PART II – SUMMARY OF FIELD EXPERIENCE PAPER:
The purpose of this coursework is to give a summary of my field experience at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. My summary will address several issues like giving a description of my placement activities in terms of the agency as well as the tasks of the staffs at the site. The summary will also mention my role at the placement site and how I fitted into the existing team at the agency. It will also be necessary to give an assessment of the services that Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY provides with some attention on whether there are any diverse-related issues in the population being served at Women’s Shelter Frankfort. This summary will also identify some ethical issues that arise at the site and how I managed to deal with them, especially issues like confidentiality.
There is a need to cite and give a description of some relevant ethical codes for the American Psychological Association and the American Counselling Association. In this coursework, I also purpose to identify some theoretical constructs learnt from my course, and give an explanation on whether these constructs have influenced my observation and behaviour towards the population at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. It will also be necessary to explain lessons that I have learnt and how they fit into my future career goals with a mention on whether I will consider working in this field after graduation.
After giving a detailed description of the experience at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, there is need to provide a reflective summary which will explain what I have learnt about the agency and the population that this agency serves. I will also give an explanation of my personal lessons as well as those concerning the influence of the community, society, agency, and the diverse needs of the population being served at Women’s Shelter Frankfort, KY.
Description of the Placement Agency – Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY
The Women Shelter Frankfort KY is an agency that offers refuge to victims of abuse like rape and domestic violence, mainly to women and children. This placement agency acts as a safe haven for the victims of rape and domestic violence among other forms of abuse. It is also important to note that the agency collaborates with the community through advocacy and empowerment as a means of protecting women and children from various forms of abuse like rape and physical abuse. It is therefore evident to point out that The Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY is a placement agency that assists to make the lives of women and children who are victims of abuse better in one way or the other.
One of the outstanding things about the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, is that it is an agency that gives services to its clients regardless of their age, race or even ethnic group. According to Sullivan and Bybee (1999), most women and children at the shelter are incapable of meeting their needs due to their socio-economic status. For this reason, therefore, they become financially, materially, and even emotionally dependent on other people. It is important to point out that many of the clients at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY admitted to have stuck in abusive relationship for a longer than the desired time due to their inability to meet even the most basic among needs. The reason for this is the fact that they are not financially able and they wonder how they will survive supposing they leave their abusive partners.
According to Baker et al. (2003), there is a direct relationship between domestic violence and the issue of homelessness. It is therefore necessary to point out that placement agencies like the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY play a major role in giving refuge to the less fortunate victims of abuse like rape and domestic violence among other forms of abuse.
My Role at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY
Among the requirements of the coursework is to explain your role at the placement and how I fit into the team of Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. It is important to mention that my Bachelor of Arts course, Psychology Programme has assisted me to become an all round individual who can take on many roles as long as I get proper orientation of these tasks.
I have diverse responsibilities at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY and I always endeavour to work with excellence in an endeavour to meet the needs of the clients. Some of the responsibilities that I take on at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY includes but is not limited to the following. Organizing and co-ordinating the Women Empowerment Meetings, holding Anonymous Addiction Meetings, giving assistance to clients who make hotline calls, attending eviction court sessions for data collection, organizing Community Advocacy Meetings, Holding fundraisings, and co-ordinating Volunteer Appreciation Events (Larry et al. 2004).
I am glad to note that I fit perfectly well into the team that works at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY due to the proper teaching, training, and equipping that I am receiving through the Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Programme. In addition to my training, the team of staff working at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort are professionals and they value other people’s input. For this reason, therefore, I have managed to fit well into the team and together we work towards making the services at The Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY better.
Assessment of Services Provided at Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY
It is necessary to make an assessment of the services provide at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY.
One of the services of the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY includes shelter provision for the homeless. Baker et al. (2003) observes that domestic abuse and violence have a direct link to cases of homelessness. Most of the victims of abuse and rape end up homeless. This is where an agency like the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY comes in to offer refuge for these victims of violence and rape among other abuses.
The Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY also offers services like the homeless resources that include transitional resources for the homeless. It is necessary to offer transitional resources so that after the even after their stay at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, the victims of domestic violence like rape and other forms of abuse do not remain homeless.
Another service that is provided by the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY is a center for clinic and treatment for the homeless. This kind of a service assists in reaching out to the victims of domestic violence and abuse through the provision of healthcare services.
Alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment is yet another service that is provided by the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. This particular service assists in taking the clients of the placement agency to go through the process of rehabilitation from any form of addiction. This is a very crucial service in that it assists in helping the victims to get back on their feet on the road to recovery.
Diverse-Related Issues in the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY
There is need to discuss any diverse-related issues that I saw as reflected in the population that I was serving at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. During my service at the placement agency of Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, I noticed that the population of the clients seeking services at the shelter is diverse in various ways.
The diverse-related issues at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY are in form of age, race, ethnicity and even the socio-economic backgrounds. The clients that make up the population of the placement agency are of different ages with the youngest being zero years and the oldest being 56 years. It is also important to note that diversity is also evident in terms of race and ethnicity with a major percentage consisting of the Hispanic. Regardless of the diversity-related issues at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, this placement agency does not discriminate against people because of their age, race, ethnicity, or even social background. This site has a commitment to ensure that everyone who consists of the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY receives equal treatment and this is a virtue that the team working at the agency adhere to at all times and in every situation.
