UCLA Cultural Awareness in Social Work Practice Discussion

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In order to become a practitioner who addresses the diverse needs of your clients in a sensitive and respectful manner, you must be dedicated to continued education around the needs and experiences of different groups, religions, ethnicities, and other populations. The first step is to identify any personal biases and perceptions you might have about other cultures. From a broader perspective, how might an individual’s culture, race, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation affect how society perceives and treats them? Which potential social structures may perpetuate the oppression and marginalization of certain groups? The most important attribute you can bring to this topic is an open mind and a willingness to learn about others unlike yourself and ask how they want to be treated by you as a social worker. In this Discussion, you consider these topics in relation to a case study depicting issues in cultural competence.

To Prepare

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, including the videos, and then reflect on the following:
    • What is your definition of cultural competency?
    • What skills do you think are necessary for attaining cultural competence as a social worker working with that population?
    • What is the difference between having knowledge about a cultural group and engaging with an individual from the stance of cultural humility?
    • Then, search the Library for additional information that supports the skills you selected.

Post a response to the following:

  • Provide your definition of cultural humility.
  • Explain how this is similar or different to how the Kirst-Ashman and Hull textbook describes cultural competence.
  • Explain the skills you think are necessary for developing cultural awareness as a social worker.
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