Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Rebecca Mirick

Abstract

This study examined the accessibility of social service agencies in the city of Lynn, Massachusetts for clients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Social service agencies (N=27) participated in phone interviews and/or an online survey, exploring services offered by the agencies, the availability of translation services and if so, in what languages and procedures for providing translation services. Results showed that more than half of the agencies provided oral translation services to clients who prefer to engage in a language other than English by relying on bilingual staff members, and family and friends of the client to act as the interpreters. Many agencies only offered services in Spanish and English. The study's findings offered some important insight into the availability of services to the sizable portion of the city's residents who have LEP status, revealing the disparities that exist in access to language assistance.

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