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Natural Disasters: Rebuilding and Recovery

Natural disasters affect the lives of many people without singling out a specific cultural group or family. Human service professionals must, therefore, use adequate initiatives in order to meet the needs of diverse communities. The initiatives should support more people from diverse backgrounds and re-pattern their experiences (Hayden, Williams, Canto, & Finklea, 2015). These measures will result in recovery and rebuilding. Using the case of Hurricane Sandy, this discussion explores some of the best approaches that can be used to address social justice and multicultural issues related to rebuilding and recovery. The discussion will go further to explain how the Design-Build model has the potential to support the recovery and rebuilding processes.

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Description of the Disaster

Hurricane Sandy remains one of the deadliest and most expensive natural disasters in the United States’ history. The catastrophe occurred in 2012 during the Atlantic hurricane season (Kearns, Ressler, Zatzick, & Rothbaum, 2012). The damages and losses attributed to the disaster amounted to over 75 billion US dollars. Additionally, the calamity led to over 230 fatalities. The disaster was also associated with food shortages, human displacement, outbreak waterborne diseases, power outages, and flooding. Many people were left homeless and without adequate social services. The disaster was associated with prolonged depression and stress among the affected families and community members.

The unique thing about the storm was that is affected very many regions across the United States and beyond. For instance, statistics indicated clearly that the storm disaster-affected around 24 states, including Florida, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Some of the countries affected included Canada, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas (Bloomquist, Wood, Friedmeyer-Trainor, & Kim, 2015). That being the case, it would be agreeable that the storm affected many people from diverse cultural backgrounds and groups. The disaster affected different cultural groups such as the Latinos (or Hispanics), African Americans, and a number of white people in the United States.

Ways to Address Social Justice and Multicultural Issues: Rebuilding and Recovery

Rebuilding and recovery are some of the unique goals targeted by human service professionals and social workers providing support after a natural disaster. The case of Hurricane Sandy shows conclusively that social workers will be required to go a step further in order to meet the diverse issues and needs of many people from diverse backgrounds. The concept of social justice is something that should be taken seriously in order to ensure the intended goals are realized (Kearns et al., 2012). The steps presented below can, therefore, make it possible for more professionals to address social justice and multicultural issues.

To begin with, the social worker should begin by case finding. This approach will ensure the professional is aware of the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the targeted victims after the disaster. This knowledge will ensure the right psychotherapy or support model. After identifying the targeted victims, the counselor will group the victims in accordance with their respective cultural backgrounds. However, this approach should be taken as an option because the counselor can still focus on the concept of cross-cultural therapy (Hayden et al., 2015). Whichever model is appropriate, the counselor should be aware of individuals who are in need of diverse support systems based on their cultural affiliations.

The counselor should go a step further to design a powerful approach that will ensure the needs of the individuals are met. Personalized therapies can be designed in order to address the needs of every victim. This approach will ensure “the cross-cultural therapy is capable of supporting the victims” (James & Gilliland, 2017, p. 93). During the process, the professional has a choice to empower the victims. He or she will be prepared against the new change or obstacle associated with the disaster. The professional will offer the right support and accommodation to the individuals. By so doing, the victims will be empowered and find it easier to select the right options that can address their needs.

Throughout the process, the professional can embrace the power of support groups in order to deliver timely and positive results. These groups will bring together individuals who have similar identities or cultural attributes. This approach will boost the levels of trust and collaboration. The formation of groups will boost the healing and acceptance processes (Bloomquist et al., 2015). During the process, personalized therapy can be established in order to cater to the needs of children and elderly individuals who might be affected the most by the disaster.

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The outstanding issue whenever providing this kind of support is that different cultural groups will respond differently to the disaster. A personalized or evidence-based caring model will ensure the unique needs of every cultural group are addressed in a timely manner. The inclusion of family members and professionals from the culture can ensure the process is successful. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure the therapy is informed by the manner in which members of the culture respond or interpret the targeted disaster (James & Gilliland, 2017). This knowledge is what will ensure the emerging social justice, and multicultural issues are addressed in a professional manner.

The counselor should be aware of the problems associated with cultural encapsulation. This is the case because the issue can affect the nature of models implemented to support the needs of the targeted clients. The professional should also avoid imposing specific goals that are alien to members of different cultural groups. The implemented practices should be informed by the cultural attributes, values, and ideologies held by each cultural group. For instance, the affected Latinos can be empowered using multi-disciplinary teams and the inclusion of traditional healers (Bloomquist et al., 2015). For African Americans, it can be appropriate to promote religious notions in order to support the rebuilding process.

Throughout the care delivery process to the affected victims, it will be appropriate to attract professionals from each of the affected cultural groups (Hayden et al., 2015). By so doing, it can be possible to develop a culturally competent counseling therapy that is capable of supporting the needs of the diverse cultural groups. Conflicts among members of different cultural groups will be identified and addressed immediately. The approach will support the needs of the individuals and eventually promote the rebuilding and recovery process.

Another evidence-based practice “that can support the rebuilding process is the Disaster Cross-Cultural Counseling (DCCC) group work and supervision model” (Kearns et al., 2012, p. 836). Using the model, the counselor will be able to promote group work and focus on the unique needs of the affected individuals, families, and communities (Kearns et al., 2012). The model promotes the use of a culturally responsive strategy whereby community and group healing ad recovery is promoted. The model supports the use of supervision in order to promote healing, social justice, development, and clinical skills.

Description and Justification of the Design-Build Strategies for the Hurricane Sandy

The “Design-Build Model is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility” (DBIA, 2017, para. 1). The use of design-build strategies can be used to deal with natural disasters. The disaster destroyed many bridges, road networks, and water and sewerage systems. Reconstruction and rebuilding were necessary in order to ensure the affected individuals could lead normal lives. A design-build approach is a powerful approach that is capable of delivering positive results in a timely manner. Through the use of the model, the involved parties will identify and contract a single company to deliver constructive and design services (DBIA, 2017). The single contract will ensure the company is capable of monitoring the processes in order to deliver the targeted project.

The contractor will select the right design for the project by liaising with members of the community or stakeholders. During the design and construction process, different stakeholders will be trained and encouraged to collaborate with one another. The process will ensure the right resources and materials are acquired in a timely manner. The model will eventually make it is easier for the affected regions to achieve the best value (Bloomquist et al., 2015). The design-build model is, therefore, capable of meeting quality, cost, and schedule goals.

With the use of the model, the right experts and architects will work under one umbrella, manage costs, attract the right participants, and minimize costs. By so doing, every contractor will focus on the intended project in order to minimize costs, deliver the project in a timely manner, and eventually promote the reconstruction process (Kearns et al., 2012). The important trick is getting the right contractor in order to ensure the deliverables of the project are recorded in a timely manner.

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Bloomquist, K., Wood, L., Friedmeyer-Trainor, K., & Kim, H. (2015). Self-care and professional quality of life: Predictive factors among MSW practitioners. Advances in Social Work, 16(2), 292-311. Web.

DBIA. (2017). About DBIA and Design-Build model. Web.

Hayden, S., Williams, D., Canto, A., & Finklea, T. (2015). Shelter from the storm: Addressing vicarious traumatization through wellness-based clinical supervision. The Professional Counselor, 5(4), 529-542. Web.

James, K., & Gilliland, E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Kearns, C., Ressler, J., Zatzick, D., & Rothbaum, O. (2012). Early interventions for PTSD: A review. Depression and Anxiety, 29(10), 833-842. Web.

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