I declare that this assessment is my own work, based on my own personal research/study . I also declare that this assessment, nor parts of it, has not been previously submitted for any other unit/module or course, and that I have not copied in part or whole or otherwise plagiarised the work of another student and/or persons. I have read the ACAP Student Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Policy and understand its implications. Competency Assignments Task 2 –
CHCDFV301A Recognise & respond appropriately to domestic & family violence CHCDFV402C Manage own professional development in responding to domestic & family violence
NOTE: Read the case study below. Answer the questions listed below in your own words using the case study as the basis for your answers. Do not work or share answers with other students in this course when completing this
Assignment task 2: Due – Sunday 2nd February 2014
Case study – (approx 1200-1500 words)
You are a student support counsellor in a university. Judy, a first-year student of Aboriginal descent, comes to see you as she is struggling with her studies and says that she would like to talk to you about whether university is right for her. As you talk with Judy she tells you that one of the reasons she is struggling to study and finish her assignments on time is that she has had to take on extra work in the evenings and weekends to support her brother, who has moved in with her since he lost his job a couple of months ago. Judy tells you that she is happy to support her brother financially until he gets back on his feet but that it is difficult as she now needs to work the extra hours, as well as looking after the house and cleaning up after her brother and his friends, who spend most nights drinking and smoking in the house.
Judy expresses concern for her brother who she says is very stressed since he lost his job and easily irritable. She wants to talk to him about getting another job and doing his share around the house, but she is anxious about doing so because he can get very angry. You notice that Judy has a cut on her head and some bruising on her arms but when you ask her about it she dismisses it, saying that sometimes her brother ‘talks with his fists’ and that she’s fine.
1.Explain your responsibilities as the counsellor in this situation. We must support, believe her, be nonjudgmental, have empathy and be congruent with Judy. We must not make judgements. Judy needs to know that this is not her fault and that there is programs and ways to help not just her but her brother, and this can be done without the police and him being put in jail, as this is the preferred way of her culture. Judy must be told about where we stand on confidentiality and let her know that in certain circumstance the counsellor has a legal duty to report. We must know our limitations on how we can help and refer Judy to the right place.
2. What legal issues could be present in this situation?
It is a criminal offence in Australia to be violent. However we have a duty of care and confidentiality that also needs to be considered. It is important to talk to clients who are experiencing domestic violence before reporting (if possible) so they feel supported rather than judged, this reassure them that they are not responsible for the violence but the abuser is. If the person is in immediate danger you must report it. Your organisation may have protocols and policies that address domestic and family violence that you must follow. All counsellors should be aware of domestic and family violence policies, this should be easily accessible at work.
3. What interrelated issues are present in this situation?
Judy feels that she has a duty to support her brother as this is expected of her. Judy’s brother being unemployed, cultural expectations, having loss of self-esteem, having her brother be financially dependent on her and her brother having a drug and alcohol dependency are all interrelated issues.
4. What criteria would you use to assess risk in this situation? The primary rule of assessment must be to believe her, and start intervention, states Walker (1984, as cited in James, 2008). I would also need to assess, the severity of the situation, the client’s current emotional state, immediate psychosocial and safety needs, level of client’s current coping skills and resources. I would need to listen, be supportive, reinforce her right to her personal power and if Judy is safe in her environment, I would also inform her of what options and support there is for her.
5. What strategies would you use to help Judy?
I would reassure Judy that it is not her fault, I would not make judgements about her situation or judge her on decisions that she makes. I would need to listen to what Judy has to say, be supportive and reinforce her right to take control and make decisions for herself. Letting her know that she can feel free to talk about her abuse. I would let her know that she is not alone and that there are others that have been in the same situation as she is in. I would help her to make a safety plan that she can put into action if needed. I would give Judy phone numbers that she can ring when she needs to. Helping Judy feel safe and letting her know that she is not alone, will reassure her.
6. What cultural issues may you need to consider when working with Judy? I would have to consider Judy’s aboriginal background and the fact they we were brought up differently. We have different beliefs and cultures. I would need to be sensitive to Judy’s needs and cultural differences.
7. How might your own values and beliefs impact on your ability to work with Judy? How might you overcome these? I would need to make sure that I was emotionally and qualified to help in this situation. I need to make sure that I put my own values aside and not make judgements of Judy. I have to recognise my own limitations and to know when this is impacting on the counselling sessions. Being aware of my own perspective of the situation helps me to recognise my own biases and values. I could overcome them by talking to my supervisor, this will benefit me and the client. If I could not overcome my own values and beliefs I must refer the client, as the client would not benefit having me as a counsellor. I have to take into account of the law and any changes to legislation.
8. What aspects of this situation might a counsellor be required to keep records of and/or report on? I would need to keep records of her name, address, what happened, when it happened and what steps were taken. I would need to keep records of anything that may be used in a legal situation. If any police/medical reports were made. I would need to keep records of all domestic violence situations that I have been told about.
9. What referral options might you consider for Judy?
Some of the options for Judy is the domestic hotline, aboriginal liaison officer, mental health, Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service, drug and alcohol centre. I would find out if they have women’s patrols and sobering-up shelters in her area, as this would take into account her aboriginal background and remove her brother from the home without putting him in jail, I could also find out if there is a program that would help “heal” the offender. I would also advise Judy of Centrelink and the housing commission, as she and her brother may not be aware of the help that they could receive from them. I would give Judy a list of organisations who she could ring if she needed to. I would also speak to my supervisor.