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After completing your Reading for this week, please respond to the following questions:

  • In your own words, create a definition of competence in the field of human services.
  • Discuss why competence is essential to the helping relationship.
  • Use the Internet and the Kaplan Library to investigate the minimum standards of competence for human service professionals in your state. Describe these requirements.
  • Consider the Case Example of Rasheed regarding multicultural competencies on pages 216–217 of your text. Imagine you are a case worker at a human service agency working with Steve. What is your reaction to this case? Does it raise personal issues for you? If you were in Rasheed’s position, would you feel competent to work with Steve? What if Steve discovered that he harbored negative attitudes toward African Americans? Would that make a difference in your response to this scenario?
  • Develop a plan for maintaining your own competence in the human services profession. In other words, what will you do to remain competent in your work?
  • Discuss ethical considerations in research and publication. Give specific examples of how these issues may impact clients. Please use different examples than have been stated by your classmates.
  • Rasheed, an African- American professional counselor, was employed at a community mental health center. A local physician referred Steve, a 30- year- old Caucasian graduate student, because of recurrent depressive symptoms.

    After Rasheed went over the informed consent forms, Steve said somewhat aggressively, “I need to tell you something about myself. I’m what you would probably consider Texan White Trash. I was raised in a trailer park in West Texas. My parents hated Black people and blamed everything that went wrong in their lives on ‘niggers.’ I grew to hate my parents. When I was 9, I was sexually abused by my uncle and after that, I decided I would do everything and anything I could to get away from my family. That’s why I moved here 12 years ago, and I haven’t had much contact with them since.”

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    Rasheed nodded. Steve took a breath and continued in a more subdued tone. “But my dad has cancer and my sister keeps calling me, saying that he wants to see me and that I’ve got to come back home to visit. I’m struggling to face the fact that I should go back and say good- bye to my father before he dies. And the weird thing about this is that now I’ve come to see you and you seem fine and all that, but your job is to help me go back and be with my father who spent his life hating Blacks. Are you okay with that?”

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