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Discussion

As a case worker for The Department of Family and Children services I work with and assist many people from different cultural backgrounds. Some clients that I have on my caseload to interview are not United States citizens and do not speak English very well which at times can be frustrating to the client because of the language barrier. Many of my Hispanic clients have family members and friends that speak enough English and Spanish, therefore when the client comes into the agency to get interviewed or inquiry personal information on the case, they will bring their friend, child, or someone they know to be their interpreter. Unfortunately, as part of food stamp policy case manager can not allow clients to provide their own interpreters (Department of Human services ,2019). We also cannot discuss our client’s personal information with an individual that is not the head of household or in the assistance unit (Department of Human services ,2019). Food stamp policy requires case workers to call the Line Bridge language line and from there case workers are joined with a language interpreter to assist clients that do not speak English. This is a great service that the agency provides however, for client’s that use sign language to communicate their benefits often get delayed because we do not have an onsite interpreter for them and per policy, we cannot allow them to provide their own.

Another cultural difference that causes a lot of frustration with clients a policy is the age limit for a minor to have their own food stamp case. Food stamp policy requires any child/minor under age 22, living in the same household with their parent or guardian must be included in the case together when applying for benefits (Department of Human services ,2019). A lot of clients feel this is unfair because in other countries a child is considered an adult prior to age 22 and have adult responsibilities. Although this may be true even if the minor does work and pay rent to their parents if they apply for food stamps and live in the same household, they must all be included in case. If it is discovered or questionable that a child under age 22 is living in the household with their parent or guardian case workers are required to report the household to fraud. In the united states an 18 year can go fight in the war for their country, purchase alcohol at age 21, but can not receive their own food stamps if they live with their parents until age 22. This policy may seem unfair, but the agency expects case workers to abide by policy even when no one is looking. Even when clients become upset with their case manager it is still the case managers responsibility to listen and try to understand the client’s point of view but still align with policy. Professional integrity is very important in my profession due to case workers having minimum supervision it is expected that we build a genuine relationship with our clients but not to the point where policy and power are being misused or abuse. “Professional integrity is about setting and enforcing clear and appropriate professional boundaries to minimize the risk of conflict (Weber,2004).”
References

Weber, Z., (2004). Working towards culturally sensitive ethical practice in a multicultural society. Journal of Practice Teaching 5(3), 40-54. Retrieved from http://journals.whitingbirch.net/index.php/JPTS/article/download/314/346 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

 

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