You are a school social worker who has been assigned to work with a 12-year-old boy recently placed into your school. He is exhibiting disruptive behaviors in the classroom and appears depressed and disengaged with his peers. You learn he just came from Haiti with his family to start a new life in the United States. The student also disclosed that he feels overwhelmed by his new home and school environment while being one of only a few minority individuals in both settings. During a school conference, you openly discuss the issues with the boy’s family and his Father indicated that in response to his son’s troubles, he exercises corporal punishment on him, grounds him, and does not allow him to participate in any activities in the community. His Father is refusing to accept counseling services for his son or any outside support. The student actually tells you he is not allowed to associate with others in the community, even when he is not being punished, as he works with his father which is causing him to feel upset, depressed and wishing he could return to Haiti where he had friends, more freedom and felt happier. Given the cultural aspects here, how do you handle working with this family? What impact does race, culture and ethnicity have on this boy and his family? What supports would you suggest for the family?
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