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Teen Pregnancy: Human Services Ethics and
Interventions

Teen
pregnancy not only impacts the lives of young women but the lives of young men
as well.  In this Chapter there is a case
study of a teen parent named Gary, who just found out he is going to be a
father. Gary is a 17-year-old high school sophomore whose girlfriend just found
out she is pregnant, but there is a rough background in the life of Gary which
makes him face many obstacles.  The
environment that Gary comes from had a huge impact on how he reacted and his
decision making. Gary came from a very unstable and unhealthy family
background.  His mother is an alcoholic
and it did not help the fact that they were poor.  Mostly he had to take care of his mother
whenever she came drunk and had to watch out for his sister, also he was barely
making it in school.  In general, Gary
had a lot on his shoulders but going to the point all his background led him to
take accelerated steps in his life, like marrying his girlfriend and abandoning
school thinking that any of that could change the reality and would provide
some sort of stability in their lives. I believe he did not know exactly the
huge responsibility he was putting himself into, even though he did want to be
a father and assume his part, he was thinking irrationally by making
accelerated decisions that later did not change his reality.  

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If
Gary had an opportunity to work with a Human Services Professional his life,
behavior and decision making would have shifted in a different direction.  I believe that he would have made better
informed decisions along with the assistance of a Human Service provider like
counselors or social workers. The professional would aide with the necessary
resources for him to rely on.  For
example, look for ways to thrive in his current situation at home and how to
deal with his girlfriend’s pregnancy by providing them both information and
support services to take better decisions about their future and how to work
with the possible obstacles coming their way. 
The Human Services Professional can provide information on how to
balance school and work, support groups for young parents, emotional support
and others.

One
ethical concern I would have as a professional while working with a case like
Gary’s is that according to the Ethical Standard # 2 the Human Services
Professional should obtain an informed consent to provide services to clients
at the beginning of the helping relationship. All clients should be informed
that they may withdraw consent at any time except where denied by court order
and should be able to ask questions before agreeing to receive the
services.  The clients who are unable to
give consent should have those who are legally able to give consent for them review
an informed consent statement and provide appropriate consent (“National
Organization of Human Services, 2015).  In
Gary’s case, the ethical concern would be that neither his parents would sign
this consent for him and since he is 17 he is considered a minor and would need
his parents consent to start receiving the services.  It would concern me as a Human Services
provider because Gary needs the service to deal with his current
circumstances.  I believe that in this
case the parents would have to be involved in the situation, but it does not
help the fact that his father is far away and not caring about the future of
Gary and his mother has an alcoholic addiction and she probably does not
possess a correct judgement for decisions like this. 

According
to the ethical standard 1, The Human Services professional has a duty of
building on client and community strengths and to ethical standard 7, Human
Services Professionals ensure that their values or biases are not imposed upon
their clients (“National Organization of Human Services,2015).  As professionals we must assume a non-judging
attitude towards the client and in Gary’s case instead of judging him and
impose our own believes we must see the bigger picture and build towards his
strengths.  This way we can work towards
positive outcomes and most importantly treat the client with respect and
dignity no matter what choices they have taken or their background.  Sometimes as individuals we get caught up in
the thought that everyone must think the way we do and in this case as
professionals we need to be open minded and be prepared to work with different
lifestyles different than ours.

In
Gary’s case, I would provide assistance information for young parents like
Shift in North Carolina (919)-226-1880. Shift (Sexual Health Initiative for
Teens) is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to teens. Their approach
uses successful, evidence-based methods to make a positive change for teen
pregnancy prevention, HIV and STIs, healthy development, sexuality, and
relationships (“Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens”, n.d). I
believe this agency could help Gary and his girlfriend by providing resources
like education rights that in this case it would help Gary have a balance
between school and work without having to eliminate school and work full time.
This agency also provides information for childcare assistance which is a good
alternative for low income families that need care for their children. Shift
has many resources available for teens and those that are parents already and I
believe it would be a good resource for Gary and his girlfriend.

I am
almost certain that Gary’s situation would have had a very different outcome
from the one in the case study because this young father mostly needed support
and guidance through his situation.  The
Human Services Professional would have provided him with the correct tools and
resources to help him make better decisions. 
When a client is informed and aware of the possibilities they have
depending on their situation, they are able to make better choices and thrive
during their actual situation. Gary may still have difficulties in his life but
with all the resources and mentorship provided he might be able to deal with
life circumstances and find ways to work around the problems in a positive and
responsible way. Sometimes teenagers do not think realistically and is very
important that they work on their situations with a reality-based mindset nut
also feel that they got support in their journey.  In Gary’s case it would be great that he
finds a balance continuing school and getting a part time job to provide to his
family. Obtaining a degree would further help their situation and the resources
mentioned above aid with the current struggle while he works on graduating and
obtain a better paying job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

National Organization of Human
Services. (2015). Retrieved from

http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards

Sexual Health Initiatives for
Teens. (n.d). Retrieved from

 http://www.shiftnc.org/resources/for-young-parents

Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K.
(2013). Understanding the Human Behavior and the Social

Environment (9th
ed.). Retrieved from
https://kaplan.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781285814247/cfi/6/2!/4/16/[email protected]:0.

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