Helping Relationship

Scenario

: Asal (Service User) You are a 23-year-old female refugee from Afghanistan. To provide a better life  for your two children, you recently fled to the United States. You and your preschool-age children were constantly at risk in Afghanistan. You made the  decision to leave after being held at gunpoint by a group of vandals. Your  husband was in strong disagreement with your leaving—threatening to kill you  and take the children. Then one night when he was asleep, you and the children  silently snuck out. You are emotionally and physically exhausted at this point and  become triggered when you talk about the process of leaving Afghanistan. Your  hands start to shake and you begin stuttering, and therefore you typically avoid  talking about it. You have come to the Immigrant Welcome Center because you and your  children are in need of services. At this point, you are not fully documented, are  unemployed, have little money, and are residing in a shelter with other Afghan  refugees. You refuse to disclose the location of the shelter because you don’t want to risk anyone being detained or deported. “That would be the end of me,”  you think. You need to convey your situation and needs to the practitioner  assigned to your case, but you remain reticent to divulge too much.

Role: Practitioner  You work as a human services professional practitioner for the Immigrant  Welcome Center, a nonprofit organization that supports new immigrants and  connects them to services in the community. You first need to get an idea of what  each service user needs physically, economically, legally, and emotionally before  you can best help. Your next meeting is with Asal, a refugee from Afghanistan. What kinds of questions do you ask to determine Asal’s needs and coordinate  assistance? And how do you approach her with cultural humility?

 

Your role-play as a human services professional practitioner in which you engage with the service user (your partner). Be sure to do the following:

  • Demonstrate foundational and advanced skills as you interact with the service user, respond to needs, and consider goals or solutions.
  • Ask effective questions to advance the relationship and adapt based on the information the service user provides.