Personal values, beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes can help the helping process when the client and the human service professional share the same idea or belief. The human service professional may be able to add to what the client feels or knows or enlighten the client in a positive way because of their personal knowledge or experience. On the other hand it could harm the helping process if beliefs are different. In this case study if the human service professional has any negative feelings about homosexuality, then Todd and Reggie may not receive the full help they are in search of. Although the focus is on getting themselves together, they came in as a couple with some relationship issues that they need to work on.
If I were the human service professional on this case, I would be a little uncomfortable with the whole situation. Not only are they homosexual men but this is an interracial relationship. I personally do not fully agree with black and whites dating, although I am not racist. I also know that morally it is wrong to be in a same sex relationship but I do have a few acquaintances that are homosexual. After the initial negative thoughts have run through my mind I will be able to push that aside and get down to business. Honestly my biggest worry would be how they are treated by friends and family because those are the people who are most important and it seems as though those people are not there for Todd or Reggie.
Given the situation that Im the human service professional for Todd and Reggie I would ask Todd to tell me about his self, since he is more open than Reggie. Getting to know more about Todd is important because it gives me a look inside his life as far as where he came from to how he got to this point. I want to know about his relationship with his mom and why he feels she is emotionally abusive to him. This important because it drives him to drink and is one of the issues he is currently dealing with including substance abuse of cocaine. I would ask him how his sessions go with his psychiatrist and maybe get contact info to speak with the psychiatrist about Todds bipolar disorder. This is vital to know because he made need additional assistance controlling his disease.
As for Reggie I would also ask him to tell me about his self. How he ended up in jail to the point where he is now, gives me a look into his life. It also helps me figure out what needs to be avoided to keep him in good terms with his parole officer. I also want to know why his estranged sisters will not speak to him. This is important because Reggie needs closure. If not speak to him for anything else, at least share with him the memory of his mothers last days. I want to talk about his progress in the STARS program. Since he has not found a job yet, that may be something I need to assist him with. We also need to discuss why he has been violent toward Todd.
For him to come with his partner to this meeting means he cares for Todd and wants help, so understanding their relationship will be helpful in helping them maintain one. Finally we should talk about why Reggie is uncomfortable with Todds behavior in public. This is important because he may be having issues coming to terms with his sexuality and if so, I need to help him overcome this feeling. Together I want to ask them about their relationship and what they want to come out of it. This is important because if they want to stay together as stated, both parties must be on the same page. Todd may have to accommodate to Reggie by toning down his behavior in public while Reggie will have to consider substance abuse counseling.
Potential ethical issues with this case is the sexuality of the clients but Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. Also obtaining or sharing information with Todds psychiatrist Human service professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client records. All written client information that is shared with other professionals, except in the course of professional supervision, must have the clients prior written consent. A legal issue is the fact that Reggie is physical with Todd and although it was the past, if it happened again I must keep in mind If it is suspected that danger or harm may occur to the client or to others as a result of a clients behavior, the human service professional acts in an appropriate and professional manner to protect the safety of those individuals.
This may involve seeking consultation, supervision, and/or breaking the confidentiality of the relationship. Also Reggie smokes marijuana which is not good for urine tests with his parole officer along with Todds cocaine use. Human service professionals protect the clients right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause harm to the client or others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under other stated conditions (e.g., local, state, or federal laws). Professionals inform clients of the limits of confidentiality prior to the onset of the helping relationship. (NOHS, 2009)
For Todd and Reggie I would recommend that they go to rehab because they both have addictions that need to be dealt with in order to move forward in the relationship and just life in general.