Discussion 1: Policy Analysis and Application
 
According to the NASW Code of Ethics section 6.04 (NASW, 2008), social workers are ethically bound to work for policies that support the healthy development of individuals,  guarantee equal access to services, and promote social and economic justice.
 
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including Working with Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita. Consider what change you might make to the policies that affect the client in your case. Finally, think about how you might evaluate the success of the policy changes.
 

Post an explanation of one change you might make to the policies that affect the client in the case. Be sure to reference the case you selected in your post.
 

Finally, explain how you might evaluate the success of the policy changes.

 
 
Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
 
 
References:
 

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

“Working With Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita” (pp. 81–83)

?Rome, S., Harris, S., & Hoechstetter, S. (2010). Social work and civic engagement: The political participation of professional social workers. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(3), 107–129.

 
 
 
Working With Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita
Rita is a 22-year-old, heterosexual, Latina female working in the hospitality industry at a resort. She is the youngest of five children and lives at home with her parents. Rita has dated in the past but never developed a serious relationship. She is close to her immediate and extended family as well as to her female friends in the Latino community. Although her parents and three of her siblings were born in the Dominican Republic, Rita was born in the United States.
A year ago, Rita was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of a male coworker. Rita and a female coworker met Juan and Bob after work at a local bar for a light meal and a few drinks. Because Rita had to get up early to work her shift the next day, Bob offered to drive her home. Instead of taking Rita directly home, however, he drove to a desolate spot nearby and assaulted her. Afterward, Bob threatened to harm her family if she did not remain silent and proceeded to drive her home. Although Rita did not tell her family what happened, she did call our agency hotline the next day to discuss her options. Because Rita’s assault occurred within the 5-day window for forensic evidence collection of this kind, Rita consented to activation of the county’s sexual assault response team (SART). Although she agreed to have an advocate and the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) meet her at the hospital, Rita tearfully stated that she did not want to file a police report at that time because she did not want to upset her family. The nurse examiner interviewed Rita, collected evidence, recorded any injuries, administered antibiotics for possible sexually transmitted infections, and gave Rita emergency contraception in case of pregnancy. The advocate stayed with Rita during the procedure, supporting her and validating her experience, and gave her a referral for individual crisis counseling at our agency.
My treatment goals for Rita included alleviation of rape trauma syndrome symptoms that included shame and self-blame, validation of self-worth and empowerment, and processing how it would feel to disclose to others when the time felt right. In aIDition, Rita would receive important information regarding state policy and procedure for victims of sexual assault that would assist her in deciding when and how to report the crime if she chose to do so.
My treatment involved crisis intervention and stabilization along with emotional support and validation surrounding her experience. Managing her trauma and acute stress symptoms were key to her recovery. Those symptoms included guilt, shame, emotional shock, powerlessness, anxiety, fear, anger, and doubting her judgment. We processed Rita’s emotional dysregulation and sense of outrage over what happened. Over the weeks that followed, we also explored Rita’s relationship to her immediate and extended family and how they had high expectations for her and her future. Rita’s shame over the assault prevented her from telling her family for fear they would also be shamed and judge her for accepting a ride from someone she did not know well. We discussed the policy for reporting a sexual assault to the police in our state and how Rita only had a 90-day window to report the crime after her forensic evidence was obtained. After 90 days, the forensic kit would be destroyed.
The problem with the current 90-day hold policy in our state for victims like Rita is that a person in crisis experiences strong and conflicting emotions and is faced with an acute sense of disequilibrium and disorientation. This, in turn, affects her or his ability to retain information and make decisions. The person, therefore, has barely enough time to make sense of what happened to her or him, let alone decide what to do about it. The 90-day hold policy may not afford a traumatized victim of sexual assault enough time to make a decision to report to law enforcement.
I utilized a strengths-based model in my treatment with Rita to help her aIDress the decision to report the crime. A strengths-based framework is client-led with a focus on future outcomes and strengths that the client brings to a problem or crisis. It is an effective helping strategy that builds on a person’s resiliency and ego strength. An integrative strengths-based intervention can contribute to the development of a positive outcome for clients in crisis.
I counseled Rita for 6 months. After 5 months, Rita felt strong enough to disclose to her family and file a report with the police. However, because the 90-day window had closed by the time she was stabilized and emotionally ready to file, her forensic evidence was unavailable.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Discussion 2: Evaluating Policy Implications
 
When developing, implementing, or revising organizational policies, it is important that all potential consequences be considered. Social workers must be particularly sensitive to any negative consequences or unintentional harm the policies might cause for any individual or group.
 
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including the Johnson Family video. Consider the campus’ policies on how sexual assault accusations are aIDressed. How might the current procedures and policies negatively affect survivors of sexual assault? What changes might you suggest to the campus policies to better protect survivors? Finally, describe how you might evaluate the success of these policy changes.
 

 
Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
 
References
 

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.
 
Johnson Family Episode 4
Program Transcript
 
[MUSIC PLAYING]
 
MALE SPEAKER: There are two things I want you to think about as we go forward, process and possible outcomes.
 
As I explained on the phone to each of you, the university’s policy in cases like this is for me to give each of you the opportunity to tell your side of the story. This is a university procedure. It does not involve the police. Once I’ve heard both
sides it will be up to me to decide what action to take. Do you understand?
 
BOTH: Yes.
 
MALE SPEAKER: Now, possible outcomes. Talia’s claims could be dismissed. However, if her claims are accepted as true Eric could be suspended for a semester, or an entire year, or he could be expelled. This all depends on how the university rules. Am I clear? Are there any questions before we get started?
 
ERIC: What if you decide she’s lying? What happens to her then?
 
MALE SPEAKER: I’ve already described the potential outcomes. That’s it.
 
TALIA: You’re the one who’s lying. You told people we had sex when you raped me.
 
ERIC: Slut.
 
BOTH: Liar! Rapist!
 
MALE SPEAKER: End of conversation. I’ll schedule a meeting next week. Use that time to prepare. Do I make myself clear?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Discussion 3: The Social Work Advocate in Politics
Social workers often have commitments to specific policies, laws, or funding of programs that are vital to the population they serve or an issue that they strongly support. Such commitments often lead social workers to become involved in political issues and the campaigns of specific candidates. Being a social worker, such campaign experiences, the outcomes of your efforts, and how effective you felt you were may affect your view of the political process and the likelihood of becoming involved in similar campaigns in the future.
 
For this Discussion, reflect on your experiences if you have ever participated in a political campaign. What was the outcome of your participation? If you have not participated in a campaign, choose a campaign topic you support or oppose and consider the ways you might like to participate in that campaign. Likewise, think about your experiences if you have ever lobbied on a topic. If you have not, choose a topic for which you might like to lobby in favor or against. Finally, consider how you think social workers might have a powerful and positive effect as elected officials.
 

Post an explanation of the role of lobbying and campaigning in social work practice.
·      Then, explain how you think social workers might have a powerful and positive effect as elected officials.
 
·      Finally, explain of the impact, if any, the experiences and opinions of your colleagues have had on your own experiences and opinions.
 

Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
 
References
 
Rome, S., Harris, S., & Hoechstetter, S. (2010). Social work and civic engagement: The political participation of professional social workers. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(3), 107–129.

Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper SaIDle River, NJ: Pearson Education

 
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