Dilemmas

Dilemmas are present in virtually every aspect of life, certainly in social work. Often, we must first identify what the dilemma is when we are faced with a complex scenario. Given the following scenario, write a discussion thread identifying what the dilemma is for you, and what makes this a dilemma. What makes this challenging for you personally? Keep in mind, a dilemma is simply a difficult decision that often leaves us aware that despite our best efforts, someone may be harmed by our decision.

In this scenario you are a school social worker that has been working with Maria, a 14-year-old student that you have been seeing weekly for 5 months. Maria’s parents are navigating a divorce, and Maria has been struggling with depressive episodes as well as impulse control issues. Maria often speaks to you about her anger, and how quickly she snaps on classmates that make her angry. She hates this response, and often feel powerless in her responses. “It’s like the anger takes over, and I don’t even know where it comes from….like I can’t control it….and I hate that, I promise I’m not a mean person,” she relates to you in a session. Today, the principal of the school stops in your office and says that he is concerned about Maria’s tendency to fight and respond with anger. He shares that he has a responsibility to keep students safe, and he needs to know more of Maria’s story in an attempt to make the school a safe place. “Can you just give me her file and your notes so that I can go over them? I just need to know what’s going on,” he says.

Your initial thread must demonstrate that you can identify dilemmas within complex scenarios. Additionally, you must demonstrate thoughtfulness, self-awareness and insight. Simply writing a choice to make here is not sufficient, you must discuss why this is challenging as well as what challenges you in the dilemma. Social workers demonstrate self-awareness which incorporates the understanding that our own perspectives always influence our decision making.

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