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Question Description

I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

In addition to working directly with clients, human service professionals also work with a variety of systems (political, economic, educational, legal), organizations, and key stakeholders. For this week’s discussion, you will examine cultural competence and how it is beneficial when advocating for children and their families. You will also explore agency operations and the role stakeholders play in the advocacy process.

Please respond to the following:

Define what cultural competence is, and describe how it is beneficial when advocating for children and their families.

Identify an issue that impacts children and their families. Discuss how this issue may be related to the operations of an agency and analyze how a human service professional may advocate for something within the agency to be changed in order to benefit children and their family members.

Discuss why it is important to engage key stakeholders in the advocacy process.

Examine three generalist skills that you believe are essential when advocating for children and their families. Explain why you selected the skills identified.

Define what cultural competence is and describe how it is
beneficial when advocating for children and their families.
Cultural competency is the ability of an individual and a system to
respond effectively and respectfully to people from various
backgrounds, classes, ethnicities, cultures, sexual preferences, and
religious faiths in a way that recognizes, asserts, and values the
significance of people, households, tribal groups, and societies, as well
as safeguards and conserves their dignity (McPhatter, 2018). In
addition, a definition of cultural competency in human services should
take age into account, especially in the case of children transitioning
out of the system (McPhatter, 2018).
Cultural competency entails language fluency and a willingness to
assimilate cultural understanding into practices and policies. Advocacy
individuals and organizations for families and children should have an
established set of principles, beliefs, behaviors, dispositions, policies,
and frameworks enabling people to work cross-culturally productively.
Individuals and organizations must respect diversity, examine
themselves, manage differential dynamics, develop and formalize
cultural knowledge, and conform to variety and the contextual issues of
the people they serve (McPhatter, 2018). They must also implement
those mentioned above into all elements of policymaking, governance,
practice, and provision of services and systematically engage
individuals, important stakeholders, and the community.
Identify an issue that impacts children and their families. Discuss
how this issue may be related to the operations of an agency and
analyze how a human service professional may advocate for
something within the agency to be changed in order to benefit
children and their family members.
Child maltreatment, also known as child abuse, is a common
occurrence. Recognizing and mitigating the risks of the vice and being
able to identify signs of mistreatment is critical. Every year, cases of
child abuse affect millions of children. Abusive behavior is most
prevalent in children under the age of one year (Christian et al., 2020).
Neglect is the most common complaint filed with relevant
organizations, followed closely by sexual and physical abuse. Human
service professionals could initiate child protection advocacy, focusing
on strengthening existing systems and advocating for more robust
legal systems to improve the safety and protection of children in the
community. Child protection advocacy strengthens the supportive
environment for children and families to promote their well-being and
fulfill their right to safety (Christian et al., 2020).
Discuss why it is important to engage key stakeholders in the
advocacy process.
The importance of interagency collaboration and stakeholder
participation in child welfare has grown over the last two decades.
Child welfare organizations, other child and family-serving
organizations, and civic organizations can work together to provide a
coordinated and comprehensive array of support and services to meet
the complex needs while leveraging their respective strengths (Kenkel
& Couling, 2006). Stakeholder involvement also helps organizations
work more efficiently by maximizing current resources and avoiding
duplication and redundancy. Participation also helps to establish a
sense of collective responsibility for ensuring continuity, safety, and
Children and families are both stakeholders. If children do not
participate, they may endanger themselves. Children who are excluded
from decision-making processes frequently feel vulnerable, lack selfesteem and courage, and are filled with remorse, anger, and fear
(Kenkel & Couling, 2006). Children expect human service professionals
to attend to them all and listen to their concerns and desires, thereby
improving their well-being.
Examine three generalist skills that you believe are essential when
advocating for children and their families. Explain why you
selected the skills identified.
Problem-Solving is the first step in advocacy. A human service
professional, for example, should be able to identify issues affecting a
specific population. They must also find solutions to the problems that
have been identified (Datta & IskandarDatta, 2014). For example, in the
case of child abuse and neglect, professionals should recognize the
problem as a significant issue affecting children and their families and
then develop procedures to address it.
Communication is another important generalist skill that plays a role
in advocacy and other human service-related activities. I believe that
the skill will be helpful for human service professionals because the job
requires a lot of interaction and discussion (Datta & IskandarDatta,
