Would it be similar to or different from the way she would handle the same situation if she were a social worker or a psychologist in the agency?

A human services worker needs to be competent to work with clients from different cultures. There are times when cultural differences between the human services worker and the client influence the final service. For example, suppose a human services worker promotes the cause of independence for all people while the client’s culture values strong family cohesion. In this case, the client’s values are equivalent to dependency in the eyes of the human services worker and can lead to conflict. However, if the human services worker possesses the cultural competence necessary to work with the client, he or she would be better equipped to manage this discrepancy in personally held, culture-based views. When situations such as these arise, the human services worker should be aware of the needs of the client with strong consideration of cultural influence.

When potential ethical conflicts occur due to various differences, the human services worker faces the challenge of making the appropriate ethical decision to ensure that the rights of his or her client are protected while receiving services. The assignment will explore the role of such cultural influences in ethical decisions in human services.


On the basis of your readings and research, address the following in about 200 words:

  • Discuss the influence of culture in ethical decision making. In your answer:
    • Address the influence of culture on the individual perceptions of the human services worker and the client.
    • Focus on the potential ethical dilemmas that might arise from differences in cultural perspectives.

Part 2

Human services administrators manage agencies that employ professionals from various disciplines.

In this assignment, you will try to resolve an issue from the perspective of an administrator who is helping a psychologist in an agency. It is important to note that ethics codes might require psychologists to handle situations differently than social workers and counselors and vice versa.


You are the human services administrator for an agency and Shana is a human services professional in your agency. She is working with a client who was initially diagnosed with mild depression after separating from her fiancé. As Shana’s work proceeds, she realizes that her client is beginning to recover memories from a past trauma. While Shana is competent with treating depression and has worked in cases with trauma-related symptoms in the past, she has no experience treating the type of trauma identified by her client.

You are the administrator of the agency responsible for helping Shana handle this situation. Based on your knowledge and research, respond to the following questions in about 300 words:

  • What would Shana do in this situation if she were a licensed professional counselor in a rural area where she was the only helping professional?
  • What would Shana’s response as a licensed counselor be? Would it be similar to or different from the way she would handle the same situation if she were a social worker or a psychologist in the agency?

In your responses, consider the following:

  • There are no other psychologists, counselors, social workers, or psychiatrists within a hundred-mile radius.
  • Shana’s client has limited means of transportation.
  • Shana has no formal training in treating the type of trauma her client is experiencing.
  • Shana is a member of a professional organization, such as American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), or American Counseling Association (ACA).

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