Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NASW Standards of Cultural Competency




Although I have yet to find a social work related study on evaluation and cultural competency, I thought I would post the NASW standards of cultural competency. Below you will find the link for these standards. Check them out. Are the standards what you thought they would be? Do you think anything else should be added to make them more culturally relevant? Let me know what you think.


50 comments:

ojwashington said...

Josh thanks for the link to the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. I book marked this link because it has great information about the values and ethics that should be practiced in Social Work. Early, this week I confronted a situation with one of my Hispanic client’s whose family has an ongoing protective service case with Dekalb County DHR. I received a phone call from a representative from one of the local Catholic Churches who complained about the lack of cultural awareness that the caseworker exhibited during the family’s ISP meeting. In my job, I work with numerous Hispanic families and when forming goals, I take into account their culture. I have found that if we don’t take into account the culture of our clients then they are not as receptive to services provided our organization. Unfortunately, there are still professionals in the social service field that still has the mentality that we should impose our own culture and values on our clients. I feel that it would be beneficial not only for social workers but every helping profession to have standards for cultural competence to address the growing number of different cultures among our clients.

Stacey L said...

Wow, I feel that the standards covered all bases. It is important as a profession that we learn about our clients and their way of life. We can not adequately assist with needs that our client has identified without knowing their culture. We could cause harm to the client if we are not aware of their beliefs. Yes, I know we are not expected to know everything about every culture, but if we become familiar with the basic information on the different cultures in our area, we can better serve the clients needs. Stacey L

Stu J. said...

In reply to OJ's input, I appreciate the cultural sensitivity displayed, and concur that all of us need to do our best to be culturally sensitive in our practice. In many instances of failure to be culturally sensitive, no malice or ill intent is likely intended, simply a lack of knowledge and respect.

Anonymous said...

Comment on Code Of Ethics...
I believe that the code of ethics does a great job in identifying and clarifying the importance of cultural competency. At this point, I do not have any suggestions to increase the cultural relevance.

Response to OJ WAShinton:
I agree with OJWashington that this is a great link to have book marked for future reference.
I also am concerned that many times other professionals who have working relationships with clients but no code of Ethics may impart their beliefs and values on the family. DHR has a lot of contact with families from various cultures and as such I believe it would be a wonderful thought for them to include cultural awareness as part of their policy. I know we all agree, that DHR has enough policy, but often times I hear workers comment, that "well they are in our country, so they need to adapt to our values". As social workers we are obligated under the code of ethics to respect other cultures, so therefore it is important for agencies or other professional to adopt a similar code of ethics.

V. Holloway

Tiffiney Brittingham said...

Social work competence standards are some of the strongest standards of any profession. Lawyers and other professions are not required to respect the client, their culture, or their rights as much as social workers. The standards are precise and to the point. It helps one to understand the meaning of being culturally competent.

I agree with Stacey; we must have strong standards to properly serve our clients. We also need strong standards to perform our jobs to our greatest abilities.

Tiffiney Brittingham

jefN gadsden said...

I like Standard 10, cross-cultural leadership, which states that social workers shall be able to communicate information about diverse client groups to other professionals, not only charging us to have cross-cultural knowledge and skills, but to enlighten other professionals. That puts us front row center to change the world.

jefN gadsden said...

Otis is right as usual, many people are fighting the acceptance of the Hispanic population into our communities and they believe that they should be Americanized, like the Irish or the Italian immigrants. We are the catalyst that will have to change this view point.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams original post

Wow, I feel that NASW Standards for Cultural Competence is the Social Work Bible. Because it clearly breaks down each standard and provides a detailed definiton of what is expected within the ethical guideline. Therefore,social workers should make sure that familarize themselves in their area of expertise, as well as other areas of practice, which are centered around other cultures that one may not have any knowledge of. Because through hard work, trainings, and practice social workers should be well rounded in many areas, which will allow them to become more effective.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams comment to Stacie Luck post.

I agree that once we familarize ourselves with other cultures, we will become more effective in meeting the different needs. Therefore, the goal of every social work should be centered around doing the least harm to clients. Because the only way to stay on top in this field is through hard work, education, and practice.

Anonymous said...

I think the standards of cultural competency are sufficient and would not change anything at this time. I am proud to be part of a profession that has standards of cultural competency and practices them, as all professions do not. Faye

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stacy and C. Williams that the main objective is to help our clients & cause the least harm in the process. Also we should work hard & continue to practice the standards in our practice at all times.

