Read the following case situation which was presented by a team member who is a social worker during a recent team meeting:
The client is a 21-year-old university student, currently
living in the home of her parents. The young woman was eight years of
age when her parents immigrated to the United States. Even though they
have accepted many US customs, they are reluctant to give up customs and
beliefs from their country of origin. In fact, the parents believe
that some of the US values are problematic for the family, and they have
been selective in the values that they embrace.
In the initial session with the social worker, the client
talked about her desire to move into her own apartment closer to the
university campus. In her culture, it is common for a single female to
live in the home of her parents until she is married. So the question
of her moving out and living alone is out of the question. When she
talked to her parents about her desire to live alone, her father
threatened to make her quit her studies at the university, believing
that she had been unduly influenced by popular US culture.
The young woman works part-time on campus, so she would have
the financial resources to rent an efficiency apartment. Her finances
are, however, limited by other factors. For example, she tells you that
one implicit family rule is that all family members contribute a
portion of their earning to help the part of the family living in their
country of origin.
The social worker who presented the case believed that the
family rules were rigid, and further that the attitude of the parents
shortchanged the direction that the client wanted to take in her life.
The social worker also asserted that she should have the right to pursue
her own goals, which included managing the money that the client
earned. In concluding the case presentation, the social worker
indicated that she had encouraged the client to pursue a goal of
achieving independence. She also asked the client’s permission to meet
with her parents so that she could educate them about the rights of
young adults in the US.
1. What is your initial reaction to the situation?
2. What are the beliefs and values that guided the social worker’s perspective in this case?
3. Discuss the clash between the specific values clash of the parents and the values of Western society.
4. Describe the ways in which the parents manage the family’s internal and external boundaries.
5. Describe the implicit rules and decision-making patterns in the family that govern family members’ behavior.
6. As you listened to the team member’s review of the case, what comments would you have wanted to make?
****Do really well on this assignment!