Respond by Day 5 to at least two colleagues by explaining two potential barriers your colleague might face in becoming a culturally competent social worker working with the population your colleague described and offer a skill you might use to overcome each barrier.
DISCUSSION POST #1:
The definition of cultural competence from our text book states: “cultural competence is the ability to apply knowledge and skill to social work practice with diverse groups. Cultural competence includes specific knowledge about individual cultures, valuing of and sensitivity to cultural differences, awareness of the patterns of oppression experienced but those cultures, and the skills to utilize culturally appropriate interventions” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 445). In the social work field, cultural competence is very important and we must be committed to a lifelong career of learning. “Social workers shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the history, traditions, values, family systems, and artistic expressions of major client groups served” (NASW, 2001, p. 18). As a social worker you will encounter many cases from clients from different backgrounds.
In the article we read from Johnson & Munch, Fundamental Contradictions in Cultural Competence, they also agree that cultural competency (CC) is an important part to social work practice. However, they also argue that “several aspects of CC contradict central social work concepts or are at odds with the current, standard social work practice” (2009, p. 229) . For the sake of time, I will not go too much into the contractions but instead focus on the skills necessary for attaining cultural competence as a social worker in order to work with the population of my interest. They believe “knowledge in substance areas that include racism, structural inequalities and health disparities” are required (Johnson & Munch, 2009, p. 229). Although it will be impossible to become an expert in working with everyone, our text book suggest we take “additional time to learn about the cultural and life experiences of those unique groups that compromise your caseload or that live in your geographical area” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 449).
One must always remember that even though we learned about a culture does not mean we know everything. Highlight 12.5 from our text book gives us Strategies for Cultural Competence which are broken down into twelve rules. Number two specifically states, “[d]o not assume that ethic identity tell you anything about a person’s values or behavior” (2015, p. 469). There are many similarities and differences, the best skill to have is to be flexible. Take all of your expereince and built off of that, never make it your norm. Be open to learning and know that it is okay to not know everything. Time is the best experience.
Johnson, Y. M., & Munch, S. (2009). Fundamental contradictions in cultural competence. Social Work, 54(3), 220–231.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Kirst-Ashman, K., and Hull, G. Understanding Generalist Practice. 7th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015. Print.
National Association of Social Workers. (2001). NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Worker Practice.
Retrieved March 8, 2016, https://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/naswculturalstandards.pdf.
DISCUSSION POST #2:
Cultural Competency in the Aged
In the National Association of Social Works (NASW) Code of Ethics there are ethical standards and principles to follow in dealing with clients. Being committed to a client,building trust, establishing respect and being sensitive to ones differences are key in success. A social worker must be willing to listen and learn more about a client to be culturally competent.
The aged is a population that requires the social worker to be competent about their culture and sub-cultures intertwined. During a conversation with one of my clients, she informed me that she was hard of hearing and one of the most embarrassing things is when she tells a nurse in confidence that her brief needs to be changed and the nurse then repeats what she said loudly. The client said that she is embarrassed and humiliated and said one would think there is a way to communicate without screaming. In this case the client felt that her privacy was compromised, her dignity was not respected and there was a lack of correct communication skills. One important thing to know about this group is that some, not all are hard of hearing so the social worker has to be respectful of the environment in which to have certain discussions. There are other things to keep in mind in regards to this community, due to medical conditions, the social work interaction may need to be altered, there are medications that alter a persons speech. One must be cognizant of these things. Kirst-Ashman, K.K., & Hull, G.H., Jr. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT. Cengage Learning. Chapter 12, “Culturally Competent Social Work Practice” (pp.442-472) Page 459 refers to communication patterns and the importance of understanding differences in communication.
In the article Examining Cultural Competence in Health Care: Implications for Social Work (2013) Chow, Julien C.-C, Horevitz, Elizabeth & Lawson, Jennifer (National Association of Social Workers) mentions the applications of cultural competence, multiple other terms are used including cultural humility, cultural sensitivity, multicultural competency, cultural attonement, cultural proficiency, cultural tailoring and cultural interventions. In the culture of nursing homes it is standard practice for the facility to interview the resident or family to find out the residents likes and dislikes, race, religion, personal work history, hobbies and interest. This is all aimed to paint a picture of the resident to cater to their needs holistically.
The article Fundamental Contradictions in Cultural Competence by Yvonne M. Johnson and Shari Munch(2009). states that on a macro level in relation to health, the mission of the U.S. National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health programs to design , implement and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery. To become culturally competent is to extend and enhance services to your client.
Johnson, Y.M., & Munch, S. (2009). Fundamental contradictions in cultural competence. Social Work, 54(3), 220-231. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Kirst-Ashman, K.K., & Hull, G.H., Jr. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT. Cengage Learning. Chapter 12, “Culturally Competent Social Work Practice” (pp.442-472).
Chow, Julien C.-C., Horevitz, Elizabeth, & Lawson, Jennifer(2013) National Association of Social Workers, Examining Cultural Competence in Health Care: Implications for Social Workers.
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