Destin C said...

Thanks Josh for this link!I feel this awareness we are implementing in this MSW program is one of the most important elements.Social workers will have to be continually saturated in this process- lifelong. Cultural awareness would be beneficial if implemented in the educational systems at the elementary level.By graduation, these differences among others would no longer be seen as deficits. Cultural sensitivity would be filtered through the community which would begin the path of intercultural learning and cross cultural boundaries.

Destin C said...

I agree with you Conteria that the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence could be the social workers bible!Hopefully there will be a challenge within ourselves to become competent within our scope of practice using this tool as our comprehensive guide to fullfill the needs within our agencies and communities.

Stacey L said...

Otis, I think that it is great that you look at the Hispanic families’ culture to help with identifying goals. You are very unique and I know that a lot of social workers will not take that extra time to familiarize themselves with any culture. In my current position, I do not have as much dealing with the Hispanic population as I did when I was working patient first care coordination. When I would go to the home, of course I had an interpreter with me, but I would also try to learn from the interpreter different aspects of the Hispanic culture, so I could better serve the patients. Keep up the good work. Stacey L

Anonymous said...

I feel that the NASW has attempted to develop a thorough set of guidelines when referring to cultural competency. I completely agree that a social worker needs to develop a sense of self-awareness of their own culture. This needs to be completed before someone can fully embrace and appreciate the differences in other cultures. I also feel that it is very important to continually increase your knowledge base of different cultures to be a more well rounded social work practitioner. Robin G.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stacey L when as she stated that if we do not learn about a client's culture then we could cause harm to them. I have worked with many clients from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. If I had only one way of practicing social work, how close minded would I be about their differences. Differences in culture exist so they should be embraced and a social worker needs to be very sensitive to those differences. Robin G.

Anonymous said...

Implementation and Evaluation of Cultural Competency Training with Pharmacy Students: Although I have yet to find a social work related study on evaluation and cultural competency, I thought I would post the NASW standards of cultural competency. Below you will find the link for these standards. Check them out. Are the standards what you thought they would be? Do you think anything else should be added to make them more culturally relevant? Let me know what you think.

Are the standards what you thought they would be?
Yes The NASW code of Ethics standards are precise and provide a sound guild for ethical social work practice. You know what is expected of you at all times. There are very few vague issues when it comes to the Code of Ethics. Cultural Competence is an issue, which will continue to evolve due to our changing society and consumer/client needs.

Do you think anything else should be added to make them more culturally relevant? Not at this time at the NASW, level but maybe at the college level. One thing I would like to ad is that the NASW site has a social work portal section, which provides links to relevant social work topics it would be nice if the University of Alabama provided the same type of service to its alumni. However once we graduate we will not be able to access the college library, and that is when we will need evidence based information the most.


REPLYS
Tiffiney Brittingham said...
Tiffiney, I agree,
I agree that our profession has some of the most precise standards it helps one to understand the Cultural competence and the guidelines of social work practice buy establishing a sound base for the continual development client focused social work practice.

Conteria Williams’s original post
I agree, with your post on every point. As a LBSW, I have had to research many issues that were a cause for concern and my first stop has always been the NASW Code of Ethics. It has always been a security blanket for me to know where I stand when it comes to providing quality social work practice

Rosie A. Montgomery

david l. said...

I enjoyed reading the NASW Standards of Cultural Competency. The standards were clear and detailed. As a social worker, I could compare my educational background and the training we are receiving as MSW students and understand the ethical responsibilities when engaging with different cultures. The article also made me think more about my own culture and how important it is to be self aware of your culture. It is amazing the responsibility a social worker has to understand to respectfully and effectively help populations in need, but it is reassuring to have the NASW guidelines as a foundation. David L.

david l. said...

Faye, I’m proud of the statement you made. It is refreshing to hear a fellow colleague express that he/she is proud of the social work profession and its values and standards. I believe as times change culturally, then at that point standards should change to remain effective in society. David L.

LaTasha T. said...

Re: Conteria Williams

I agree that the NASW Code of Ethics is the Social Work Bible! I think that many school programs should require a separate course in ethics. I think that until many professionals getting into "icky" situations, they do not understand the general importance of the Code.


