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Reflection instructions

The portfolio will consist of a reflective paper with supporting attachments and should be a compilation of practicum and related classroom work in the areas of theory, policy, practice, research and evaluation and the use of the Afrocentric and Strength- Based perspectives. The portfolio will give some indication of the extent to which the student understands and can apply the knowledge, skills, and values of advanced generalist social work practice.

Reflective paper instructions (minimum of 8 pages)
The reflective paper, should in a narrative form, identify the chosen foci, and summarize significant learning experiences that have occurred and describe the new knowledge, values, and/or skills acquired during the foundation and concentration years of the program.

The Reflective Paper should include the following sections:

1. Afrocentric Perspective – Student will reflect on the personal and professional understanding and application of the Afrocentric Perspective and Strength-Based Perspective in social work practice.

2. Knowledge and Skills of Clinical Social Work Practice – Student will reflect on and Identify a case submitted with the use of a specific practice theory, provide a rationale for the choice of the theory and clearly describe the implementation the practice theory in the case.

3. Knowledge and Skills for Social Work Policy – Student will reflect on the learning and application of skills for indirect practice and use of Social Policy.

4. Knowledge and Skills for research and evaluation – Student will reflect on the learning and knowledge for application for research and evaluation in social work practice.

5. Knowledge and Skills for Social Work Leadership in Clinical Settings- Student will reflect on the learning and application of a leadership style and skills for and application in social work practice.

6. Self-Reflection – Students will reflect on personal and professional growth process during their matriculation in the WMYJSSW. Identify learning and specific strengths developed for utilization in social work practice.

Biopsychosocial Assessment

Vanessa Jones is a 57-year-old African American woman from Atlanta, GA. She came to

the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) on September 2nd,2021 for treatment for her

stage 3 breast cancer. At her appointment her oncologist Dr. Johnson noticed something was off

with Ms. Jones. Dr. Johnson reached out to the behavioral health team for an assessment on the

patient. During the assessment Ms. Jones admitted to being a user of Crack-cocaine for over 25

years. Due to the fact that Ms. Jones uses narcotics her doctor has decided to stop treatment until

Ms. Jones is clean.

Growing up Vanessa was the youngest of 4 children. She grew up in Bowen Homes

Project and she attended Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta. Ms. Jones had her First

child at the age of 15 years old. After high school Ms. Jones took a job working at a local

factory. Ms. Jones has 6 children with 4 different men. Ms. Jones States the first time she ever

used Crack-cocaine was when she was when she was 32 years old. She states that she was in an

abusive relationship with her boyfriend, and she started using to as she states to numb the pain

she was experiencing. Due to her drug use she ended losing custody of 5 of her 6 kids. The

oldest was 18 at the time so he didn’t have to go into care. She never married and is currently

single. She has a relationship with 4 of her kids. she currently lives in Riverdale, GA with one of

her sons. She is currently not employed and is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance

(SSDI). Since her diagnosis her son is her primary caretaker making sure she has a ride to her

appointments at CTCA.

Ms. Jones states that she attempted to get clean serval times in the last 10 years. She has

attended many different detox programs and will stay clean for a few weeks. The longest she has

been clean was 3 months. When asked what she thinks causes her to relapse she stated that she

goes back whenever she starts feeling stressed. When asked do she think she can stay clean long

enough so she could start back receiving treatment she stated that she could try but the Labor

Day weekend was coming up and that she also was getting her SSDI check. She said one of her

triggers was when she gets her checks and that she will spend majority of the check on drugs.

When asked if she think giving her check to a trusted person to hold on to the check for her. She

stated that she would rather not do that. It was suggested that she enters a detox program to get

clean to resume treatment.

Ms. Jones is open to get treatment for her addiction so she can begin her journey of

healing from cancer again. She states that she needs to clean for her children and grandchildren.

Her goal is sobriety and beating cancer.

Social workers are aided by social work theories when creating competent interventions

for their clients. Social workers who understand theories and interventions have the tools that are

required in the provision of evidence-based treatment to help their clients overcome their drug

addiction (Walsh, 2013).

Crisis Theory and Intervention

This theory is mainly used for clients experiencing crisis and trauma such as

violence and for clients who need intervention to prevent physical harm or suicide caused by

drug addiction. This theory is a short-term technique that minimizes potential permanent damage

in people affected by a crisis. This theory helps in preventing any psychological trauma and

restoring the mental health state following a crisis.

