VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Preparing Counseling Students to Use Community Resources for a Diverse Client Population: Factors for Counselors Educators to Consider
Sarah Kit-Yee Lam
To provide culturally responsive and sensitive services for families from diverse backgrounds, counselors must reach out to these families’ communities for resources that can best help them. Locating appropriate resources is not as simple as going down the list of agencies in different source books. Referring families to community resources is an outcome of a complex process of considering the whole reality of these families. This reality includes a good fit between family needs and available services, and factors affecting accessibility to services such as their cultural beliefs, geographical location of residence, transportation, and affordability. Despite the assertion that community resources are important (Ciavarella, Corrigan, Hilburger, Lam, & Chan, 2004; Rawlings & Carter, 1979; Street, 1994), few counselors systematically consider community resources as an integral component of their treatment plan. Many counselors focus on what they can offer these families on their own. This phenomenon can be traced back to the lack of direct exposure to research and use of community resources while they were trained in the counselor education programs.