I can recall when I started my first case management position, I was given a book that contained the agency's policies and procedures as well as the Code of Ethics. At that time, I can recall thinking to myself, why do I have to read this code? I was under the impression that I would learn everything as I completed the job. However, I realized shortly afterward the importance of reading the code and understanding it for what it was. I do not think that it is EVER acceptable for a worker to impose his/her values onto a client or when making decisions that involve the client. I think this is what makes social work so much different from other helping professions such as counseling, law and etc. And also, as OJ stated, it could be beneficial for EVERY helping profession to have standards for cultural competence.

LaTasha T. said...

I think that the NASW code of ethics is a wonderful book! It not only identifies responsibilities for relationship with the client but also responsibility to colleagues and the profession. I do not think that there is anything in the code that needs to be changed!

Gina Smith said...

Hey Otis! This week I had to deal with a situation that involved a Hispanic family in my county. A mother and her adult daughter came into our office about a matter with the son/brother of these women. The mother did not speak English and the daughter was translating for the mother. I felt so useless and inadequate in this situation. I wanted to offer assistance to this family, but could not answer the questions that they had because it regarded the actions of the local education system. It was easy to see that they were frustrated with all the systems in our county - DHR, education, court, and law enforcement. The system that really needed to help, education, was not and none of the other systems could. I really wished for some language skills and to be a private practice social worker outside of DHR to accompany the family to the school and board of education.

Gina Smith said...

Hey Jeff...I don't think that it is such a far fetched idea that social workers should be teachers to other professions about cultural competence. As social workers we strive to have compassion and empathy for others. As noted in the Ethics and Contemporary Social Work video that we watched for JK, law enforcement agencies live by a different code of ethics. Many times we are informed by the ever watchful eye of the media that law enforcement are not always made to abide by the same laws and code of ethics of other professionals, not just social workers.

Gina Smith said...

Gina Smith - Original Post-

It is wonderful to be a part of a profession that holds it's members to high standards and have steps in place to make them accountable for failure to meet those standards. Among those standards is the demand to be aware of other cultures and how they differ from our own. The NASW was able to define and set out the basic standards that are important to our profession. Not only in providing services to clients, but in promoting diverse workplaces and professonal education.

I think that these standards should also be applied to subcultures within our own culture. My culture as a white, chubby, teenager from Millerville, Alabama entering the U of A in 1981was vastly different from the baton twirling, sorority pledging, freshman from Hoover, Alabama. Sensitivity and cultural awareness really should break all barriers whether with totally different cultures or within our own culture. I wish that I had known about Little Hall and the social work culture back then.

Tysie Baker said...

The NASW Code of Ethics if read properly, not only identifies the way social workers should effectively treat individuals, but identifies the way all occupations should treat individuals. To be honest, I am sure that if most occupations had our strict guidelines to adhere to then there would be fewer lawsuits where people are discriminated against. The NASW Code of Ethics forces social workers to treat every individual with dignity and respect, what a wonderful place this would be if everyone went by that rule!

Tysie Baker said...

I agree with Tiffiney, there are not any other occupations that have our strict guidelines which makes it easier for them to act without a conscience.

Taylor said...

The NASW standards are what I would expect. I think, as social workers, it is especially important for us to be culturally competent. How else would we be able to practice effectively with different types of clients in different cultural settings? We must recognize our own cultural beliefs and address our own personal biases so that they will not hinder our ability to help our clients.

Taylor said...

In response to Lashta T's comment, I do not think I would compare the code of ethics to a religious book, but I do think it is a great resource for social workers. In my opinion, the code of ethics is our version of an instructional handbook, which should be referenced during any type of ethical dilemma.

Taylor said...

In response to Lashta T's comment, I do not think I would compare the code of ethics to a religious book, but I do think it is a great resource for social workers. In my opinion, the code of ethics is our version of an instructional handbook, which should be referenced during any type of ethical dilemma.

S.Ray said...

I agree with Jeff. Our profession differs from others because we are expected to make a positive difference in our world. As social workers we must be aware that our actions give an indication to others that we not only believe in and accept diversity but respect others in regard to their values and beliefs.

Kristie said...

These standards are so thourough! It would be good to see corporate America and other professions embrace the cultural competence that the NASW has established for the profession of Social Work. I am thrilled that the profession I have chosen makes such an effort recognize cultural competence! Kristie R.

Kim B. said...