An individual who needs crisis intervention has usually exhausted the ability to

handle a situation. Crisis intervention is outlined to help drug addicts in realizing that the

position they might be going through is not permanent, and soon enough, they will return to their

normal state. This theory is designed to give drug addicts the tools that they need in coping with

their addiction and handling situations that might cause the crisis.

The elements of this theory include assessing the current situation of the drug-

addicted client. Here, the client is questioned about his or her problem by the counselor with the

aim of determining what the client needs to cope with the drug addiction (Neil, 2017). Next is

allowing the client to understand his or her situation and explaining that what the client is going

through is normal. The counselor will then develop an action plan for the client to deal with the

addiction. This involves coming up with a set of skills such as positive thinking that can be used

by the client currently and in the future. The counselor should offer support to the patient and

should not be judgmental. This is the most crucial part of this intervention. The client needs to

know that he or she is accepted regardless of the current situation. The intervention for Ms. Jones

case will be to have her meet with a therapist to develop a plan for working on positive skill

building and life skills. She would need to meet with the therapist once a week to work on those

skills and to take progress.

Solution-focused Theory and Intervention

This theory is a short-term practice model that involves a social worker and client

coming together and identifying an issue and developing a solution that is based on the strengths

of the client. This will give the client the opportunity to be present and have a role in the positive

changes. This theory is great for a drug-addicted client because it aims at changing the actions of

a client to achieve favorable outcomes rather than changing who the client is (Thomas, 2018). If

this theory is used properly, it can lead to significant improvements in the lives of addicts, such

as resuming a healthy and fulling life.

Solution-focused therapy is effective in the treatment of drug addiction because it

targets the underlying cause of addiction while attempting to get rid of substance abuse. When

handling a client, a counselor will first try and create a shift in the self-image of the client. This

can be achieved by learning new behaviors which will replace drug abuse. Next, the counselor

will develop a plan for change which will involve both the client and the counselor working

together. Included in the plan will be the needs of the client, such as developing new healthier

behaviors, which will include exercise and dieting as well as other personal activities.

By developing these healthier habits and behaviors, the client will face the issue of

drug addiction with more confidence as well as aiding the client in meeting his or her goal of

being sober. The client will also be motivated and encouraged to continue reducing his or her

drug addiction. A client will achieve being sober though a combination of motivation and

encouragement as well as rewards.

Due to the urgency of Ms. Jones case and that she needs to start her cancer treatment as

soon as possible it was recommended that she start a detox program. Once she completes her

detox program she may resume her cancer treatment.

Behavior Theory and Intervention

Behavior theory focuses on changing the behavior of a client concerning substance

abuse. This is done by teaching the clients life skills that will aid them in coping with situations

that are likely to lead to substance abuse also as well as relapse. Behavior theory has shown

significant effectiveness in treating substance abuse in addicts, but the therapy is better suited for

a particular drug (Handwerk & Manack, 2020).

This theory is efficient because it aids in engaging drug addicts in drug abuse

treatment, offering them with incentives if they remain abstinent, changing their behavior,

attitude, and habits in relation to drug abuse, as well as increasing their life skills to help them

handle environmental cues and stressful situations that may trigger the craving for drugs and lead

to another cycle of abuse.

The elements in this theory include the client learning how to identify as well as

rectify problematic behaviors. This is done by the application of different skills that can be used

in stopping drug addiction. A central element of this model is the enhancement of the self-control

of patients as well as the anticipation of problems that are bound to happen by helping the drug-

addicted clients to develop coping strategies that are effective and efficient. Some techniques

include looking into the negative and positive consequences of continued substance abuse, self-

monitoring which will allow a client to identify cravings early as well as what environment

triggers the cravings that put the client at risk of use and develop a plan for avoiding those

environments and cravings that put the client at risk of use. The skills that individuals battling

drug addiction learn through this model will remain with the client even after completion of the

intervention.

Ethical Dilemma

The ethical issues of Ms. Jones case are self-determination versus do no harm. When

working with a client as a social worker self-determination should always be used. Self-

determination can be defined as an ethical principle in social work that recognizes the right and

needs of the clients to be free to make their own decisions. At CTCA patients are allowed to

make their decisions when it come to their treatment plan. In Ms. Jones case its different because

her drug addiction it a major problem. Her cancer care team is concerned that the cocaine could

affect her chemotherapy medication, they are not sure how they would mix, and it could be fatal.

