Ethical and Cultural Issues in Group Work | Free Essay Example

Ethical and Cultural Issues in Group Work

Words: 1155
Topic: Education

Group Scenario

The targeted scenario for this analysis is a group composed of teenage students in a learning institution. The members of the group are from different social, cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds. Some of the individuals have been known to abuse certain drugs and engage in risky sexual behaviors. The intended goal is to ensure the needs of the group members are met and make it easier for them to realize their educational goals (Corey, Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2015). Past studies have showed conclusively that many teenagers in different learning institutions encounter a wide range of social influences or problems. With proper support, empowerment, and guidance, a competent human service professional can ensure members of the group achieve their educational objectives.

Adequate Skills for a Group Facilitator

A group facilitator should possess various skills in order to address the unique issues affecting the targeted population. The first skill is that of critical thinking (Corey et al., 2015). This attribute guides human services professionals to make adequate decisions that can be used to understand the issues affecting the clients. Cultural competence is necessary because it guides social workers to address the diverse needs of different group members.

A proper knowledge of human behaviors is another skill that is needed by the group’s leader or facilitator. The ability to identify and implement a powerful strategy is necessary in order to address the issues affecting the clients. Communication, problem-solving, and listening skills can support this role. The possession of these skills and competencies will make it easier for the group facilitator to support the needs of the targeted population.

The issue type associated with the targeted group is peer influence or pressure. The use of the above competencies will make it easier for the facilitator to guide and empower the members in order to develop admirable behaviors. The individual should also be in a position to identify the emerging issues and problems affecting the group such as drug abuse, peer pressure, sexual misbehaviors, and violence (Corey et al., 2015). The facilitator should identify the best initiatives to ensure such issues are carefully addressed.

Ethical and Cultural Issues to Address

Several ethical issues must be addressed by the group facilitator before initiating the service delivery process. The first issue is obtaining informed consent from the members. This ethical approach will ensure the members are aware of the relationship. The leader should involve different supervisors or legal experts if the group members engage in risky practices such as using harmful drugs. The facilitator should be aware of the professional requirements that will ensure the group realizes its goals.

The individual should avoid forming sexual relationships with the targeted members of the group (Diller, 2015). The values, opinions, and stereotypes held by the facilitator should not be imposed upon the members of the group (National Organization for Human Services, 2015). It is appropriate to focus on the safety and security concerns of the clients. If there is technology to be used, the facilitator should promote the highest level of confidentiality.

The targeted individuals will also be from different racial backgrounds. The facilitator should first analyze the pertinent cultural issues that might affect the process. For instance, some words might not be embraced by specific racial groups. Any form of discrimination or abuse should also be identified and addressed before initiating the process. Gender relationships, family hierarchies, dietary and food practices, and notions about sexuality should be considered by the human service professional (Diller, 2015). When such cultural issues are clearly addressed, the professional will be able to implement a powerful strategy to help the clients.

Guidelines for Social Justice and Multicultural Competence

Human service professionals and social workers can use various guidelines for multicultural and social justice in order to deliver adequate support to their clients. The first guideline revolves around the issue of commitment to cultural knowledge and self-awareness. This domain makes it easier for professionals to identify their biases and values. The next step is to understand the unique values and beliefs embraced by the targeted members of the group (National Organization for Human Services, 2015).

The counselor goes further to set specific expectations in order to meet the needs of the clients. Emerging issues are addressed using the socioecological model. The model is used to provide interventions that focus on the issues affecting the clients.

The second guideline embraced by many professionals is organizational change and policy development (Ratts, Singh, Butler, Nassar-McMillan, & McCullough, 2016). This model guides professionals to analyze the beliefs and attitudes of the targeted clients and promote new behavioral changes. The approach will ensure “the multicultural and social justice competent counselor promotes effective cross-cultural communication” (Ratts et al., 2016, p. 2). The established relationship should go beyond the views of the group members. The next action is to focus on the social identities, biases, and privileges that should be considered throughout the process.

The third rule is founded on “the counseling and advocacy interventions domain” (Ratts et al., 2016, p. 2). According to the guideline, counselors are supposed to recognize the role of multicultural responsiveness. This domain encourages human service professionals to use empowerment-based ideas to address the needs of every marginalized client. Advocacy is taken seriously whenever using this guideline. The approach makes it easier for counselors to promote social justice and multiculturalism (Diller, 2015). Inequities and gaps are addressed through continuous collaboration and removal of existing systemic barriers (Ratts et al., 2016).

These three guidelines have been selected because they have the potential to support my goals and objectives. The first guideline empowers and equips the counselor with adequate competencies. These dexterities can make a difference for the targeted clients. The second guideline focuses on the needs of targeted clients. The models encourage professionals to act in an ethical and skilled manner. The third guideline embraces the use of advocacy interventions. The model acknowledges the existence of gaps and systemic gaps among the group members (Ratts et al., 2016). The knowledge can be used to address the gaps and eventually support the welfare of the targeted clients.

Developing Additional Experience and Knowledge

The third guideline is informed by the counseling and advocacy interventions approach. I will read widely and research numerous articles focusing on this domain. By so doing, I will be able to identify new practices and concepts that can be used to meet the diverse needs of the targeted clients. I will also understand how to interact with other professionals in order to deliver positive results. The approach will support my human services philosophy.

The knowledge will make it easier for me to become an advocate of clients’ rights and needs. It will also be appropriate to read widely in order to identify new evidence-based guidelines that can be used to promote my social justice and multicultural competencies (Diller, 2015). Consequently, I will become a skilled human service professional who can address the diverse needs of many clients.


Corey, G., Corey, S., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2015). Issues and ethics in the helping professions, updated with 2014 ACA codes. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Diller, V. (2015). Cultural diversity: A primer for the human services. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

National Organization for Human Services. (2015). NOHS ethical standards for human service professionals. Web.

Ratts, M., Singh, A., Butler, K., Nassar-McMillan, S., & McCullough, J. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Practical applications in counseling. Counseling Today, 1(2), 1-16.