2014). In addition, it entails developing relationships and partnerships
to improve children’s well-being and ensure their safety and security in
the community.
Teamwork because advocacy in human services requires a great deal
of collaboration and partnerships; professionals in this field must work
effectively and productively in groups. They must understand how to
make significant contributions that help their teams achieve their goals.
Christian, C. W., Finck, K. R., Connolly, C., Jaffee, S., Greeson, J., Garcia,
A., & Watts, C. L. (2020). Tear down those walls: the future of
graduate education in child and family advocacy. International
Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice, 3(3),
Datta, S., & Iskandar‐Datta, M. (2014). Upper‐echelon executive human
capital and compensation: Generalist vs. specialist skills. Strategic
Management Journal, 35(12), 1853-1866.
Kenkel, D., & Couling, M. (2006). Child advocacy: A dialogue of
inclusion. Community Development Journal, 41(4), 481-491.
McPhatter, A. R. (2018). Cultural competence in child welfare: What is
it? How do we achieve it? What happens without it? In Serving
African American Children (pp. 251-274). Routledge.
Introduction to Cultural Competence
Cultural competence is the capability to engage appropriately and effectively in personal
and professional diverse settings (What is cultural competence, 2017). It means an individual
being aware of their cultural values and beliefs and being respectful and open-minded to
others’ thoughts (What is cultural competence, 2017). Overall, it is about recognizing and
admiring a culturally diverse environment (What is cultural competence, 2017).
Human service professionals will work with many children and families with different
beliefs, cultures, and ideas that they may not be familiar with (VCU, 2019). With cultural
competence, professionals can learn to help people with different opinions to overcome
limitations and help assist them in their needs (VCU, 2019). Professionals being competent in
cultures does not mean that they must understand every person’s culture (VCU, 2019). Still,
they must be open to understanding new beliefs, being informed, and asking questions as
needed (VCU, 2019).
When human service professionals utilize a person’s beliefs to assist them in their needs,
it can encourage professionals to use cultural competency in their work (VCU, 2019). Our
goal as professionals is to advocate for our clients and provide social activities, and by
understanding their beliefs, we can do that (VCU, 2019). The second importance of
understanding a client’s belief system is that it can help professionals be aware of their own
cultural beliefs (VCU, 2019). This can help them be self-aware of their influence in helping
people (VCU, 2019). The third importance of understanding a client’s belief system is to learn
more about the clients’ beliefs (VCU, 2019). Every professional should understand the person
they are assisting and their culture (VCU, 2019). A client can shed light on their beliefs,
religions and it can be used to give adequate care to them, which can have positive results
(VCU, 2019).
There are benefits of cultural competency when advocating for children and their
families. First, cultural competency gives a chance for children to establish a sense of self by
figuring out where they belong and being aware of what makes others different and similar
(Lorina, 2021). Cultural competency helps children and their families to interact with
different cultures (Lorina, 2021) positively. Interacting in this way can help their feelings and
actions towards diversity and celebrate an environment full of it (Lorina, 2021).
An Issue that Impacts Children and Their Families: Racism/Discrimination
Racism and discrimination can harm children in negative ways that can hurt their
physical health and their chances for a positive and engaging life (McCarthy, 2020). Racism
reinforces a person’s behaviors by looking at how a person seems to determine their value
(McCarthy, 2020). Racism endured and normalized colonization and slavery, despite human
biological similarities (McCarthy, 2020). People look for differences in each other and claim
who is more superior (McCarthy, 2020). Although times are very different from where they
are, oppression and beliefs based on racism still exist and continue (McCarthy, 2020).
Racism can lead to severe stress on children, and this chronic stress can negatively affect
a child’s hormones (McCarthy, 2020). If a mother experiences chronic stress during
pregnancy, it can be transferred to her child, and it can cause problems (McCarthy, 2020).
Chronic stress can affect children of immigrant families, with many living in continuous fear
of their parents being deported (McCarthy, 2020). Minority children (Black Americans,
Hispanic, and Indigenous) are more likely to live in low-income households and feel the
effects of unemployment from their parents than Caucasian children (McCarthy, 2020). This
means they are less exposed to quality housing, food, and access to an excellent education and
proper health care (McCarthy, 2020). These differences can increase their risk of health issues
and receiving less-than-quality education (McCarthy, 2020). Even when minority children
live in affluent areas, they can still be treated negatively by their teachers (McCarthy, 2020).
They are more likely to be severely punished for minor incidents, less likely to be recognized
for needing extra help, and some teachers may not identify their talents (McCarthy, 2020).
The juvenile justice system is another location where racism persists (McCarthy, 2020).
Minority children are more likely to be imprisoned and be negatively affected during their
incarceration and after (McCarthy, 2020). Jail can also change how a child views themselves
and how others view them (McCarthy, 2020). Discrimination not only happens based on what
