Narrative Assessment

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Narrative Assessment

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Narrative Assessment

A narrative assessment is a story based upon a client’s history. The narrative assessment provides detailed information regarding the client’s behaviors, relationships, and other factors. Both the client and the human service professional can use the narrative assessment to reflect upon factors and patterns that impact one’s social behavior. The purpose of a narrative assessment is to encourage a client to engage in self-reflection and the process of self-discovery, as these two components influence the overall helping process.

Family

The non-family member client, John Doe, described his family as a broken, loving, and dedicated. He described his family in this manner because his father was typically absent from the family’s life. Mr. Doe explained that his parents were married and never divorced, but have always been separated as far back as he can remember. The client also explained that his mother was not very involved with his childhood upbringing, this was due to her having to work several jobs in order to support the family of three. Mr. Doe also reminisced about how he and his older sister were raised by their loving grandmother. As an adult, Mr. Doe realizes that his mother’s and grandmother’s commitments to the family were forms of dedication to keep the family united. Therefore, Mr. Doe reflected upon the culturally defined characteristics that indirectly influenced his social awareness that led him to become protective and strong.

As a human service professional, it is imperative that I reflect upon and understand National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals “Standard 7 – Human service professionals ensure that their values or biases are not imposed upon their clients.” (NOHS, 2017). This ethical standard will be reflected upon and utilized as often as necessary, as it will serve as a guideline for a developing culturally competent human service professional. The ethical standard also reminds me of how significant my role is in the helping process, which is to work for the client’s best interest at all times. More specifically, it is vital that I take on the role of the “client advocate” when working with an individual through the helping process (Corey, Corey, Corey, and Callanan, 2015, p. 134). As a result, I will be better prepared to balance the different human service professional roles that may come to be.

Country or Origin/Residence

Mr. Doe was born in the United States (U.S.), more specifically in Odessa, Texas. During the his childhood years, his family of three moved to San Antonio, Texas. He shared that his mother decided to move the family to the inner city of San Antonio, Texas because she had extended family members who could help take care of the children. Therefore, the client and his older sister spent a great deal of time with their paternal grandmother, his mother’s mother, during their late childhood years and early adolescent years. As a result of Mr. Doe’s origin of residence, he feels as though the culturally defined characteristics indirectly influenced him to fight for every inch he could possibly get.

As a human service professional, it is imperative that I reflect upon and understand NOHS Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals “Standard 26 – Human service professionals seek the training, experience, education and supervision necessary to ensure their effectiveness in working with culturally diverse individuals based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, ability, gender, language preference, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or other historically oppressive groups. In addition, they will strive to increase their competence in methods which are known to be the best fit for the population(s) with whom they work.” (NOHS, 2017). This ethical standard serves as a guideline for me, as it emphasizes the significance of professional development when working with individuals of a different cultural background. As I continue to utilize professional development to further my understanding of cultural awareness, I am also demonstrating a willingness to provide more culturally competent services (Diller, 2015).

Race/Ethnicity

The client, Mr. Doe, defines himself as African-American who very much enjoys soul food and rhythm and blues music. Mr. Doe shared that his mother and father are both African-American as well. During his childhood and early adolescence, the client explained that he was constantly surrounded with soul food at his grandmother’s home. He recalled memories of sitting around his grandmother’s kitchen table and often being tended to with all kinds of soul food. Mr. Doe also recalled growing up with rhythm and blues music at his grandmother’s home, as well as other relatives’ homes. All in all, Mr. Doe feels that the culturally defined characteristics during his upbringing directly influenced his sense of rhythm and a strong love for music.

As a human service professional, it is imperative that I reflect upon and understand NOHS Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals “Standard 10 – Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference in regards to age, ethnicity, culture, race, ability, gender, language preference, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or other historically oppressed groups” (NOHS, 2017). This particular ethical standard serves as a guideline to follow when working with a client with a different cultural background than my own. The ethical standard serves as a guideline for me because it reinforces the significance of working with others of a different cultural background, especially a cultural background that I am not at all familiar with. It is also crucial for me to utilize legitimate types of resources to become better acquainted with identify factors which may stem from culturally defined characteristics, such as with a client like Mr. Doe. As I continue to further my understanding of other cultures besides my own, I am also preventing the opportunity for “institutional racism” to occur (Diller, 2015, p. 75). As a result, the client will be more apt to trust me when engaging in the self-discovery process.

Gender

Mr. Doe described his gender roles as a disciplinarian, provider, and leader of the household. The client shared that culturally defining characteristics regarding his gender indirectly influenced his role as a male in his family. For instance, Mr. Doe described one of his responsibilities of his gender role is to act as a disciplinarian for his family. The client also shared an additional gender role which is based upon taking the lead role as a provider for his immediate family. Lastly, Mr. Doe explained his gender role as the leader of his family. He described this role as being more than just being a leader of the family, but also emphasized the importance of role modeling gender role leadership to his two young sons. The client explained the culturally defined characteristics of gender roles indirectly influenced his motivation to strive to lead his children to become great men, as well as leaders in their community.

As a human service professional, it is imperative that I reflect upon and understand NOHS Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals “Standard 11 – Human service professionals are knowledgeable about their cultures and communities within which they practice. They are aware of multiculturalism in society and its impact on the community as well as individuals within the community. They respect the cultures and beliefs of individuals and groups” (NOHS, 2017). This particular ethical standard is vital to reflect upon and understand when working with a client such as Mr. Doe, as his culturally defined characteristics indirectly influenced his gender roles within his family. In order for me to provide service to a client such as Mr. Doe, I need to further my understanding of cultural awareness which impacts the gender roles of an African American male. As a culturally competent provider, not only am I furthering my understanding of subject matter but I am also making myself aware of the subject matter’s possible meaning (Diller, 2015).

References

Corey, G., Corey, M.S., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2015). Issues and ethics in the helping

professions, updated with 2014 ACA codes (9th ed.). Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

Diller, J.V. (2015). Cultural diversity: A primer for the human services (5th ed.). Stamford, CT:

Cengage Learning.

National Organization for Human Services (NOHS). (n.d.). Ethical standards for human service

professionals: National Organization for Human Services adopted 2015. Retrieved March

12, 2017, from

http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs-professionals

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