Despite the diversity in terms of age, race, ethnicity and socio-economic status at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY, it is important to point out that the repercussions of homelessness on future cuts across all the clients of the placement agency. According to Turnbull et al. (2007), homelessness was previously a problem associated with adult males who are alcoholic. However, the problem now embraces the diverse group of clients at the placement agency. Some of the homeless people are single mothers, adolescents, elderly people, unemployed people and even the immigrants who have moved into the country recently.
Ethical Issues Arising at Women’s Shelter Frankfort
It is necessary for me to identify any ethical issues that I witnessed while offering my services to The Women’s Shelter Frankfort. The most outstanding ethical issue was one with regard to confidentiality. Barrett (2013) observes that placement agencies like the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY should put issues like confidentiality among other ethical issues into consideration when admitting the homeless into the shelter.
Confidentiality is one of the ethical issues that I came across while giving services at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. According to Meade and Slesnick (2002), it is necessary for people working in placement agencies like the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY to embrace all the ethical issues as a reflection of professionalism in their day-to-day activities.
The case that I encountered while working at the placement agency involves a 30 year-old woman who had recently joined the shelter. This woman was a victim of domestic violence in the form of physical and sexual abuse from the husband who was a chronic drunkard. Things became worse and this lady made a choice to come and seek refuge from Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY. Since I was the one on duty at the Administration Office, the woman walked in looking all battered up. When I began asking her some questions concerning her case, she was reluctant saying that she feared that her husband may get information of having exposed her to other people and this made her fear that he may come for her again. It was at this point that I gave the woman my word that I would treat all the information that she gives me with confidentiality. After giving the woman my word, she was now at ease and with tears flowing freely from her eyes; she narrated for me how it all began. It gives me much joy to point out that to-date, the woman has recovered from the pain, anger and bitterness that she had harboured for so long.
Relevant Code of Ethics
It is important to cite and give a description of the codes of ethics that are relevant from both the American Psychological Association and the American Counselling Association.
American Counselling Association
According to the American Counselling Association (2014), it is important to promote development of professional counselling in an effort to ensure promotion of dignity and diversity among human beings.
Confidentiality and privacy is among the code of ethics by the American Counselling Association that is a requirement for the counsellors in their lines of operation as they serve people.
Professional Responsibility is yet another code of ethics that governs counsellors. The American Counselling Association demands for every counsellor to ensure that they practice professional responsibility while serving in places like the Women’s Shelter Frankfort.
Non-discrimination is yet another code of ethics that governs the counsellors. While carrying out their professional work, the counsellors must not discriminate against people based on issues like age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and marital or partnership status among other issues.
American Psychological Association
According to the American Psychological Association, the code of ethics is not limited to clinical psychologists only, it applies to all psychologists of all specialties. Some of the codes of ethics include confidentiality, fidelity and responsibility, integrity and justice among other codes of ethics. With regard to integrity, it is necessary for the professional counsellors to promote honesty and truthfulness while performing their duties.
Theoretical Constructs of Psychology
There are several theoretical constructs that I have learned from my Bachelor of Arts in the Psychological Programme. According to Akang (2012), some of the theoretical constructs include explanatory power, descriptive ability, clarity, comprehension, and integration among others. These theoretical constructs have influenced my service positively. For instance, comprehension is one of the constructs that have allowed me to understand the clients of Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY in a better way. These lessons will be helpful supposing I wish to continue in this line of service after my graduation as they will help me to offer better services to my clients.
It is important to mention that my service at the Women’s Shelter Frankfort KY has been a great and positive influence in my life. I have learnt that the clients at the shelter are individuals who crave for love, care and attention. I am glad to point out that I have learnt that the Women’s Shelter Frankfort plays a major role in the lives of these women and children. I have discovered that I am a people person and that my comprehension ability makes people to gain trust in me and this makes my services good.
Akang, Daniel Udo. (2012). Theoretical Constructs, Concepts, and Applications. American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 2, No. 9, Pp 89-97.
American Counselling Association. (2014). 2014 ACA Code of Ethics: As Approved by the ACA Governing Council. Retrieved from www.counselling.org
Baker, C. K., Cook, S. L., & Norris, F. H. (2003). Domestic Violence and Housing Problems. Violence against Women. Vol. 9, No. 7, Pp 754-783.
Barrett, Tayler Dane. (2013). Shelter for Good?: Examining the Ethical Issues of Housing First for Homeless Substance Abusers. A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of University of Minnesota. Retrieved from conversancy.umn.edu
Larry, Bennet, Stephanie R., Paul, S., Howard, A. & Sharon Wasco. (2004). Effectiveness of Hotline, Advocacy, Counselling, and Shelter Services for Victims of Domestic Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Pp 815-829.
Meade, Melissa A. & Slesnick, Natasha. (2002). Ethical Considerations for Research and Treatment with Runaway and Homeless Adolescents. The Journal of Psychology. Vol. 136, No. 4, Pp. 449-463.
Sullivan, C.M & Bybee, D. I. (1999). Reducing Violence using Community-Based Advocacy for Women with Abusive Partners. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Vol. 67, Pp 43-53.
Turnbull, Jeffrey, Muckle, Wendy, & Masters, Christina. (2007). Homelessness and Health. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Vol. 177, No. 9, Pp 1065-1066.