Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competence, and Ethical Social Work Practice Jacob Stone, LSW, ACSW (Ret.) Increasing multicultural understanding: A comprehensive model. An equally important part of this code is understanding with humility the privilege and power they hold in the service of others. cultural competence as a set of knowledge-based and interpersonal skills that allow individuals to understand, appreciate and work with families of cultures, from other than their own. Cultural competence, also known as intercultural competence, is a range of cognitive, affective, and behavioural skills that lead to effective and appropriate communication with people of other cultures. Advocacy means more than encouraging words. Following the NASW’s standards goes a long way toward acquiring cultural competence in social work practice. Cultural competence is a fundamental tenet of social work education. Basing in life situations, we have to understand that factors like ethnic groups gender, race and social class may influence one another. In this sense, cultural competence is equated with both concrete organisational directives as well as more abstract qualities that workers need to develop. Today, in addition to assisting multiracial and culturally diverse populations, inclusive of sexual and gender orientation and geographic location, modern social workers help people with issues involving child welfare, mental health, human rights, fair housing and substance abuse. This mindfulness helps social workers avoid letting their beliefs shape the action plans that they devise. By understanding people’s cultural differences, social workers can help them overcome these o… The program helps you acquire more than foundational knowledge during online classes. An ideal entry point is to earn your online bachelor’s degree in social work — and Campbellsville University’s program offers practical theory and training for launching your career. Each client is the sole authority of their cultural experience. Cultural competence revisited. Concurrently, cultural competence requires social workers to use an intersectionality approach to practice, examining forms of What is cultural competence in social work? Social workers must also develop cultural competence in social work practice. Intercultural or cross-cultural education are terms used for the training to achieve cultural competence.. NASW standards for cultural competence in social work practice. Fortunately, there are best practices for addressing barriers to cultural competence in social work. “Consider the second-generation Japanese-American social worker whose practice consists of Mexican-American and African-American families. Like social work, cultural competence is rooted in social action, justice for underrepresented communities and advocacy. You can start by taking the PDH course in cultural competence as part of your social work continuing education online. Cultural awareness in social work: A client’s first interaction with a social service providing agency is often not with a therapist, an agency administrator, or even the receptionist, but an intake form. If a partner falls short in meeting this obligation, it’s time to find a replacement. Cultural Awareness Guidelines to Follow in the Social Work Field. Instead, social workers commit to humility as they learn about cultural experiences and help people in ways that promote dignity. According to the NASW Code of Ethics, “Social workers shall demonstrate an appreciation of their own cultural identities and those of others.” In other words, social workers should spend time learning about the cultures of the people they serve while being aware of the assumptions of their own cultural values and beliefs. It can also be among individuals, enabling them to function effectively in diverse cultural interactions and similarities within, among, and between groups. Achieving diversity in social work partnerships is vital because, as NASW attests, clients deserve the aid of providers that respect their heritage and outlook. Another way to describe cultural competence is a point on a continuum that represents the policies and practices of an organiza… The ideas presented above can help social workers build cultural competence. In fact, Campbellsville University ranks in the top 50 schools nationally for the lowest amount of student debt, according to LendEDU. These sessions also provide value to veteran social workers, especially when local demographics change. In doing so, How to Achieve Cultural Competence as a Social Worker. Through cultural competence, they can learn to navigate those differences to help clients overcome barriers to obtaining health care and other services. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 22 (2), 1-10. The New Social Worker framed it as a commitment to building the skills and intelligence needed to “work effectively with people from a particular culture.” By acquiring cultural competence, social workers can administer services in ways that respect and promote the diversity of clients and communities. It encourages them to engage diversity and difference in practice, providing them with a greater understanding of the value of cultural competence, whether they go on to work in clinical social work or social work administration and planning. The best resources enable people to advocate for themselves after their relationship with the social worker ends. SOC 445 Week 5 Assignment 1 Topic 5: Cultural Competence in Social Work Worksheet Latest-GCU. Community Care, an organization that empowers social workers, offers