I liked the NASW site. I will defintely refer back to this site for future reference. I think as professionals it is extremely important that we stay aware of the cultural differences of the families we serve or may potentially serve. I think that more professions should have sites such as this one to address the differences between cultures.

Kim B. said...

In response to conteria w.... I agree that the more we learn about cultural competency the more effective we will be in working with families. This is one of many reason why I love the Social Work profession is because they have organizations such as NASW standards of cultural competency to hold the Social Worker accountable.

ojwashington said...

Re: T. Birmingham

I agree with your point of other profession's lack of cultural competence. In working with the Latino population in Dekalb County I have noted that many of the other professions don’t truly value the culture of their clients.

R.A.Montgomery said...

BLOG SIX: Rosie A. Montgomery

Narconon social education" model of drug rehabilitation

I started reading this article, they lost me with the drug residue, and no licensing involved. “Narconon treatment program is described as a "social education" model of drug rehabilitation. It is a four-to-six month, drug-free rehabilitation program that includes a detoxification regimen of aerobic exercise, dry-sauna sweating, hydration and nutrition supplements; life skills trainings; and personalized plans for after-graduation living. As a social education program, it does not always require licensing designed for medical, psychiatric, or other models of drug rehabilitation.

I guess they have never heard of withdrawal symptoms, which depend on the type of drug, quantity of use, the length of time used, or the drug abuser's age when he or she began using. Catch all treatments scare me. Every individual is different and every individual is affected differently. People addicted to alcohol will have different withdrawal symptoms than someone addicted to Ritalin
This is not evidence-based research. It appears, on further research, that they had an idea and set out to prove that their idea was right, even when the research said it was questionable.

jefN Gadsden

The program is ineffective and participant praise is not enough to classify it as evidence based. In addition, if it lacks sufficient details to adhere to or cannot be replicated, then how are you going to it the same way twice? In addition, why would you want to? I agree, this is not evidence based and its facilitators are only trained in the Scientology aspect of rehabilitation. I wonder whom did they get to pitch this idea to the California participants and did the representative have anything to do with the satisfaction surveys Some famous Scientology believers are, Erika Christensen, Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise, Giovanni Ribisi, Jada and Will Smith.



BLOG SEVEN:
Rosie A. Montgomery

THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
(Start with the moderator and how they say the questions are developed . . . how did the moderator address each candidate . . . did the moderator, in fact, moderate or control the debate. Did the candidates respond respectfully or talk over each other. I want you to evaluate the process of what you watched, and perhaps suggest ways you would improve upon the process . . . what you would take out what you would add).
The Moderator was very respectfully and addressed each candidate by his or her title and last name. The thought the questions were insightfully, and that they addressed the issues, which are prevalent to the American people. There were times when Senator McCain attempted to talk over Senator Obama, and there were occasions were they both smirked the other's comments, which was disrespectful CNN displayed a people watching the program and judged their response to each candidates' questions. I thought this was an insightful aspect to the debate, especially in presenting an average person's opini9on. I would like to see more of this type of consideration of all Americans.

RESPONSE: I did not respond to anyone else because there were no respondents listed.

amyh-gadsden said...

I think the NASW code of ethics is very important in order to base sevices on and also be able to provide the best care possible for our clients. Cultural competence should continue to be supported and training sessions should be offered on regular basis.

amyh-gadsden said...

in response to Anonymous:
I also believe that the code of ethics does a great job in identifying and clarifying the importance of cultural competency. This continues to be such a very important aspect of any career.

Anonymous said...

In order to best serve our clients, social workers need to know where their clients come from. This means they need to have a basic understanding of one's cultural beliefs, customs, rather to make eye contact, is it appropriate to shake hands, etc. Most have access to the internet, so social workers can easily get on the web and look up a culture that they are not familiar with. The Code of Ethics for the social work profession is very thorough and strict in what social workers can and can't do and my only wish it that other professions would incorporate some of our ethics, then the "world would be a much better place".
Angel P-Tuscaloosa

amanda said...

Cultural Competence is important in any career, but especially for those of us that have chosen to help others. The site was a great site for social workers to refer to on a regular basis. I thought the standards were thorough and easy to understand. In order for us to do a good job with our clients, we must be aware of cultural differences.

Amanda H

amanda said...

In response to Amy H, I agree that cultural competence classes should be taught more often. I also think that having learning opportunities is the only way to learn. It may be harmful to the clients to attempt to learn cultural differnces in the field.

