Read the following hypothetical case scenario, and using literature covered over the semester and relevant government and organization data and reports (NO Wikipedia), address the questions below the case in your responses:
You are a community-based agency caseworker (e.g., United Way funded community based program) who is contacted by the local police department in reference to Marcus P., a sixteen year-old Black homeless adolescent from a small rural town about 100 miles away. He was picked up for shoplifting at a local grocery store, but during the police interview, they learn about his history and age and refer him to you for assessment and assistance.
You learn from Marcus that his conservative Christian family kicked him out of the house upon learning that he was gay from conversations he was having on his Facebook page. Both of his parents were afraid that his sexual orientation would become known in the community and in their church and they feared being ostracized and ridiculed. They believe his homosexuality is sinful and they told Marcus he was going to hell. He is the youngest child in his family, with an older sister named Samantha who had long since moved out, but Marcus doesn’t know where she moved. Samantha refuses to stay in contact with the family, as she has abandoned their parents’ restrictive and rigid perspectives. She had often spoken of moving to Atlanta eventually, and he suspects that’s where she might be, but he has no way of knowing for certain.
He has come to your town (or city) because he was confused and without any type of plan, and he hopped on a bus with what money he had- about $70. He ended up on the outskirts of your location with no more bus fare money. Now he is essentially lost and knows no one. He was caught shoplifting because he was hungry and he tried to steal a sandwich from the deli case. He has been here for five days, has eaten very little, and he is dehydrated.
Marcus describes his current situation as “hopeless, homeless, and flat broke.” He presents as depressed and emotionally labile. He is deeply hurt by his parents’ rejection and he doesn’t know what to do next. He had come to terms with his sexuality, but his parents’ reaction shocked and scared him. “I never thought they could do this to their own son,” he said, weeping. When asked about his peers and his academics, Marcus said he had a couple of close friends, one of whom was also gay, but that he largely kept to himself because he also didn’t know how others in his small rural community would treat him if they knew he was gay. He was a good student before he was kicked out, current in his work and grade level. He described himself as smart, funny, and athletic. He likes his math and social science classes the most, and would like to teach math someday. He is articulate in describing his situation to you, but he is terrified about his predicament and at times, breaks down into tears during your assessment. You learn that he had been abusing alcohol with his few friends before he left town. He also admitted to having unprotected sex with the friend with whom he had been chatting on Facebook that revealed his orientation to his parents. The relationship was not serious, but Marcus wanted to experiment sexually. At this time, he is fairly certain that his family would not
allow him to return home, as they were adamant about kicking him out. He doesn’t think he would want to return even if they did. He really misses his sister and wonders how she is faring on her own.
Identify a real-life 1) rural community or a 2) metropolitan area. This will be Marcus’ destination location- where you are living and working as a caseworker. Take care to choose one that you can adequately research online through state, county, city or regional government and organizational websites (that is, perhaps do a “test run” with some internet searching to determine that there is adequate information available). You may actually choose to call some service providers or agencies for further information. Online or hard copy phone books will also be helpful resources (as noted in your literature).
Using information collected, and further supported by the academic literature, please complete the following:
1. Using Census data and information, describe the real-life rural or urban community you chose from within which to hypothetically intervene in Marcus’ situation. Include total population, size (square miles), key industry, education level, employment rate, and total numbers of residents in poverty. These data may not be available at the city level if you choose a rural town- if so, use county level data.
2. Marcus is a Black adolescent who came from a rural community, is underage, and is newly transplanted to your big city or rural town. Notably, he is also homeless and needs both academic and social services support, as well as likely mental health intervention to process what has happened to him. He is newly accepting of his homosexuality. What does the academic literature indicate may be potential barriers to intervention in your chosen location for him?
3. From the academic literature on assets and strengths-based practice (see Kretzmann & McKnight, Intro to Asset Mapping, “227 asset mapping,” Capacity Inventory all available under “Resources” in Sakai), what assets does Marcus possess? How might you use these or build on these strengths to improve his situation?
4. From your community investigation (online or otherwise), what resources are available to help Marcus become stable and self-sufficient? What resources are lacking? What does the literature indicate may be problematic in accessing and using resources in your chosen location (dependent on which type of community you chose, urban or rural)? What informal resources (as opposed to professional social services) may be tapped in your community to help Marcus?
By literature, I mean the readings over the course of the semester, both in textbooks “Rural Social Work Building and sustaining community capacity 2nd edition T. Laine Scales (Editor), Calvin L. Streeter (Editor), H. Stephen Cooper (Editor)
August 2013, ©2014
Urban Social worker An introduction to policy and practice in the cities.
Authors:Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner, Norma Kolko Phillips, Shulamith Lala Straussner
You may supplement this literature with University library electronic journal database searching of your own, but limit your use of website sources to specifically investigating and describing characteristics of the real-life community you chose. Complete this assignment in 12 point font, APA style with in-text citations and a references cited page.