numerous ideas, including: Becoming culturally competent is a long-term process, and getting to know clients is an essential part. Social workers are likely to encounter ideas, beliefs or traditions they are unfamiliar with. NASW’s standards highlight cultural touchpoints for social workers to learn about, including diversity in: Effective social workers go beyond learning about these touchpoints. Within the field of social work, cultural competence refers to the ability to practice social work “in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each” (National Association of Social Workers, 2015, p. 13). By understanding people’s cultural differences, social workers can help them overcome these obstacles and encourage them to pursue the services they need. Cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own. Through the application of research and evidence-based methods, students analyze and evaluate professional practice, programs and service delivery systems. Striving for cultural competence does not mean social workers must face the impossible task of trying to understand every nuance of a person’s culture. Below are some considerations for incorporating cultural competence into social work practice. How to be a ‘culturally competent’ social worker – what the research says Research findings indicate that developing trusting relationships with families and having an awareness of local demogrpahics are key to supporting learning disabled people from minority ethnic communities, says Jill Manthorpe. Virginia Commonwealth University’s Online Master of Social Work. CULTURAL COMPETENCE 9 Culture – the way of life of multiple groups in society and consists of prescribed ways of behaving or norms of conduct, beliefs, values, and skills The sum total of life patterns passed on from one generation to generation within a group of people and includes institutions, language, religious ideals, habits of thinking, artistic expression, and patterns of social & interpersonal … ASWB Approved. Much like social workers, service providers should aid people without attempting to reshape their beliefs. It’s a chance to build cultural competence and grow as a professional. As the International Federation of Social Workers explains, “Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people.”. It’s a core element of a community’s identity. This process enables social workers to tailor support by learning client perspectives on cultural traditions and norms. A Growing Divide. Here are two ways for administrators and hiring managers to foster cultural competence in social work practice: By prioritizing diversity in social work hiring practices, leaders bring a more inclusive range of perspectives to teams. Language diversity isn’t a barrier. The Online M.S.W. Strive to help people succeed in the world, not change their worldview. Learn how Virginia Commonwealth University’s Online Master of Social Work can help you advance in your career and prepare you with cultural competence to make an immediate impact in the lives of people and communities. Cultural competence in social work, diversity, social justice, human rights and ethical practice are guiding principles for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Online Master of Social Work. Social workers who only speak English shouldn’t view language diversity as a barrier, but as a core element of a community’s identity. Societal biases play a significant role in hindering success and marginalizing communities. The New Social Worker, “Teaching Cultural Competence”, Pew Research Center, “Key Findings About U.S. Immigrants”, Social Work Today, “More Than Words — Cultural Competency in Healthcare”, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Workers. Cultural humility appears not to add more value to social work practice than cultural competence. The best programs offer hands-on experience interacting with — and learning from — clients in supervised settings. From mastery to accountability: Cultural humility as an alternative to cultural competence. When asking or responding to questions, being respectful, mindful and sensitive to cultural issues is a key to demonstrating cultural competence in social work. Campbellsville University designed the online BSW for busy professionals, as you can finish each course in only eight weeks. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University. The New Social Worker framed it as a commitment to building the skills and intelligence needed to “work effectively with people from a particular culture.” By acquiring cultural competence, social workers can administer services in ways that respect and promote the … For novice social workers, practicing cultural humility is just that — practice. For this reason, cultural humility is an essential aspect of cultural competence in social work practice, according to Social Work Today. But there are times when they need the backing of organizational leaders. Social Work Education, 34(2), 165-181. Community Care, “Tips for Social Workers on Cultural Competence”, International Federation of Social Work, “Global Definition of Social Work”, National Association of Social Workers, Social Work History, National Association of Social Workers, Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice, National Association of Social Workers, Types of Social Work. Directions: Select three (3) of the cultural diversity groups listed below and then compile them to make one person. aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and values crucial for effective advanced social work. NURSING CULTURAL COMPETENCE 2 Social justice is one