Cultural Sensitivity in Social Work Essay

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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 …show more content…

In order to deliver effective services it is necessary that professionals are able to work with culturally diverse populations successfully. Social workers must commit themselves to the profession’s enhancement and to their own professional growth in career long learning (National Association of Social Workers, 2010). According to Panos (2000), the lack of culturally competent social workers may result in clients failing to receive appropriate services or, even worse, parents can potentially lose their children because of “non-compliance” with traditional approaches. Panos (2000) states that if cultural insensitivity is perceived on behalf of the client, it can be detrimental to the case plan. Panos also suggests that a sensitive assessment and case plan recognizes how clients’ cultural roots affect their future; further cooperation and compliance with the case plan may be enhanced by understanding the client’s cultural background. According to Fisher (2001), social workers and other professionals often form early impressions or assumptions of clients based on biases and preconceived perceptions, even when contradictory information emerges. Many of these preconceived biases are based on racial stereotypes. This can result in inappropriate assessments by social workers regarding their racial-ethnic minority clients, which can harm the outcome of the services provided. Because of the need for culturally competent social work practitioners,

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