Even if Ms. Jones wanted to take the risk of continuing care while actively using, that could

cause serious problem for the hospital ethically. As social workers in our codes of ethics it states

that we should “do no harm”. Whenever working with a client, we should never suggest or

recommend anything that could cause harm to a person. In Ms. Jones case the hospital decided to

do no harm and decided to pause her treatment until she has detoxed.

Strengths-based Practice

Whenever a patient meets with a social worker at CTCA its always a strengths-based

conversation. When the was presented with Ms. Jones case solution focused theory was instantly

applied. We assessed her strengths and applied to her treatment. One of her strengths is that she

wanted to get clean for her family. She knew that if she wanted to be around for her family, she

needs to get clean so she can resume her treatment and beat the cancer. The team was able to find

a treatment facility and was able to get Ms. Jones to enrolled in the program. If Ms. Jones is able

to complete the program, she can start back her treatment immediately.

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Afrocentric Perspective:
The CAU Way

Dr. Darrin Wright, LMSW,MAC,SAP.

Introductions

1

Presentation Sequence

Introduction

What Is the Afrocentric Perspective?

Ten Concepts Specific of the Afrocentric Perspective

Importance of the Afrocentric Perspective – Application of

Afrocentric Perspective Within MSW Practice Sequence , Research & Field Practicum Courses

This reflective narrative discusses how three assistant professors who are faculty

This is a reflection about

2

Genesis of The Afrocentric Perspective

The Afrocentric Perspective in social work at Clark Atlanta University was developed at Atlanta University School of Social Work during the civil rights era,

in response to what was seen by the school’s social work student body and faculty, as an over whelming preponderance of Eurocentric oriented theories and paradigms being used to address social problems experienced by diverse populations

who were often times not of European origin (Adams, 1981).

Critique of a universal approach to viewing people

Under unnatural conditions of cultural oppression the worldview of various cultural groups who occupy a common space and time are not equally validated.

Which often resulted in cultural oppression.

Whereby the dominant group uses its control to universalize its experiences, history and interpretations as the only reality.

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Afrocentricity Defined

Afrocentricity is a mode of thought and action in which the centrality of African interest, values and perspectives predominate.

It places African people in the center of any analysis of African/Black phenomena

In terms of Action it is the devotion to the idea what is in the best interest of African consciousness is at the heart of ethical Behavior.

It also seeks to enshrine an idea the blackness itself is a set of ethics. In that to have an Afrocentric consciousness is to be against all forms of oppression, sexism, ageism gender basis, etc.(Asante,1980).

Afrocentric Perspective

Afrocentric social work practice as a pedagogy embedded within the Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work Programs, endeavors to prepare students to address specific psychological, social, spiritual, and economic problems experienced by people of African descent and to address problems confronted by all people (Wright, E.  D., White, L. G., Harper, R., Jones, K., & Alhassan, M. (2018).

The Perspective features 10 concepts specific to Afrocentric social work practice, which practitioners should consider alongside other theories and practice models when working with populations at risk for marginalization or other varying forms of oppression. While these 10 concepts are the same regardless of whether you are working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities, social workers need to be prepared with specific skills to implement the Afrocentric Perspective concepts at the micro, mezzo, or macro level.

Is ACP a theory ?

A perspective will influence the social worker’s choice of theory or model used to address the given social problem.

Payne (1997) argues that social work theory succeeds best when it contains all three elements of perspective, theory and model.

Social workers often confront issues pertaining to marginalization, social inequality and inequities, disparities, discrimination, and deprivation of human rights with individuals, groups, and communities.  The Afrocentric Perspective offers a lens in which to understand the intersection among these factors and forces; and offer culturally appropriate interventions and solutions that emphasize reducing the hierarchy or power differentials between and among groups (for example, between client and social worker or between residents and those who hold power in a community(Wright, White, Jones, et al., 2018).

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THEORY

Theories in social work education and practice are a set of statements tested using social science research methods to verify how well the theory predicts and explain human behavior or a social problem.

Perspective

Theory

Model

PERSPECTIVE

Whereas, perspectives in social science is a particular way of viewing and thinking about practice.

