SOAD9102 Social Work with Diverse Populations
You work in a community-based organisation that provides a range of services including individual counselling, group work, educational programs and advocacy to people living in the area. You have good relationships with local services and institutions including police, education, health and allied health.
The community in whichyou work has high rates of unemployment, particularly for young people and older people. There are high rates of poverty and intergenerational disadvantage. The community in which you work is located 45 minutes by car from Adelaide and public transport is somewhat accessible and includes rail and bus links.
You are about to meet with Alexi. Alexi is aged 59, was born in Adelaide, and has recently returned to the area to care for her mother.
Greta lives at home and has been diagnosed with depression. Greta was born in Italy and immigrated to the area in the 1960s with her then husband.
The husband and Greta divorced not long after Alexi was born, and Alexi lived with Greta until she was 16 years old. That was when Alexi and Greta clashed.
At the time, Greta refused to accept that Alexi’s gender identity was female, rather than the gender assigned to her at birth (male). This led to Alexi moving to Sydney to live with her father who embraced his daughter’s identity and helped her access medical and financial support for her transition.
Up until recently, Alexi was living in Sydney where she worked as a chef and was very socially connected. Alexi has a mortgage on a small flat in Sydney and is renting it out while she stays in Adelaide with her mother. How long she will stay is unknown.
Alexi was recently hospitalised after a physical assault at a local pub. The police inquiries are continuing however no charges have been laid. Alexi reported that this was a targeted, transphobic attack and that she hates being back in the area as it “brings it all back”. Alexi has made a physical recovery however she is having trouble sleeping and reports feeling unsafe in the area and just wanting to be back in Sydney with her community. Alexi would like to talk to someone because she feels trapped and unable to go out. She has been to a GP who has diagnosed her with depression and anxiety. Alexi said she feels pressured to care for her mother as “there is no one else”.
1. Using an intersectional lens, name the identity categories relevant to Alexi. (You can draw this textually, and no references are required).
2. Thinking about aspects of Alexi’s identity, what do we know about these identities? Think about patterns of inequality and the connection between individual experiences and broader social issues. Here you need to name areas of inequality/ oppression and use references to back up your claims.
3. Being tentative about your approach, outline how you might approach your work with Alexi. Use references to justify your approach and draw from the points you raised in question 2. Include work at the individual level but potential work at a broader/ structural / community level.