Cultural Competence

Cultural Competence

One of the most critical social issues that inform a culturally competent worker is understanding different cultures. The social worker in Claudia’s case understood the issues faced by Claudia’s family as a Hispanic Immigrant. A culturally competent social worker is highly knowledgeable about different cultures. Another issue is engaging with clients. Culturally competent workers can also approach clients from different cultural orientations with openness, willingness to learn, and respect. As a culturally competent social worker, Claudia’s therapist understood rigorous scrutiny and self-awareness as the most critical components in a culturally competent practice (National Association of Social Workers, 2017). Nonetheless, she was able to communicate with and understand Claudia’s background and the reasons behind her fears.

Cultural competence is one of the critical principles of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). As the United States population grows to become more diverse, there is a need for social workers to understand multiple cultures. NASW informs multicultural social work by providing practice models that are crucial in serving communities and individuals’ needs (National Association of Social Workers, 2017). The updated values and standards also reflect on the broad understanding of the multicultural practice and the definition of culture to include gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, immigration status, and spiritual beliefs. The code of ethics also provides several elements concerning social worker responsibilities that approximate multiculturalism issues.

Several culturally competent strategies can be used to assess children’s needs. One strategy that will help social workers to become culturally competent is by learning the different backgrounds of children including the differences in values and beliefs of their culture (Sue, Rasheed & Rasheed, 2016). This will help in understanding the particular needs for specific children and how these needs can be administered. Another strategy is engaging in active listening and engaging with their family members to find out what the children need.

To best serve Claudia and her family-specific types of data should be collected. First, I will collect comprehensive data concerning Claudia’s background and her family, as a unit. I will also account for her education.  This will give me an idea of potentially significant factors which may or may not play a part in Claudia’s development. An account of Claudia’s biopsychosocial makeup will also be critical. This will help in making up a significant part of the intersectionality of Claudia (the factors at play that contribute to her unique reality in the present moment).

One of the major resources that can offer additional information about Claudia’s case is her medical history. The social worker must cross-check Claudia’s health history to understand the problem she is facing. Medical information gives the social worker significant clues about what is going on with her health. School progress is another significant resource that can provide information concerning Claudia’s behavior. By gathering information from her teachers and peers, the social worker will be able to understand the causes of Claudia’s issues and how to help her.

Claudia’s Ecomap

From an ecological perspective, the social worker was able to effectively assess Claudia’s situation and come up with the most effective intervention. From an ecological perspective, the social worker was able to understand the emotional disturbances that resulted from a pattern of maladaptive actions between Claudia and her environment (Lin et al., 2018). In this case, the insecurity in her neighborhoods interrupted Claudia’s social functioning and lead to many fears in her life. The ecological perspective helped Claudia adapt to her environment. The social worker was able to guide Claudia’s focus to incorporate positive thoughts about her environment.

The strengths perspective occurs when social workers look at their clients based on their strengths rather than weaknesses. From a strength perspective, the social worker in Claudia’s case was able to identify that Claudia’s strength lied in the sand tray. By constructing acts in the sand tray, she was able to establish protective blocks for good people. This helped Claudia develop her desire to protect good people. The strengths perspective views the good aspects of a client and works on expanding those aspects to help the client overcome adversity through the strengths acquired. Social workers should not focus on the problems, pathologies, or limitations of clients. Thus, social workers should ensure the dignity of every person is respected and they have equal rights (Chakraborti-Ghosh, 2019). Most importantly, their boundaries are respected at all times. This helped the social worker and Claudia build a good rapport and that during the sessions there was plenty of attunement and empathy. There was also be a high degree of mutual trust and openness, with no judgment whatsoever. This helped in establishing a therapeutic relationship between the social worker, Claudia, and her family.

Multiple evidence-based tools are significant in assessing children’s needs since they incorporate knowledge and values with the most effective research evidence which when used by practitioners, will eventually lead to improvements (Chakraborti-Ghosh, 2019). They are also able to answer cause and effect questions as well as other levels, such as correlations. Nonetheless, they provide a hierarchy of strength of evidence the ability to use large data sets, get better data. Using multiple tools in assessment helped the social worker to learn the amount of support needed to cater to Claudia’s needs. Multiple tools helped in finding the best interventions for Claudia. These methods also helped Claudia feel at ease and emotionally safe with the social worker allowing her to open up and speak about her problems without fear or embarrassment.




















Chakraborti-Ghosh, S. (2019). Strength-Based Instruction (SBI): A Systematic Instructional Training Model with a Primary Focus on a Child’s Strength. In Inclusion, Equity and Access for Individuals with Disabilities (pp. 647-663). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Lin, C. H., Chiang, P. P., Lux, E. A., & Lin, H. F. (2018). Immigrant social worker practice: An ecological perspective on strengths and challenges. Children and Youth Services Review87(1), 103-113.

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Standards and indicators for cultural competence in social work practice. Retrieved from Competence.

Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Multicultural social work practice: A competency-based approach to diversity and social justice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.


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