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As with all areas of the social work process, cultural competence is essential when engaging and assessing a child’s concerns. Being culturally competent includes understanding the unique needs of your client and asking how those needs can be fulfilled. Using an empowerment perspective treating clients as experts on their lives and their needs is essential. Not only does this establish your commitment to being culturally sensitive and aware, but it will enhance the therapeutic relationship. While it is essential to learn and master social work skills and techniques to be a successful practitioner, another significant indicator of a successful intervention is the relationship a social worker builds with his or her client. Some research suggests that the quality of the therapeutic relationship will account for 30% of the clinical outcome of the treatment (Miller, Duncan, and Hubble, 2005, as stated in Walsh, 2010, p. 7). Exhibiting a dedication to learning about a client’s culture, history, and current environmental factors exemplifies a social worker’s desire to build that client–worker bond.For this Assignment, read the case study for Claudia and find two to three scholarly articles on social issues surrounding immigrant families.By Day 7In a 2- to 4-page paper, explain how the literature informs you about Claudia and her family when assessing her situation.Describe two social issues related to the course-specific case study for Claudia that inform a culturally competent social worker.Describe culturally competent strategies you might use to assess the needs of children.Describe the types of data you would collect from Claudia and her family in order to best serve them.Identify other resources that may offer you further information about Claudia’s case.Create an eco-map to represent Claudia’s situation. Describe how the ecological perspective of assessment influenced how the social worker interacted with Claudia.Describe how the social worker in the case used a strengths perspective and multiple tools in her assessment of Claudia. Explain how those factors contributed to the therapeutic relationship with Claudia and her family.Support your Assignment with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.*****Working With Children
and Adolescents:
The Case of Claudia
Claudia is a 6-year-old, Hispanic female residing with her
biological mother and father in an urban area. Claudia was born
in the United States 6 months after her mother and father moved
to the country from Nicaragua. There is currently no extended
family living in the area, but Claudia’s parents have made friends
in the neighborhood. Claudia’s family struggles economically and
has also struggled to obtain legal residency in this country. Her
father inconsistently finds work in manual labor, and her mother
recently began working three nights a week at a nail salon. While
Claudia is bilingual in Spanish and English, Spanish is the sole
language spoken in her household. She is currently enrolled in a
large public school, attending kindergarten.
Claudia’s family lives in an impoverished urban neighborhood
with a rising crime rate. After Claudia witnessed a mugging in her
neighborhood, her mother reported that she became very anxious
and “needy.” She cried frequently and refused to be in a room
alone without a parent. Claudia made her parents lock the doors
after returning home and would ask her parents to check the locks
repeatedly. When walking in the neighborhood, Claudia would
ask her parents if people passing are “bad” or if an approaching
person is going to hurt them. Claudia had difficulty going to bed
on nights when her mother worked, often crying when her mother
left. Although she was frequently nervous, Claudia was comforted
by her parents and has a good relationship with them. Claudia’s
nervousness was exhibited throughout the school day as well. She
asked her teachers to lock doors and spoke with staff and peers
about potential intruders on a daily basis.
Claudia’s mother, Paula, was initially hesitant to seek therapy
services for her daughter due to the family’s undocumented
status in the country. I met with Claudia’s mother and utilized
the initial meeting to explain the nature of services offered at
the agency, as well as the policies of confidentiality. Prior to the
meeting, I translated all relevant forms to Spanish to increase
Paula’s comfort. Within several minutes of talking, Paula noticeably relaxed, openly sharing the family’s history and her concerns
regarding Claudia’s “nervousness.” Goals set for Claudia included
increasing Claudia’s ability to cope with anxiety and increasing her
ability to maintain attention throughout her school day.
Using child-centered and directed play therapy approaches,
I began working with Claudia to explore her world. Claudia was
intrigued by the sand tray in my office and selected a variety
of figures, informing me that each figure was either “good” or
“bad.” She would then construct scenes in the sand tray in which
she would create protective barriers around the good figures,
protecting them from the bad. I reflected upon this theme of good
versus bad, and Claudia developed the ability to verbalize her
desire to protect good people.
I continued meeting with Claudia once a week, and Claudia
continued exploring the theme of good versus bad in the sand tray
for 2 months. Utilizing a daily feelings check-in, Claudia developed
the ability to engage in affect identification, verbalizing her feelings
and often sharing relevant stories. Claudia slowly began asking me
questions about people in the building and office, inquiring if they
were bad or good, and I supported Claudia in exploring these
inquiries. Claudia would frequently discuss her fears about school
with me, asking why security guards were present at schools. We
would discuss the purpose of security guards in detail, allowing
her to ask questions repeatedly, as needed. Claudia and I also
practiced a calming song to sing when she experienced fear or
anxiety during the school day.
During this time, I regularly met with Paula to track Claudia’s
progress through parent reporting. I also utilized psychoeducational techniques during these meetings to review appropriate
methods Paula could use to discuss personal safety with Claudia
without creating additional anxiety.
By the third month of treatment, Claudia began determining
that more and more people in the environment were good. This
was reflected in her sand tray scenes as well: the protection of
good figures decreased, and Claudia began placing good and bad
figures next to one another, stating, “They’re okay now.” Paula
reported that Claudia no longer questioned her about each individual that passed them on the street. Claudia began telling her
friends in school about good security guards and stopped asking
teachers to lock doors during the day. At home, Claudia became
more comfortable staying in her bedroom alone, and she significantly decreased the frequency of asking for doors to be locked.

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