It is a conceptual lens through which one views social functioning and it offers very broad guidance on what may be important considerations in practice situations ( Horejsi and Sheafor, 2008)

Afrocentric Perspective, cont..

The Afrocentric Perspective is a culturally grounded social work practice-based model that affirms, codifies, and integrates common cultural experiences, values, and interpretations that cut across people of African descent (Wright, E.  D., White, L. G., Harper, R., Jones, K., & Alhassan, M. (2018).  

The Perspective encompasses the intersectionality of race and other societal factors such as gender, ethnicity, social class, ability status and sexual orientation. Further, the Perspective acknowledges African cultural resiliency of family, spirituality, community solidarity, empowerment, creativity and the concept of mutual-aid, as a foundation to help social work practitioners solve pressing social problems that diminish human potential and preclude positive social change (Wright, E.  D., White, L. G., Harper, R., Jones, K., & Alhassan, M. (2018).

European and African World Views

Central Tendencies of African Worldview

The highest value of life lies in the interpersonal relationships between humans.
One gains knowledge through experiential and practical involvement in the process
One should live in harmony with nature;
There is a oneness between humans and nature;
The survival of the group holds the utmost importance.
Humans should appropriately utilize the materials around them.
One’s self is complementary to others;
Change occurs in a natural, evolutionary cycle;
Spirituality hold the most significance.
Cooperation, collective responsibility, and interdependence are the key values to which all should strive to achieve.
All humans are considered to: be equal, share a common bond, and be a part of the group.
The Afrocentric worldview is a circular one, in which all events are tied together with one another.

Central tendencies of European worldview

The highest value of life lies in the object, or in the acquisition of the object.
One gains knowledge through counting and measuring , quantifying and qualifying.
One should control and dominate nature;
There is a dichotomy(division), or separateness, between nature and man.
The survival of the fittest holds the utmost importance;
Men should have an unlimited exploitation of the materials around them.
One’s self is distinct from others.
Change occurs to meet the immediate objectives,
A distant, impersonal god holds the most significance
Competition, independence, separateness, and individual rights are the key values to which all should strive to achieve.
All men are considered to be individualistic, unique, and different.
The Eurocentric worldview is a linear one, in which all events are separate and there is no togetherness

Social workers often confront issues pertaining to marginalization, social inequality and inequities, disparities, discrimination, and deprivation of human rights with individuals, groups, and communities.  The Afrocentric Perspective offers a lens in which to understand the intersection among these factors and forces; and offer culturally appropriate interventions and solutions that emphasize reducing the hierarchy or power differentials between and among groups (for example, between client and social worker or between residents and those who hold power in a community(Wright, White, Jones, et al., 2018).

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African Value System

Community Solidarity

Empowerment

Respect

Self-Help

Creativity

Family

Community Solidarity

Empowerment

Character/ Morality

Self-Help

Creativity

African Cultural Resiliency

Cooperation

Spirituality

Afrocentric perspective is rooted in the African Value system

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Examples of African Cultural Resiliency

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Founding Advocates of the Philosophical Concept of Pan-Africanism

From Left to right:

Top row: Martin Delaney, William Blyden, Henry Sylvester Williams, Marcus Mosiah Garvey,

Bottom row: Mary Ashwood Garvey, Dr. WEB Dubious, Carter G. Woodson, George Padmore & Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

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Black Power movement: Era of rediscovery and self-determination

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Ten Concepts Specific of the Afrocentric Perspective

Afrocentric Perspective

Humanistic Values

Autonomy

Strengths Perspective

Matrix Roles

Spiritual Balance

Universalistic &

Particularistic Outlook

Significance of self-knowledge & personal experience

Validation of Circular & Linear Logic

Intuitive

Concept # 1
Humanistic Values

Values that place priority on eliminating human oppression and enhancing human potential. By valuing humanistic principles that advance equity, fairness, social and economic justice practice and concerns.

Maat: Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Harmony, Order, Balance & Reciprocity

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Concept # 2
AUTONOMY

Freedom of self and action to confront and not conform to racial oppression and eliminate all forms of human oppression.

Queen Mother, Yaa Asantewaa

Of Ejisu- Asante Empire, Ghana

Queen Mother Harriet Tubman

Ieshia Evans,

Black Lives Matter Baton Rouge

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Concept # 3
STRENGTHS PERSPECTIVE

Identifying group characteristics that can be conceived favorably and as a source of resiliency and human advancement.

