filipinos. It is observed that belonging to the indigenous group as original settlers of the place offers advantages such as dominance over the other tribes. These advantages come in different ways of treatment in school, politics, church and even in the community. One thing I experience is the opportunity to work at the mayor’s office since having the background of finishing my education in one of the prestigious Catholic school, family connection inside politics and the mere exception that I am born in raised in the same municipality. Another example is education, going back in my university life, a well-known university is in my municipality to the fact that other minorities come to study. We are mostly consisted of Igorots (Cordilleran), Ilocano and some Tagalog, belonging to the group of Igorots who are dominant I tend to hear the word “Ilocano gamin” which means he/she is Ilcocano. This notion implies disliking a person’s personality because he/ she portrays the traits of being Ilocano. This may result to being racially discriminated in the land of Igorots who are dominant. Being a member of the dominants, I don’t get the experience of being discriminated rather having the feeling of superiority of the others because of my privileges.

Here in Australia is the opposite of my experience I cannot say it’s the worse, but it can turn out to be my oppression. As defined by Mullaly & West (2018), oppression is a second-class kind of citizenship ascribed to a person because of their affiliation in a particular group. I subject myself as an Asian international student with no familial connection in Sydney. Being a student there are unearned privileges that hinders me access resources for better living. Citing one of my experiences is aligned with job opportunities, I had a difficulty in finding a part time job during my first months here because of my visa status as a student. It is mostly required to have a full working right or a permanent resident to be qualified. Furthermore, most hiring industries are requiring a license to drive to be able to land the job. Another experience was being looked down “as a maid” because of being a hardworking Filipino.

In the experiences cited above it can’t be denied that there will be biases and judgemental being developed. While in the practice of social work these challenges can bring bigger issue that can create gap between myself and the people I work with. One example is having an international client who wants to access funds form the government despite not needing it. Being an international migrant who struggled, I tend to empathise with the client compromising my job as a social worker. Being empathetic clouds my judgement where I performed a service based on my personal feelings which is wrong. Another example an abused wife has reached out protection from an abusive husband. It turned out that she had known his history but still chose to live with the man until it was too late. My first reaction would be why, having all the resources in this country what took her so long to make a move. This is an example of being judgemental towards the client again which is wrong. As a social worker I have the power over my clients, but this doesn’t mean I can use this power to do whatever it takes to give my client what they want. In the first example, due process must always be followed. Accessing funds without a justification needing it means I placed myself at risk breaking policies and procedures. Social work is about maintaining dignity by following protocols. In the second example, judging the client without further investigation mean I had stepped on her dignity while she is struggling. Being judge that way is pushing them to do things that can risk their life. The first approach to is to establish connection and understand how the situation had reached its melting point. As a starting social worker, performing the basic approach such as assessing, rationalizing, and critically thinking will help a long way in practice. Furthermore, in the long run to being a social worker there are techniques, approaches, and methods needed to be learned. It takes a while to develop and be a master of these skills. Having the experience of being privilege and oppressed broadens my understanding on why clients behave in such way. Being in the privilege position, it will always a reminder to use this as a power to help the oppressed. Contrary, being oppressed in my own experience, I can make this as a challenge on striving to be a better. Being in the inferior position should be use as a tool to be emphatic but always bear in mind to always rationalize before putting things into action.

Dealing with diverse people it is a difficult process but with further immersion it can lead to a better understanding on the way they live as a member of the society. Coming from a different background makes it hard for me to understand what is going on around me. Nevertheless, adopting and adjusting is the only option and to do this I have to step up for myself.  The first step to do this is reading, laws and policies are different from my home country, and I need to internalise this to better help my clients. The second step is communication, I cannot hide the fact that language is a barrier, but this can be broken with further engagement and training. Thirdly is connection, it is always mentioned by my unit instructors that connection is essential in the practice of social work. I do understand that social work is an allied health in Australia and my success is based on how I coordinate and collaborate to the other experts in delivering what is best for the service user.

There is another technique shared by Mclean (2020), to mediate the barrier of being privilege and oppressive to be competent. It is about reflexive; this word is a combination of reflection and flexibility. It goes back on my statement above that one size doesn’t fit all. There are a lot of cases, and that one method is not enough to solve a case. Upon analysing a case it is ideal to reflect on the deeper issues and present flexible ideas since it might turn out that one might not work. To do this connecting the values, culture and practices can give me an idea to approach the situation. Being reflexive encompasses the idea to possess resiliency, in the field of social I can be exposed to some traumatic event which may affect my personal life. this can be prevented by proceeding with precaution and resiliency.

To conclude, critical self-reflection is essential in the field of social work, and it does take time to master the skill. To do this, I need to engage, immerse, and step up to be able to adopt. Critical reflection is also a tool in breaking the barrier to provide justice and equality to the oppressed section of the society. Critical self-reflection is analysing my background and use this to understand the situation of client. Despite of growing up in a different background, I will use my oppression and turn it as an earned privilege. Doing this is not only for myself but to become a competent in my field of practice. On the other hand, I will use my privileges to help other inferior groups to might be facing any kind of struggle. I can use this as a balancing method to rationally empathise on their situation. Being in a diverse country made me understood that diversity is not a negative connotation, but it is about celebrating a multiculturism. Being surrounded by different people with different background can be difficult in practice but not a hindrance. Finally, to be a competent social worker, it is about open mindedness to any changes. It is thinking outside the box and to keep in mind that it is all about the service user despite of my own opinion.Also, not accepting ideas without questioning or arguing about it.

 

  • Uploaded By : Katthy Wills
  • Posted on : November 19th, 2022
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