Masters Thesis

Encouraging allies in generalist social work practice

This document seeks to encourage the development of allies to the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer and intersexed) community as they are accessing social services. Content analysis was used to demonstrate the applicability of a commonly used ally development model and how it may be utilized within the context of a social work agency to increase professionalism and care of LGBTQI individuals accessing services, with a focus on mental health services. Seven LGBTQI identified persons with experiences accessing mental health services were analyzed for themes and coded according to the predetermined ally development model. This model was subsequently expanded on and suggestions were made for improvements in working with these clients. Based on the results of the content analyzed it is evident that there is a need for social workers and service providers to identify as allies to the LGBTQI community and also to act to continue their own education in this respect.