someone looks like but their personal views, beliefs, religion, citizenship, disability, and
sexual preference (McCarthy, 2020). Children are severely affected by racism and
discrimination, which can harm them through multiple generations (McCarthy, 2020).
Discrimination is illegal in any nonprofit organization (Thompson, 2019). Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act is a federal discrimination law that prevents employers from discriminating
against people based on their age, gender, religion, ethnic background, skin color, disability,
and sexual orientation (Thompson, 2019). Types of harassment include employers hiring a
specific type of group, rejecting people with disabilities, and forming an unfavorable work
environment (Thompson, 2019). In a nonprofit organization that services children and their
families, discrimination can happen by staff members judging a family’s need for food
assistance and childcare. They can also gossip about a family’s situation to each other and
only allocate resources to certain members of a group. They can also create work policies that
are not inclusive and diverse. Lastly, an organization can be discriminative by only hiring
people of a particular ethnic group or specific sex or religion.
As a human service professional, I can advocate for change in the organization to benefit
children and their families in several ways. The biggest thing that I can do is report the
organization for discrimination. Discrimination is illegal in any organization, and a nonprofit
can lose its federal funding if convicted (Thompson, 2019). Discrimination is also a civil
offense, and people who are discriminated against can sue for damages and receive
compensation (Thompson, 2019).
The Advocacy Process with Key Stakeholders
When nonprofit administrators engage with stakeholders, quality policy decisions are
made (Field, 2017). An example of this is an organization involving their local communities
to help improve the way their company works since they know what may or may not work for
their town (Field, 2017). When local communities feel that they are heard by organizations
and given a chance to help, it can help them be better advocates to change (Field, 2017).
When administrators engage their stakeholders on their change plans, it can help rally support
and help push their agenda forward (Field, 2017). Effective listening and communication
between stakeholders, community members, and administrators can help the change occur
since the stakeholders are invested (Field, 2017).
Stakeholders can assist at every stage of change within an organization (from the first
approach to the completion of the project) (Field, 2017). Stakeholders can help form the idea
for change (Field, 2017). They can gain political support for the change and gather funding to
implement it (Field, 2017). If administrators include stakeholders through their process, it can
help benefit the organizations’ vision and mission (Field, 2017). Building advocacy doesn’t
happen overnight and is a drawn-out process (Field, 2017). Overall, it is about connecting and
forming solid relationships, effectively listening, and building strong partnerships that can
bring positive results for everyone (Field, 2017).
Generalist Skills
Three generalist skills that I believe are vital when advocating for children and their
families are:
1. Multiple Areas- is a word used to mean more than one place (Top 15 generalist skills,
2021). When advocating for children and their families, I can use this skill to help
families with multiple problems. I have experience working in domestic violence
shelters, medical clinics, and behavioral health facilities. Therefore, I can use my
knowledge of various areas (mentioned above) to assist my clients.
2. Customer Service- this is the method of helping current and potential consumers by
answering questions, problem-solving, and overall doing a great job servicing them
(Top 15 generalist skills, 2021). When it comes to advocating for children and their
families, I can use this skill to service all of their needs, and if I can’t, I refer them to a
human service professional that can. In addition, I can answer any reservations that
they may have about my companies’ service and be warm and welcoming.
3. Communication- is the act of professionally expressing their words and feelings to
people through expressions, movement, and comments (Top 15 generalist skills,
2021). For example, when advocating for children and their families, I can be clear
about what my company offers when servicing them, speak, have an open and inviting
physical appearance, and be kind when discussing information.
Field, J. (2017, August 2). Stakeholder engagement and advocacy key to infrastructure
projects. Infrastructure Intelligence. https://www.infrastructureintelligence.com/article/aug-2017/stakeholder-engagement-and-advocacy-keyinfrastructure-projects
Lorina. (2021, March 12). Cultural competence in early childhood settings. Aussie Childcare
Network. https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/articles/childcare-articles/culturalcompetence-in-early-childhoodsettings#:~:text=Cultural%20competence%20builds%20on%20the%20abilities%20th
McCarthy, C. (2020, January 8). How racism harms children. Harvard
Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-racism-harms-children2019091417788
Thompson, V. (2019, May). Can nonprofit organizations
discriminate? Bizfluent. https://bizfluent.com/can-nonprofit-organizationsdiscriminate-4438.html
Top 15 generalist skills. (2021, August 18). Zippia – Find Jobs, Salaries, Companies, Resume
Help, Career Paths and More. https://www.zippia.com/generalist-jobs/skills/
VCU. (2019, November 18). Why cultural competence in social work is a vital skill. Online
Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.) Program.
What is cultural competence? (2017). The University of Sydney.

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