Assumptions, own personal assumptions, values, and biases as

Assumptions, Values, and Biases

Kelly Largent

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Walden University

Assumptions, Values, and Biases

The purpose of this assignment is to discuss the concepts of
assumptions, values, and biases within the field of human services. Throughout this
discussion the author will define each of these terms. Furthermore, the author
will identify their own personal assumptions, values, and biases as they relate
to human services. These examples will be backed up by self-assessment.
Additionally, suggestions will be made as to how to ensure ethical, culturally
competent, professional behaviors.

Definitions of Assumptions, Values and Biases

When considering the terms Assumptions, values and biases,
all definitions tie back to the overarching concept of ethical behavior. Within
the field of human services there are many varying areas that come together in
collaboration to provide services to clients. Each specific service area has
their own ethical code that acts as guidelines for proper behavior as a
professional. Additional the National Organization of Human Services also has
an ethical code that encompasses all human services areas. This code covers all
potential ethical challenges that a HSP may face including those related to
provider biases, values, and assumptions (National Organization of Human
Services, n.d.). A predominant issue that is present in human services related
to biases is based on differences in culture between client/family/couple and
the human services professional. Specifically, when considered that the
majority of HSPs are Caucasian and have at some point experienced white
privilege there can be tension and resistance between a Caucasian HSP and a
minority client (Sue, Sue, & Sue, 2003). Due to this being a known factor, it
must be taken into consideration when working with clients of different cultures.
Additionally, human services professionals must acknowledge their own personal
biases and manage them as to not affect the quality of care provided to their
clients in order to remain an ethical professional (Wetchler & Hecker,

Personal Obstacles

When considering what personal
filters or biases I may have that could impact my ability to work with couples
or families, I had a somewhat difficult time. I consider myself a very
accepting individual, specifically when it comes to hot topic areas like same
sex relationships, interracial relationship, and adoption. While contemplating
what type of client issue would trigger a negative reaction from myself as a
Human Services Profesional I discovered that my openness to all individuals’
uniqueness, may could in fact cause a problem in some family settings. HSPs
must take into consideration the values and beliefs of the family that they are
assisting (Thomilson, 2016). Keeping that in mind I could see how my ability to
accept everyone could present a problem, for example in a case where a family
was seeking counseling services due to their displeasure with their child coming
out about a difference in their sexual orientation, or perceived sexual
identity. Another potential bias that may be present when working with couples
or families, is that I am a cis female, who is in a heterosexual marriage that
was raised as an only child of a traditional family unit. My personal
inexperience with no traditional family and couple systems could cause me to be
uninformed about the lice cycles and experiences of clients from a differing

Cultural Competence

The level of culture competence of a HSP can greatly impact
the way that they assess and diagnose clients. Being aware of the details of a
client’s culture is a crucial part of the assessment process. There are many
cultural norms that could be construed as abnormal behaviors if taken out of
the cultural context (Sue & Sue, 2013). Perceiving any client from the view
of a cultural assumption or stereotype can seriously harm the therapeutic
relationship. It is very important to keep personal biases and preconceived
notions in check before entering a therapeutic relationship with a client of a
different culture. Although I feel these issues most likely present themselves
when working a client of a differing culture I feel that it can also happen
when caring for a client of the same culture. I feel that it is important not
to every approach a client with any expectations regarding how their culture affects
them. Instead I feel that the HSP should always look to client for guidance to
their cultural influences, practices, and beliefs.

Ethical Practices

The concept of ethical codes has been presented in many cultures
throughout history. Ethics and philosophies go hand in hand with each other.
Many of the ethical principles used by current Human Services Professionals stem
from the ideas of ancient philosophers (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). These
philosophical origins helped to shape guidelines for individual’s actions which
led to the creation of ethical theories (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). Ethical
theories are a fundamental component of being a successful Human Services
Professional. By establishing and identifying with an ethical theory/code it
allows for you to have a framework of options for dealing with problems of an
ethical nature (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). There is a very strong
connection between ever changing cultural norms and ethical standards in human
services. This connection is the basis for the code of ethics to be revised
frequently (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). It is important to the profession of
human services that we are open and accepting of evolving cultural differences.
Additionally, the ever changing nature of this profession and its ethical
standard results in ununiformed thinking and multiple differing ethical codes (Remley
& Herlihy, 2014).

National Organization for Human
Services. (n.d) Ethical Standards for Human Service
Professionals. Retrieved from

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