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Concept # 4
MATRIX ROLES

Effective use of the varying generalist professional roles, skills and intervention strategies in the elimination of human oppression and enhancement of human potential.

Activist/Agitator

Queen Mother

Winnie Mandela

Advocate

Ida B. Wells

Facilitator

Whitney M. Young Jr.

Educator

E. Franklin Frazier

Enabler

Toni Oliver

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Concept # 5
SPIRITUAL BALANCE

Recognition of the need for balance or alignment between natural phenomena and social institutions as a basis for societal change, healing and community solidarity.

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Concept # 6
COLLECTIVE VIEW OF SELF

The extent to which one’s individual identity is never separated from one’s corporate identity and responsibility to the group, community or society.

Ubuntu: “I am because we are”

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Concept # 7
UNIVERSALISTIC AND PARTICULARISTIC OUTLOOK

The degree to which focus is placed on problems and situations that occur both within and without the African American community( Schiele, 2000).

Particularistic

Universalistic

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Concept # 8
SIGNIFICANCE OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE & PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

The validation of the use of self, that is, one’s emotions, lived experiences, and values as a basis for generating knowledge and affecting positive human transformation.

Fetch what is useful

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Concept # 9
VALIDATION OF CIRCULAR & LINEAR LOGIC

The degree to which the pitfalls of linear logic are identified and understood as not the only way of knowing and a more holistic method of knowing is affirmed.

23

Concept # 10
INTUITIVE

Recognizing and accepting the importance of emotion as a human dimension in the critical thought process needed for assessment and intervention with clients.

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10 Concepts of Afrocentric Perspective

1. HUMANISTIC VALUES Values that place priority on eliminating human oppression and enhancing human potential. By valuing humanistic principles that advance equity, fairness, social and economic justice practice and concerns.
2. AUTONOMY Freedom of self and action to confront and not conform to racial oppression and eliminate all forms of human oppression.
3. STRENGTHS PERSPECTIVE Identifying group characteristics that can be conceived favorably and as a source of resiliency and human advancement.
4. MATRIX ROLES Effective use of the varying generalist professional roles, skills and intervention strategies in the elimination of human oppression and enhancing of human potential.
5. SPIRITUAL BALANCE Recognition of the need for balance or alignment between natural phenomena and social institutions as a basis for societal change, healing and community solidarity.
6. COLLECTIVE VIEW OF SELF The extent to which one’s individual identity is never separated from one’s corporate identity and responsibility to the group, community or society.
7. UNIVERSALISTIC AND PARTICULARISTIC OUTLOOK The degree to which focus is placed on problems and situations that occur both within and without the African American community.
8. SIGNIFICANCE OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE & PERSONAL EXPERIENCE The validation of the use of self, that is, one’s emotions, lived experiences, and values as a basis for generating knowledge and affecting positive human transformation.
9. VALIDATION OF CIRCULAR & LINEAR LOGIC The degree to which the pitfalls of linear logic are identified and understood as not the only way of knowing and a more holistic method of knowing is affirmed.
10. INTUITIVE Recognizing and accepting the importance of emotion as a human dimension in the critical thought process needed for assessment and intervention with clients.

NABSW Statement of ideals and guiding principles

Why such a perspective continued ?

Social Work’s ethical responsibilities of:

Self-Determination

Cultural Competence, Social Diversity

Social & Political Action

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Afrocentric Perspective & Social Work Code of Ethics

Afrocentric Perspective is congruent with Social Work’s core values of:

Social & economic Justice

Dignity and worth of the person

Importance of human relationships

Offers an alternative perspective and complements current social work concepts and paradigms being used on how best to address societal issues that occur among populations in complex societies.

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Afrocentric Perspective & NABSW statement
of ideals and guiding principles

Afrocentric Perspective is congruent with NABSW’s core values of:

Regarding as its primary obligation the welfare of the collective black community and engagement in actions for improving social conditions.

Adopting a concept of the Black extended family and embracing all Black people as brother and sisters and making no distinction between their collective destinies.

Accepting responsibility to protect the Black community against unethical and hypocritical practice at all levels(Micro, Mezzo & Macro).

Adinka symbol Loyalty

Offers an alternative perspective and complements current social work concepts and paradigms being used on how best to address societal issues that occur among populations in complex societies.

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Application of Afrocentric Perspective Within MSW Practice Sequence Courses