T M Morgan said...

I agree with Otis and Jeff and I have Latino clients right now that I feel like are having a difficult time getting their voice heard. It is hard to have a voice in what is happening when people don't understand your language. At the same time though, I had a best friend in high school who came here from Hong Kong and had worked hard to learn English and wanted very much to assimilate into our culture. I think there has to be a balance.

T M Morgan said...

I was particularly interested in the part that dealt with language. I have several families that I work with that I have to get a translator for. It would be so much easier if my agency would send some of us to language school or classes. I would love to be able to communicate with my Latino clients without the use of a translator.

nikkig said...

I am glad to see that the NASW directly addresses cultural competence because it is a very important part of practice and producing competent practitioners.
I remember working with some clients who were deaf as a part of a parental rights hearing. It was eye-opening. I think that generally, when we think of culture, we immediately go to race, and forget about gender and alternative lifestyles. The NASW acknowledges the need to have understanding across the board for the clients we serve, and reminds us that we are responsible for learning about those cultures we do not understand.

nikkig said...

In response to Faye,
I agree. It is very nice to see that the NASW addresses cultural competence directly as it holds us accountable to all our clients as professionals.

Sara S. said...

Original Posting:

I think it is important that every social work student and anyone in the field of social work to read this article about ethics and cultural competency. As social workers we are supposed to be ethical at all times, and treat all of our clients with respect. To do this we need to be competent not only in our area of practice, but we also need to be aware of all different cultures. In our profession we deal with not only different people, but all kinds of different cultures. We need to know what is acceptable and “the norm” in our client’s culture to effectively treat them. When we first entered the MSW program I thought I was going to scream if I heard about the NASW code of ethics or cultural competency one more time. After doing one field placement and having more courses I know understand why everyone felt it was so important to emphasize these things over and over again.

Sara S. (Tuscaloosa)

Sara S. said...

Response Posting:

In response to Tiffiney B.

Tiffiney,
You are right. It does seem that the NASW code of ethics is much more in depth and strict than some other professional organizations, but I totally understand why. I think that other professions should either have more strict ethical guidelines or enforce the ones they have more often. The only other profession that I feel is as in depth when it comes to ethics as social work is nursing. I am a nurse and the state board takes ethics very seriously. When I took my boards most of my questions were about ethics.

stacy c said...

I appreciate the NASW for including the aspect of cultural competence in our ethical standards. It is just that important to the effectiveness of service provision that it be "mandated" if you will. I think that offering practitioners guidelines is a simple yet clear way of addressing the issue. STACY C

stacy c said...

hey josh i wanted you to know that i was looking through all the blogs and realized that some of my blogs must not have posted. I did however miss some of them as well. i know that to turn them in at the last minute like this is not how it was meant to go and sort of defeats the purpose. I like the whole blog idea and enjoyed doing them - i was just surprised to see that some of the posts i submitted that i really liked were not posted so I went back and did the rest until i met the required 10 original and 10 responses. Thanks, I really enjoyed your teaching style

Karen P said...

Actually the standards were substantially more than I thought they would be. I have seen policies and standards on cultural competency before at different agencies, but I must say they have not been as extensive as the NASW standards. I am proud to be in a profession that recognizes (through written/documented ethical standards) the importance of cultural competent practices/services within the field of social work and in general. I especially like the statement in the introduction that says, “…cultural competence in social work practice implies a heightened consciousness of how clients experience their uniqueness and deal with their differences and similarities within a larger societal context”.

Karen P.

Karen P said...

Response to T M Morgan:

Language is a very real and frustrating barrier to needed services for our clients. Even with the use of an interpreter or translation language line (as my agency sometimes utilizes), services are not as effective as we desire them to be. I think it would behoove us all to invest in training to learn a 2nd language (e.g., Spanish) to better meet the needs of our non-English speaking population of clients that is growing fast. Working within a medical practice, we have actually invested efforts into securing funds for a specific site geared to meet the needs of migrant and seasoning farmworkers. This site is primarily staffed with bilingual staff; however, it has been difficult to recruit a bilingual physician or nurse practitioner. Regardless, the flow of operations at this center goes much smoother because of bilingual front office and/or nursing staff onsite compared to other centers that have to wait on an available interpreter or access a language line.

Karen P.