Being open to the culture of service receivers is crucial for advanced human service providers. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW, 2015), culture includes a wide variety of aspects, such as history, traditions, values, family systems, immigration and refugee status, religion and spirituality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, social class, and abilities. While a service provider cannot be aware of the peculiarities of all aspects of Linda’s cultural background, the practitioner should stay open to the possible differences in perception due to the differences in culture. This implies that, while addressing Linda’s complex needs, the service provider should be self-aware of the possible biases, be ready to learn about the situation from the service user, and avoid making assumptions about the service user based on the similar experience with clients of similar cultural background (NASW, 2015). The two most important cultural aspects that the service provided should focus on are the veteran status of the service user and her status as a single mother. The fact that Linda is a veteran can explain her possible physical and psychological conditions, while her being a mother can explain her motivation.
There are several ethical responsibilities that a human service provider has before the client mentioned in ethical standards for human services professionals. According to the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS, 2015), human service providers should build on client’s strengths (Standard 1), obtain informed consents (Standard 2), protect the client’s privacy (Standard 3), avoid having non-professional relationships (Standards 5 and 6), and avoid imposing one’s own values and beliefs (Standard 7). These ethical standards are crucial for ensuring functional provider-receiver relationships and protecting the client from possible dangers. In other words, these standards help to ensure that the top-quality service is provided.
National Association of Social Workers. (2015). Standards and indicator for cultural competence in social work practice.
National Organization of Human Services. (2015). Ethical standards for human services professionals.