of the approaches used in conceptualizing cultural competence in social work. For instance, someone who grew up with technology may feel comfortable meeting over Zoom. “ Cultural competence refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each (NASW, 2001; p. … Each client knows more about his or her experience than anyone else. However, it takes time for new social workers to discern how cultural identity impacts a client’s action plan. In response to English language limitations, health care institutions offer translation services to help people navigate the complexities of the U.S. health system. In contrast, face-to-face meetings may work better for tech-averse clients. For example, they all must comply with evolving U.S. immigration policies and laws and learn to navigate the American health care system. Instead, they must remain open to new cultural ideas, ask questions and respond respectfully. It’s a chance to build cultural competence and grow as a professional. Never assume that one client is like another. More generally, the term competence suggests that social workers should possess a certain set of knowledge, skills, and values. Another example is the work of practitioners who advocate for asylum seekers. You will also gain hands-on experience through a practicum that takes place in a supervised social work environment. It is important for social workers to have an understanding of the concept of culture in order to have cultural competence. National Association of Social Workers, Why Choose the Social Work Profession? Compentency is also important as social workers must attend to their own perspectives about their own cultural identity and how the client may view us. Get in touch with the form below. NASW states that social workers who receive federal funds are “required to facilitate quality language access at no charge to the consumer.” Failure to assist with this access is not just an example of discrimination in social work practice; it may be at odds with federal law. Intersectionality concept, is one of the emerging issues in social work and cultural conceptualization. Social workers who demonstrate cultural competence strive to understand the cultures of the people they serve and approach them with cultural sensitivity and respect. An embrace of cultural humility originates from the Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. While translation can bridge gaps in communication, social workers should recognize that communication must be inclusive and respectful of all people, regardless of culture, language, racial background, sexual and gender identity, and geographic location. STANDARDS FOR CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE 7. Remember: Being corrected about cultural matters is not embarrassing. Cultural competence in social work practice implies a heightened consciousness of how culturally diverse populations experience their uniqueness and deal with their differences and similarities within a larger social context. They also build the skills to assist people across the cultural spectrum. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 16(4), 593-606. It is helpful in understanding the circumstances and social issues from a client’s perspective. They can assist people on wide-ranging issues, such as mental and behavioral health, family separation, employer exploitation, and discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation or gender identification. Boundless factors can influence culture, and building cultural competence calls for strategic professional development. Competency One: Becoming Aware of One’s Own Assumptions, Values, and Biases about Human Behavior 25 Competency Two: Understanding the Worldview of Culturally Diverse Clients 26 The National Association for Social Workers (NASW) developed these standards as a framework for assistance aligning with a client’s beliefs. 2 Clinical CEUs in Ethics approved by NASW VT REGISTER The United States of the 21st century is a patchwork land of many cultures: racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, gender, age, and even physical status. Remember the service user is the expert of their experience, adopt a position of ‘not knowing’ and be ready to learn. Over 40 million immigrants live in the United States today — more than in any other country. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, social work’s principal mission is “to enhance human well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty.”, Social workers are also champions for social change that benefits not only individuals but also families and communities. The Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practiceare based on the policy statement “Cultural Competence in the Social Work Profession” published in Social Work Speaks: NASW Policy Statements (2000b) and the NASW Code of Ethics(2000a), which charges social workers with the ethical responsibility to be culturally competent. The program’s benefits extend beyond flexibility, as it is also very cost-friendly. Martin, S. L. (2015). A peek at the changing demographics of the United States illustrates why cultural competence in social work … WHAT IS CULTURAL COMPETENCE. They can follow this tenet by accounting for personal biases — and resisting them — while acquiring cultural competence. