Out of Comfort Zone Paper
One of the goals of this course is to push students out of their own comfort zones. Therefore, students will write a short paper (4-6 pages) in APA format based on their visit to a place that is out of their comfort zone. Students will choose a place to visit where they will not feel entirely comfortable, and after they visit, will write a paper describing the experience. Some example choices include: a mosque; a temple (Jewish, Buddhist, etc.); white, black, or Hispanic meeting; a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBTQ) gathering; spending all day without speaking (to experience a disability firsthand); or going through the intake process at a homeless shelter, among others. You must include the following sections in your paper: 1) Introduction—include why you chose this particular experience that you’re writing about as well as the details of when and where it took place, 2) Your thoughts, feelings, apprehensions, and preconceived notions prior to the experience, 3) A detailed description of the experience, including your thoughts and feelings throughout, interactions with others, etc., 4) Any –isms you noticed or experienced, 5) What you learned from the experience and how this experience will impact your future practice, and 6) Conclusion. The paper is worth a total of (100) points. Addresses Core Competencies 2, 3, and 9
COMPETENCY 2: ENGAGE DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCE IN PRACTICE
Social workers understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors, including but not limited to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. Social workers understand that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. Social workers also understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination, and recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values, including social, economic, political, and cultural exclusions, may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power.
COMPETENCY 3: ADVANCE HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Social workers understand that every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers understand the global interconnections of oppression and human rights violations, and are knowledgeable about theories of human need and social justice and strategies to promote social and economic justice and human rights. Social workers understand strategies designed to eliminate oppressive structural barriers to ensure that social goods, rights, and responsibilities are distributed equitably and that civil, political, environmental, economic, social, and cultural human rights are protected.
COMPETENCY 9: EVALUATE PRACTICE WITH INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES Social workers understand that evaluation is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers recognize the importance of evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy, and service delivery effectiveness. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in evaluating outcomes. Social workers understand qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating outcomes and practice effectiveness.
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