Cultural Competence/Discrimination


As a social work practitioner, you may have to provide services to individuals with various cultural
backgrounds, including those who speak a different language or have differing cultural norms. There are many
times when those individuals or groups are ridiculed and looked down upon by society, which can create
barriers to them receiving the appropriate services. As a provider, it is important to understand the social,
personal, and systematic challenges that are faced by those individuals. It is equally important to understand
and address one’s own biases. In working towards social change, practitioners are an agent of change.
Discuss why it is important for social workers to be culturally competent prior to working with clients.
Provide at least three challenges that practitioners may have in working with individuals if they lack cultural
competency? How can being culturally competent assist in overcoming those challenges?
Practitioners are instrumental in helping their clients address complex issues that are a result of policies,
programs, and procedures that systematically benefit members of a certain racial group more than others,
which are examples of institutional racism. While on the other hand, individual racism is when prejudice,
exclusion, violence, discrimination, or antagonism is directed towards someone from a different race by
another individual who believes that his or her race is superior.
Programs are formed out of policies, and the ultimate goal is directed towards bringing about positive macro—
and subsequently micro—change. These changes can be seen at every level, including the community and
state. In addition, change can be seen on an individual, organizational, or business level, which is the outcome
of effective programming. In working towards social change, it is imperative for social work practitioners to
understand the impact of the above in relation to the overall well-being of individuals.
What is the difference between institutional racism and cultural racism?
Do you think that individual discrimination or institutional discrimination is more detrimental?



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