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, M.S.W. Earn your BSW online with Campbellsville University to prepare for rewarding social work positions in healthcare, counseling and school systems. For instance, they may need to expand their cultural competence to ensure a newly settled refugee family accesses thoughtful assistance. But it’s far from an analytical endeavor. Social workers move through many different communities and offer assistance to many people from other cultures, which is why cultural competence is essential. Cultural competence is embedded into the ideals of social work practice; the NASW Code of Ethics emphasizes the “commitment to understanding and embracing culture as central to effective practice.”. These efforts help practitioners demonstrate an emotional connection with clients, which can serve as a foundation for a trusting relationship. An article in the European Journal of Social Work explores the nature of working with people who departed areas of strife. Social workers are likely to encounter ideas, beliefs or traditions they are unfamiliar with. Research shows that cultural barriers, such as limited English skills and a lack of understanding of the U.S. health care system, can lead to poor health outcomes among immigrant groups. Defining Cultural Competence in Social Work According to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), cultural competences are defined as, “processes that promote effective interactions with individuals of all cultures based on curiosity and respect about difference … Participants suggested that cultural competence pertains to policies, attitudes and behaviours, and that the term implies valuing diversity, an openness to understanding other cultures and being able to work with people from different backgrounds. The foundations of the social work profession in the U.S. were laid in the late 19th century, due in large part to immigration trends. If they make mistakes on cultural matters, it’s wise to welcome corrections from clients. By providing my information and clicking the “Submit” button, I consent to be contacted via telephone (including a cell phone, if provided), email, and text message. Client expectations and needs vary tremendously. By embracing cultural humility, social workers remain humble and follow the client’s lead on matters of identity. Therefore, social workers must strive for flexibility as they work in diverse communities. Each culture has its own worldview, relationship guidelines, family structure, spiritual mindsets, and values. Understanding the essence of cultural competence is integral to building upon the values of social work. Supporting diverse populations adds to the enrichment of a social work career. Additionally, because those in the field often act as gatekeepers for vital resources and information, such awareness is crucial to the ethical enforcement of discipline-wide standards. At the same time, social workers empathize with people in an attempt to feel what they have experienced. Engaged social workers take the time to talk with clients about who they are, the challenges they face and their goals for the relationship. This can be defined as a set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or program. Success in this area often starts with training that instills cultural competence in social work practice, such as in-house professional development or an online BSW. National Association of Social Workers. 2 Clinical CEUs in Ethics approved by NASW VT The United States of the 21st century is a patchwork land of many cultures: racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, gender, age, and even physical status. Social workers can follow many techniques to adopt these standards, such as: Social workers strive to help people succeed in the world, not change their worldview. Please enter a valid phone number (numbers only). Social workers should listen carefully and embrace cultural humility in their interactions. Educational opportunities also enable professionals to transition to this growing field. Newbury Park: Sage Publications. Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Then, use the intersectionality of that person to inform an appropriate intervention. In turn, graduates are prepared to effect change in various areas, from immigration services and international social work to mental health, trauma and crisis intervention. What is cultural competence in social work? Beyond adaptability, this work requires high cultural competence to assist these clients with the dignity they deserve. Cultural Competence Understanding culture is an important aspect of being a social worker; this does not mean learning common cultural traits is of great significance to the social work profession. Becoming Culturally Competent in Social Work Practice 23. Social workers also empower clients to access the resources to take action against injustice. They can also exchange lessons learned through interactions with clients and personal experiences. Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice and Education Social work has been established as a discipline dedicated to serving the needs of all individuals and communities with a focus on the poor and vulnerable. That said, empowering clients across communities requires more than knowledge of social work theory. A program representative will be reaching out to you shortly. Research shows that cultural barriers, such as limited English skills and a lack of understanding of the U.S. health care system, can lead to poor health outcomes among immigrant groups. Being corrected about cultural matters is not embarrassing. Standard 1.05(b) … Social workers get opportunities to engage with people shaped by a wealth of cultural traditions, values and practices. This is why cultural competence in social work is vital to the profession. 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