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Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice

SOCW 6051: Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice

Respond to at least two colleagues with recommendations of what skills social workers might employ to separate and/or reconcile personal values with professional responsibilities in the scenario presented. Discuss how the barriers to services identified by your colleagues can be overcome by a professional social worker working with LGBTQ clients.

Colleague Respond: Diana Thorne 

RE: Discussion – Week 7

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My scenario deals with a social worker, named Crystal, who works at a community agency that assists disadvantaged teens. The social worker is a devoted senior member of her Baptist church. Crystal is a teacher in her church’s teen ministry. Crystal and her husband of 25 years, Tom, who is a deacon in the church has two children both in college. One day while Crystal is working at the teen community agency, she interviews a new client. The new client, “Sharon”, is 17 years old female and 3 months pregnant. While interviewing the client, the social worker finds out that the client has a partner who is also female. The social worker has determined that Sharon is either lesbian or bi-sexual. The social worker is very religious and believes that any type of relationship that is not heterosexual is deviant and sinful. Crystal’s personal, ethical, and moral values clearly do not agree with her new client, Sharon’s personal, ethical, and moral values.  

Social work is not a faith-based profession founded on any one religious tradition, and there are times when social work professional expectations differ from the personal beliefs of religious social work professionals (Dessel et al. 2017). Social workers are entitled and have the right to have their own personal beliefs and ethical values regarding sexual orientation. However, social workers have a professional responsibility to address their personal biases with cultural sensitivity and competence. In this scenario, Crystal, as a social worker is professionally bound by the NASW Code of Ethics which calls for culturally competent and non-discriminatory social work practice regardless of “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (Dessel et al. 2017).

Prejudice and bias might create barriers to fulfilling a social worker’s professional responsibility to the LGBTQ community. Social workers can fail to consider the client’s sexual orientation or gender identity and their world experiences. As a result, failing to provide professional guidance can lead to harmful and discriminatory practices based on person personal biases related to their sexuality and gender identity rather than informed, evidence-based policies and guidelines (Ryan, 2019). A social worker’s personal beliefs and values can cause tensions and negatively influence their ethical decision-making and practice if they do not practice self-reflection and cultural competence (Dessel et al. 2017).


Dessel, A. B., Jacobsen, J., Levy, D. L., McCarty-Caplan, D., Lewis, T. O., & Kaplan, L. E.

(2017). LGBTQ Topics and Christianity in Social Work: Tackling the Tough

 Questions. Social Work & Christianity, 44(1/2), 11–30.

Ryan, C. (2009). Supportive families, healthy children: Helping families with lesbian, gay,

            bisexual & transgender children. San Francisco, CA: Family Acceptance Project,

            Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University. Retrieved from


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Colleague Respond: Ja’Sharee Bush 

RE: Discussion – Week 7

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Kathy is a 32-year-old bisexual female, she classifies as a Baptist, and her family is considered old school; they believe same-sex relationships and marriages are against the Bible and should be outlawed. Kathy believes that individuals should be able to express themselves and love whomever they choose. Kathy may encounter individuals like her family and be reluctant to receiving care.

These individuals will attempt to portray their beliefs on Kathy without knowledge of her preference and support for the LGBTQ community. Kathy will be placed in situations where she must place her beliefs aside to assist clients who are against her way of living. She will find individuals willing to change and she will provide information to broaden their perspectives.

The difference between professional ethics and values versus personal is when in a professional setting a social worker must understand they are there to provide a service, they are to prevent harm and understand diversity and oppression (Dessel et al., 2017). Personal ethics and values are the social worker’s limitations, and what they believe is right or wrong. In the scenario Kathy will have to distinguish between the two when working with clients, when working with those who oppose what she feels, she must put her professional ethics and values into place.

There will be individuals that feel supporting the LGBTQ community is wrong and will fight against progress. Prejudice and Bias will make individuals find a rebuttal towards efforts made for the LGBTQ but as a social worker, I must find a way to overcome their objectives to fulfill my role.

Dessel, A. B., Jacobsen, J., Levy, D. L., McCarty-Caplan, D., Lewis, T. O., & Kaplan, L. E. (2017). LGBTQ Topics and Christianity in Social Work: Tackling the Tough Questions. Social Work & Christianity, 44(1/2), 11–30.

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Follow Rubric

Responsiveness to Directions

8.1 (27%) – 9 (30%)

Discussion posting fully addresses all instruction prompts, including responding to the required number of peer posts.

Discussion Posting Content

8.1 (27%) – 9 (30%)

Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Competency Demonstrate Professional and Ethical Behavior-Values

1.35 (4.5%) – 1.5 (5%)

Student demonstrates an excellent understanding of social work values and ethical standards. Student demonstrates expert ability to apply professional value framework when working with a specific population.

Competency Demonstrate Professional and Ethical Behavior-Cognitive and Affective Processes

1.35 (4.5%) – 1.5 (5%)

Student demonstrates a high level of critical thought related to application of social work values and ethics. Critical thought may be demonstrated through the ability to consider multiple perspectives, ability to recognize personal values, and ability make the distinction between personal and professional values.

Peer Feedback and Interaction

5.4 (18%) – 6 (20%)

The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, additional resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.


2.7 (9%) – 3 (10%)

Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing and proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.

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