Personal Biases with Diverse Groups
Personal biases can hinder a social worker from being effective at helping clients. It is important for a social worker to have self-awareness of their own preconceptions and not transfer those feelings onto their clients. Self-awareness is a conscious knowledge of an individuals personal worldview and life experiences that have shaped their own behaviors and how they can perceive another as a result of the preconceived ideas (Schriver, 2011). As a social worker my own prejudices about the poor is mixture of conservatism and liberalism because I believe that both internal and external factors contribute to oppression of the marginalized groups. Being a member of a minority group such as a person of color, a woman, a person with a disability makes one more likely to be poor in the United States than a person who is a member of the dominant group (Schriver, 2011). According to Schriver (2011) awareness must lead to action in order to change the social and economic justice of the oppressed population.
I have an empathy and understanding of what it is like to struggle financially, be judge by the sins of others and what it feels like to be poor, because I was raised in a family that was poor. I am the youngest child of a family of nine children and my parents had a sixth and eighth grade education. In my family education was not important and it did not matter if you did well in school. I was the second child to graduate from high school and the first to graduate from college. I can appreciate the experiences of a person with a family history of substance abuse and addiction because I have my own personal knowledge of what addiction does to a family and how it impacts the person and the entire family because I am a product of this type of environment. I understand what it is like to be poor and do not feel a person should be are being blamed for being poor. A child cannot control their environment and it is not their fault if they are poor. However, I do feel as an adult you have choices that do affect your life and that it is up to the individual to improve their own life circumstances. If you are mentally or physically disabled then you are limited and do not have control over certain situations that can improve your quality of life.
A person can choose to be bitter, resentful and blame their life experiences on the behavior of others have or they can change their life by setting boundaries and making better choices. I have chosen forgiveness over hate, I believe hate keep a person trapped and eats away at a person’s soul. I was a bitter and angry person in my late teens and early twenties. I blamed my family members for certain life conditions and I had to grieve for the family I always wanted but never had and choose to make my life the best I could. I realized that my parents did the best they could with the resources that they had available. My mother could not teach me self-love and...