Diversity is multifaceted as it includes race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and disability. To work with broad arrays of diversity, it is imperative for social workers to undergo training on cultural competence to learn on how to eradicate barriers that they prevent the provision of care among the different group. The amount and quality of contact with various diverse groups is important in tailoring service provision.
Working with African American was interesting. As a social worker, my contact with this group lasted for four weeks. They reveal that the African American population is the most disadvantaged group in American society (77). Younger members do not have role models and mentors to assist them to achieve personal and professional success. Based on the previous perception, I had known that most African American youth are modeled through violent behaviors. The contact was positive as together with the clients, we were able to design and implement programs touching on goal setting. I was also able to discover that they did not require job counseling but needed actual jobs.
The Hispanic American encompasses people derived from different geographical, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. I noticed that this group lays more emphasis on family structure more than individual needs. The few members I worked with within a period of three weeks demonstrated the need for family empowerment. I had known that this group does not access medical help for fear of deportation. This is false based on my experience working with members of the group. The interaction was positive; I was able to establish independent wellness programs to address their healthcare needs.
Misconceptions about this group include high poverty rates, drug abuse, and suicide. I discovered that the social needs are unique and borders on social justice and advocacy services. For instance, I came across a family that was seeking justice to compel the federal government to release monies the government has been collecting from leasing grazing fields on behalf of the family. The contact was positive because I did a follow-up on the claim and the family was later paid accrued payments.
I have known that the social need of Asian Americans is monolithic or fictional. I have had contact with these people for more than 1 month and I realized these people need mental health services more than other social welfare services. The interaction was positive because I discovered that the core reason for poor mental health outcomes for this group is the language barrier. Due to the diversity of the group, there is need for programs to eliminate stigmas and language barriers.
Caucasian Americans consider themselves as privilege members of the America society. Perhaps, this is what I have known about this group. However, like other diverse groups, there are people within this group whose social progress is hindered by income inequality. My three weeks interaction revealed the need to offer programs aimed at empowering them to access affordable housing. I can say that the contact was positive having identified the housing problem facing this community.
My experience working with LGBT people revealed the need for a voice to speak on behalf of the group. I feel that these people are facing obstacles like rejection and bullying by the American community. Though the contact was not fascinating, I pledged to create new programs to speak on their behalf to promote workplace equality and diversity.
People suffering from mental problems and the elderly exist within the groups discussed above. I had contact with families of the mentally challenged and realized that the promotion of mental health services is hindered by cultural prejudice at the lower-level facilities. Consequently, I came to know that the elderly are discriminated against within the American society by younger generations who feel that the elderly adds no value to society. As a social worker, I feel that they desire sexual help because the rest of the community often avoids such discussions.
In conclusion, diversity is increasingly becoming an essential component of any social work practice. In view of this, it is important for social workers to create and deliver services that align with the cultural expectations of clients. Therefore, culturally competent training is required to help social workers handle diverse cultural groups.
Thyer, Bruce A. Cultural Diversity and Social Work Practice. Springfield, Ill: Charles C.
Thomas, 2010. Print.