Field Instructor Training
Module 4: Culture, Diversity and Social Justice in Field Instruction
Definitions of Culture
Culture a la Webster:
5a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends on man's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b. the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group c: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes a company or corporation.
Definitions of Culture (3½ Minutes)
NASW Definition of Culture
". . . The integrated pattern of thoughts, communications, actions, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial and ethnic religious or social group."
(NASW Website, 2008)
NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice
Ethics and Values- Social workers shall function in accordance with values, ethics, the standards of the profession, recognizing how personal and professional values may conflict with or accommodate the needs of diverse clients.
Self Awareness- Social workers shall seek to develop an understanding of their own personal, cultural values and beliefs as one way of appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in the lives of people.
Cross-Cultural Knowledge- Social Workers shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the history, traditions, values, family systems, and artistic expressions of major client groups that they serve.
Cross-Cultural Skills- Social workers shall use appropriate methodological approaches, skills, and techniques that reflect the workers' understanding of the role of culture in the helping process.
Service Delivery- Social workers shall be knowledgeable about and skillful in the use of services available in the community and broader society and be able to make appropriate referrals for their diverse clients.
Empowerment and Advocacy- Social workers shall be aware of the effect of social policies and programs on diverse client populations, advocating for and with clients whenever appropriate.
Diverse Workforce- Social workers shall support and advocate for recruitment, admissions and hiring, and retention efforts in social work programs and agencies that ensure diversity within the profession.
Professional Education- Social workers shall advocate for and participate in educational and training programs that help advance cultural competence within the profession.
Language Diversity- Social workers shall seek to provide or advocate for the provision of information, referrals, and services in the language appropriate to the client, which may include use of interpreters.
Cross-Cultural Leadership- Social workers shall be able to communicate information about diverse client groups to other professionals.
(NASW Website, 2008)
Social Workers should provide services and represent themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their education, training, license, certification, consultation received, supervised experience, or other relevant professional experience.
Social workers should provide services in substantive areas or use intervention techniques or approaches that are new to them only after engaging in appropriate study, training, consultation, and supervision from people who are competent in those interventions or techniques.
When generally recognized standards do not exist with respect to an emerging area of practice, social workers should exercise careful judgment and take responsible steps (including appropriate education, research, training, consultation and supervision) to ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from harm.
(NASW Website, 2008)
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