Human Services Professional Roles Paper

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Human Services Professional Roles Paper




Purpose of Assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to review the vignette and to discuss the role of Human Services Professionals towards celebrating diversity, understanding perspectives, and how to implement cross-cultural communication.


You have just finished meeting with Dr. Rasmussen for your individual supervision this week. The theme of the session was focused on the relevance of understanding the impact of culture, language, and gender differences with communication when interacting with clients from a variety of vulnerable populations. Towards the end of the session with Dr. Rasmussen, he asked, “Do you mind if I read you a ‘Thank You’ card I received from a foreign exchange student I worked with several years ago”? You said, “Sure”. The note read as such:

17 January 1997

Hi Dr. Rasmussen,

I want to thank you for the opportunity you provided me with. It is one that I will never forget. Here in El Salvador, I struggled most of my life and never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to come to the United States to study for one year. That opportunity was unmeasurable, in which my gratitude could not be put into words. Most people in my community do not make it beyond 9th grade because, after that, education is not free and is difficult for most to pay for. Aside from that, living in poverty is a norm throughout the country due to corruption and the influx of gangs taking over and causing strife throughout the community. When I came there [to the United States], you along with several members of the university embraced me and provided me with opportunities to learn and to not be a negative statistic. I am graduating with my Bachelor of Arts in Human Services degree from Universidad de El Salvador in May. I want to eventually become a social worker so I can be like you and have some impact here in a community that is suffering, just as other communities are throughout the world. I want to thank you for believing in me and for giving me a chance. Please tell hello to everyone at New Directions.



Dr. Rasmussen then goes on to say Andres is now the director of a local social services agency in Honduras. In amazement, you thank Dr. Rasmussen for sharing this inspirational story and started to think of the many clients you are dealing with that are struggling to endure through many of life’s stressors. You think of Andre’, an African-American single father, who works minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, but dreams of opening his own business one day. Ann then comes to mind. Ann is a biracial, middle-aged female, struggling with mental health issues partly due to a chronic domestic violence history. Nick then ‘pops’ into mind. Nick is transgendered, misunderstood by his family and most in his community, and seeks solace in talking about the impact of the constant discrimination that he faces. And, Maria, who was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, has been involved in many different programs at New Direction, LLC. At 8, she traveled with her family to the United States from Mexico and was an illegal immigrant that did not know any English. Immersed in these thoughts and having the feeling of wanting to be impactful at a community-level, you impulsively decide to pen your thoughts into a formal paper to the local newspaper-understanding that your paper may not get published. You decide to include this in your work-specific portfolio that you will be submitting.

Instructions: Write a three-page double-spaced paper that discusses the following bullet points:

  • Define your role as a Human Services Professional and how your role impacts the community.
  • Explain the role of celebrating diversity and cultural differences within the community.
  • Discuss the importance of understanding the perspectives of others-particularly as it relates to understanding differing cultural beliefs/customs, language differences, and gender differences.
  • Identify, at minimum, 5 strategies for effective cross-cultural communication and how it can be applicable for professionals working as change agents (to include Human Services Professionals).

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