HN144: Human Behavior and the Environment
Hypothetical Influence of a Human Services Professional on an Adolescent.
Gary has some pretty serious environmental factors at play in this scenario. To begin with, his mother is the only parent on site and she has some issues of her own. Being a single parent is a challenge. Combine that with her taste for alcohol and her inability to stay in a relationship makes for a very unstable home life. Having little or no income only exacerbates the problems. Gary doesn’t really seem to have any kind of positive support systems at the mezzo level. This combined with the process of modeling(Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 1935) have no doubt led to Gary’s low self-image and use of mind-altering substances. Gary makes many of the choices that he does out of self-doubt and not knowing all the options.
Working with human services professionals could drastically reduce the stress levels that Gary is facing. Clearly, he would still have some tough shots to call, but with better information and resources at his disposal, perhaps everything wouldn’t feel quite as crippling. Working with an HSP Gary could begin to see that he does have strengths and he could learn to focus on and hone those strengths. Not to mention the potential benefit of counseling or therapy that he could receive.
One ethical concern I would have, ignoring for this purpose that Gary is a minor still, is that he has a Little sister that is possibly being neglected or abused. One has to weigh the consequences compromising confidentiality against allowing potential harm of an eleven-year-old to go unchecked. Standard 12 of the NOHS ethical standards for human service professionals states that an HSP must be aware of all local laws.(National Organization for Human Services, 2015) In this case, I believe the situation should be brought to the attention of CPS.
Following ethical standards can help an HSP keep their heading in uncertain waters. Sometimes there is a lot of contradictory issues. One of my favorite sayings is, let’s not cloud the issue with facts. Specifically, following ethical standards can help you make the best decisions.
One local resource that an HSP might refer this client to would be Ouachita Behavioral Health and Wellness. They can be reached at (501)624-7111. Formerly known as Community Counseling, this is an agency that has done much good for people of all ages and walks of life. I believe that Gary’s self-image and substance abuse issues could be overcome with the help of this agency.
It is my firm belief that if Gary had sought the aid of an HSP he very well could be working in a career field that has both intrinsic and extrinsic value. He would be in a better position to care for his son and would have a better relationship with his wife. Obviously, this isn’t saying that all would be wine and roses, but surely far improved. Having the assistance of an HSP that is familiar with ethical standards and the available resources from which I client might benefit can make all the difference. While navigating by an ethical code, the HSP will prove that they have everyone’s best interest at heart, and could even inspire a better code of personal conduct in the client. Knowing what resources are available as well as what of those are a good fit for the client is imperative. That’s how we help people. If both of these are present, and Gary is willing to be helped, the client/HSP relationship has no choice but to flourish.
National Organization for Human Services. (2015). Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (1935). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment (Ninth ed.). Belmont, CA: Linda Schreiber-Ganster.