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SOCW 6311 & 6070 Wk 5 Responses

Respond to at least 2 of your colleagues and elaborate on their recommendations for cultural adaptation with the group they identified. For example, you might discuss a merit or limitation of the cultural adaptation that your colleague proposed. Or you might suggest an alternative application of one of Marsigilia and Booth’s cultural adaptation.
Colleague 1: Aimee
A tentative meaning of the quote presented by Knight et. al (2014) and how this would specifically inform an intervention recommendation for social work practice with the homeless.
“I discovered that my environment had a lot to do with my mental state. So, when I had my own place, I was in control of the environment. You know, there was no drama, everything was nice and mellow, and so I was able to function. Everything was on an even keel; that was fine. It was when other people and situations were introduced into my environment that I couldn’t get away from, that would send me over the edge” (Knight, Lopez, Shumway, Cohen, & Riley, 2014, p. 559).
The above mentioned quote provides a tentative meaning of safety in one’s own environment. The individual quoted correlates their physical and mental stability with their environment and recognizes the importance of feeling and being safe. One can abstract from this statement that the housing units allow for mental and physically stability to be gained because of the safety the units provide for them. The single room occupancy hotels (SRO’s) are “trauma-sensitive” and provide a sense of security and safety for the individual (Knight et al., 2014, p. 558). The homeless population struggles with where they will sleep from day to day, staying warm and dry out of the weather, and feeling rested as they do not receive much sleep because they are always on high alert due to their unstable environment. The units provided for the homeless women allows a sense of safety and security within their environment.
The statement also represents a control. The individual who made the comment is sharing that she finally feels control over her life where when things that are out of her control can send her “over the edge” (Knight et al., 2014, p. 559). An intervention can be suggested through the use of this statement. The intervention that could be used is how to maintain self-control when outside factors are introduced which make the individual uncomfortable and teach coping skills that the individual could use to de-escalate their feelings.
Adapting coping skills which are culturally sensitive and relevant for African Americans and their application for cognitive adaptations.
“Culture is fluid and ever-changing, the process of cultural adaptation is complex and dynamic” (Marsiglia & Booth, 2014, p. 423).  Cultural adaptation on the behalf of the social work intervention is important in order to provide culturally diverse intervention to the populations we are serving. Not all cultures will respond the same way to coping mechanisms that are introduced. Understanding the diversity in culture will enable us to provide the most beneficial teaching of coping skills.
The Latino population has a history of drug use and abuse which indicates that family-based interventions are culturally relevant as this population is family oriented and utilizes their families as their support system (Marsiglia & Booth, 2014, p. 425). As cited by Marsiglia & Booth, “Culturally grounded social work challenges practitioners to see themselves as the other and to recognize that the responsibility of cultural adaptation resides not solely on the clients but involves everyone in the relationship” (Marsiglia & Kulis, 2009).  Cognitive adaptations need to be considered so we are aware of potential challenges such as language barriers or suggesting coping strategies which may not be relevant to the family (p. 426). This is a reciprocal relationship so we need to understand where the client is and where they want to go moving forward. In order to provide the best service, we need to meet them where they are.
Knight, K. R., Lopez, A. M., Shumway, M., Cohen, J., & Riley, E. D. (2014). Single room occupancy (SRO) hotels as mental health risk environments among impoverished women: The intersection of policy, drug use, trauma, and urban space. international Journal of Drug Policy, 25(3), 556-561. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.10.011
Marsiglia, F. F., & Booth, J. M. (2014, May 22). Cultural Adaptation of Interventions in Real Practice Settings. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(4), 423-432. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731514535989
Colleague 2: Debra
Qualitative Findings
This quote is from the article by Knight, Lopez, Comfort, Shumway, Cohen, & Riley, 2014, pp. 559.
Oh, it’s (my room’s) beautiful, it’s comfortable and it’s quiet and it’s clean!  I mean
The manager there is up on it.  He’s got security cameras now.  It’s secure, I’m high up.
The only way you can get into my window is if you try to do it.  And if you try to do it
and you fall, you’re going to die.  It’s out of the way (out of the neighborhood), yeah.
And so the (public) bus takes me to school.  Takes me straight to school, straight home.
Boom, no chaos.  Walgreen’s right there.  Boom, psych meds, boom right there, boom.
Bus pas (the bank) is right on the corner, boom.  I’m just – McDonald’s everything,
Grocery store, laundromat, everything, is just right there in my commute.  I don’t have to
go a block to go to the laundromat.  I don’t have to go a block to go to grocery shopping.
So, everything is just perfect for me.
For this woman, she is feeling safe and secure in her environment, which will allow her to work on her mental health and well-being.  She is not afraid to do the daily tasks that need to be done and is even attending school.  By being able to feel comfortable in her sing room occupancy (SRO), she is being able to manage her life without fear of being abused/raped, or felt pressured to use drugs.  She is trying to maintain a constant life and take care of her mental illness without being in conditions that are not conducive to this type of lifestyle.
Intervention Recommendation
I believe that when working with the homeless, understanding and acknowledging how the environment can affect outcomes of future progress is extremely important.  Just finding someone a place to live will not always provide the opportunity for an otherwise homeless individual the opportunity to change other issues about his or her life.  Even though the person is living indoors and not on the streets, if there is chaos, danger, and the conditions of the property are not well maintained, the indoor environment may still prove to be just as bad if not worse than living on the street (Knight, et. al., 2014).  On the macro level, using the funding to provide safety and security along with well-maintained SRO’s is imperative to this population.
