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Essay about Cultural Sensitivity in Social Work

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It is imperative that social workers become knowledgeable about their clients’ cultures and are culturally sensitive. In learning about their clients’ cultures, social workers need to be aware of how powerful and significant culture is in relating to clients’ behavior, values, and beliefs. Becoming culturally competent requires the ability to integrate awareness, knowledge, and skills while maintaining a positive working relationship with the client (Sue and Zane, 1987). Today, the concerns regarding cultural competency continue to accentuate the importance of preparing social workers for a diversified society.
American society is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. The 2010 Census indicates that the racial and ethnic makeup of the American population has increased dramatically throughout the years. The U.S. Bureau of the Census predicts that the United States will continue to undergo the following population changes over the next half century: Hispanics will represent 24.5% of the population (16.35% in 2010), African Americans will represent 13.6% of U.S. population (12.6% in 2010), Asian and Pacific Islanders will increase to 8.2% of U.S. population (4.8% in 2010), American Indians will represent 0.9% of U.S. population (0.9% in 2010), and Whites will represent 52.8% of the U.S. population (72.4% in 2010).
Ethnic minorities seeking services should have access to culturally sensitive social workers, who acknowledge and confront practical dilemmas when working with increasing numbers of culturally diverse people in the community. Professionals working with minority groups, “must provoke moral sensibility, political consciousness, and social action” (Aponte, Rivers, & Wohl, 1995, p. ix). It is imperative f...


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...o be successful in working effectively with diverse populations.
Social work practitioners can use the information from this study to document activities that MSW graduates engaged in relevant to cultural competency. The study will provide current and future social workers with specific details and strategies that they can employ to assist them on their journey toward culturally competent practice. In addition, this research study will offer examples of what social workers can do to build their knowledge, skills, and values.
This study is expected to provide social workers with information by examining what social workers do post-graduation to help them remain culturally competent. Social workers will be in a position where they can understand barriers/obstacles that make it difficult to engage in the professional development regarding this topic.




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