The Role of Religion – Through a Latino/Hispanic Lens

Religion may serve as a strength for a client. Additionally, religious social workers may be motivated by their personal faith to serve others and rely on their religion when the work is difficult. Conflict may occur if a social worker projects their spiritual belief system onto a client. A social worker does not need to hold the same beliefs as a client, but they do need to work within a client’s spiritual framework. In order to do this, social workers critically examine their personal values and practice according to professional values.

In this Discussion, you consider the intersection of spirituality and ethnicity as you apply a strengths-based perspective when working with a Latino/Hispanic client who may hold a different spiritual identity than you. You reflect with the class on how your belief system may make it difficult for you to work with any diverse religious/spiritual groups and the strategies you would implement to separate your personal religious values.

Post your response to the following:

  • Explain how you could apply a strengths-based perspective using religion/spirituality with a Latino/Hispanic client who held a different religious or spiritual practice than you.
    • If you are Latino/Hispanic, respond from your perspective of sharing a common ethnicity but a different religion or spiritual practice.
  • Describe any difficulties you may experience when working with a client from a different religious or spiritual practice.
  • Describe a strategy your colleague could use to separate a personal belief system and work with the client’s value framework.
  • Discussion 1(b): Depression and Suicide –Adolescent depression and suicide continue to be serious problems. Adolescents face numerous pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. It is estimated that as many as one in five adolescents suffer from clinical depression and thousands more commit suicide each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Recognizing key signs and symptoms of depression and suicidal attempts, however, may not always be obvious due to the many social and developmental challenges facing this group. For this reason, developing an awareness of key factors, along with the proper protocol for intervention, are critical skills for social workers. Responding to threats of depression and suicide requires a protocol for engaging the student at risk, outlining a plan of action for intervention, and locating resources related to suicide prevention and intervention. For this Discussion, you explore factors associated with adolescent depression and suicidal thinking. Additionally, you identify the steps within the suicide protocol that could be used to address suicidal ideations.
  • Post:
    • Describe two factors associated with adolescent depression and suicidal thinking and behaviors.
    • Identify two steps within the suicide protocol and explain how you could use them to address suicidal ideations.
    • Explain how you might use two additional resources when working with adolescents experiencing depression and displaying suicidal ideations.
    • Identify an additional approach your colleague could use to assist adolescents displaying depression and suicidal ideations.
    • Explain how this approach would further help your colleague treat an adolescent client in these circumstances.

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