Culturally Sensitive
In the Hispanic culture, family is a very large part of the culture.  As part of the macro-level intervention with the SRO’s would be to incorporate a family gathering area that can be used by tenants in the SRO.  This would hopefully allow these individuals to spend time with family members and regain/rebuild relationships that may have been torn apart in the past.  Mental illness and drug abuse can become a family’s detriment and being able to have a place in the SRO to have and enjoy family together time may prove helpful in a Hispanic culture.  Women tend to break away from family when there is trauma, because of embarrassment, the need to self-medicate, fear of retaliation on the perpetrator, or just not being able to understand oneself the issues surrounding a mental illness or trauma causing the mental illness.  Bringing families back together in this type of environment will hopefully prove to give the woman a sense of comfort and security knowing the family is involved, once again.
Content Adaptation
Because content adaptation looks at the making adjustments to the original intervention (Marsiglia & Booth, 2015), being able to look at the SRO’s and how they can be changed to match a Hispanic culture of family importance would be a way to be culturally competent.  Understanding and identifying this type of cultural identity (Marsiglia & Booth, 2015) could play a huge role in the regaining of family interaction.  The content adaptation would then need to be tested and evaluated to make sure the adaptation for the culture is working (Marsiglia & Booth, 2015).  Working within the community at the macro level would be a good place to start this type of change in order to have funding as well as understanding of the importance of being culturally competent.
Knight, K. R., Lopez, A. M., Comfort, M., Sumway, M., Cohen, J., & Riley, E. D. (2014).
Single room occupancy (SRO) hotels as mental health risk environments among
impoverished women: The intersection of policy, drug use, trauma, and urban space.
International Journal of Drug Policy, 25(3), 556-561.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Marsiglia, F. F. & Booth, J. M. (2015).  Cultural adaptations of interventions in real practice
Settings.  Research on Social Work Practice, 25(4), 423-432.
Respond to at least two colleagues by critiquing their short-term strategies for addressing the SPG case study.
Colleague 1: Sandra
Post an analysis of the change that took place in the SPG. 
The changes that took place at the Southeast Planning Group (SPG), was that the executive director who worked for the company for five years abruptly resigned amid rumors that she was forced out. It appears as if she was great in bringing people together, however, there were a lack of confidence in her ability to grow the organization. Nearly, a month after she resigned another director was brought in and her first priorities were to reconfigure the structure of the organization in order to increase efficiency. Resulting in the elimination of two positions.
Furthermore, suggest one strategy that might improve the organizational climate and return the organization to optimal functioning. Provide support for your suggested strategy, explaining why it would be effective.
According to Lauffer, 2011, pg.323, “we really are looking for someone who knows the community and has proven the ability to build structural relationships between CCFCS and other organizations,” however, the people who were let go from SPG had strong ties with the community. Resulting in loss of trust in the organization.
One strategy that might improve the organizational climate and return the organization to optional functioning was to maintain those two positions since they have been with the organization from the beginning. These two employees seemed as if they were very productive and they helped to create a positive work environment both internally and externally. This created a lot of suspicions and the community lost trust in the organization.
Social agency management requires the performance of both internal and external coordination responsibilities. Agencies use numerous structural patterns to manage internal relationships and processes and maintain external relations to important people and organizations the organization’s real and potential stakeholders (Lauffer, 2011).
Lauffer, A. (2011). Understanding your social agency (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.
Chapter 10, “Agency Structure and Change” (pp. 324–352)
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies:     Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing [Vital Source e-reader].
“Social Work Supervision, Leadership, and Administration: The Southeast Planning Group” (pp. 85–86)
Colleague 2: Angela
Partnership between Southeast Planning Group (SPG) and stakeholders
In my opinion, the initial partnership between the stakeholders and SPG seemed to be a good relationship and on track with the main concept of combating homelessness and providing resources to the homeless population. The founder established a team who worked well within the community on issues addressing homelessness. Additionally, the founder was well known in the community for their passion to provided resources in an effort to end homelessness. For reason not explained, the Director/Founder resigned in addition to two of the top community organizers being forced out 5 years into the established program.
The Change
As explained by Plumber et al, when the community and SPG’s partners learned about the changes in leadership, there was suspicion about the new leadership and the direction they wanted to take the organization (Plummer, et al, 2014). A strategy that may improve the organizational climate and return the organization to optimal functioning is providing a vision. Northouse explains an effective leader creates a compelling vision that guide people’s behavior additionally, charismatic leaders create change by linking their vision and its values to the self-concept of followers. (Northouse, 2018, pg. 141). I believe this strategy would be effective because of the uncertainty of the stakeholders, employees and community members. Everyone is nervous about the direction of the company, in order to calm the fears providing a vison seems to be the best avenue. The vision can provide a road map of what the new ownership is envisioning. A lack of vision can affect future funding and established relationships with current partners causing stakeholders and the community to become nervous and have questions about the way forward for the company and the mission they initially signed up to be a part of. This may also bring fears and concerns to the many homeless people they vowed to helped.
Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing [Vital Source e-reader]. “Social Work Supervision, Leadership, and Administration: The Southeast Planning Group” (pp. 85–86)


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