Essay on Cultural Awareness And Social Work

792 Words Mar 13th, 2016 4 Pages
Cultural awareness is the first step in providing culturally competent services to patients. “To work effectively with Latino clients, social workers must view clients through a multisystemic perspective, examining the micro, meso, exo, and macro system levels of their experience” (Lum, 2005, p. 100). Social workers are trained to view every patient through this ecological lens. Although, cultural competence is a higher level of awareness and takes time, patience, and practice. In practice it is easier to see the immediate environmental factors and identify interconnectedness and interactions supporting, or hindering the patient; then it is to look at historical factors that may be contributing to current difficulties.
Maria is a 22-year-old young woman who identifies as Hispanic. She is unemployed, single, and a new mother. Due to the nature of the interaction, the setting, and the inexperience of the social worker Maria’s degree of acculturation or her cultural beliefs and attitudes were not assessed.
In retrospect, the social worker can still identify intersectionality within the human experience that could affect Maria. “Intersectionality refers to the multidimensionality and complexity of the human cultural experience and describes a place where multiple identities come together, or intersect” (Marsiglia & Kulis, 2009, p.42).
The matrix of domination is explained as the intersection of “race, gender, and social class” (Marsiglia & Kulis, 2009, p. 42). Each of these…

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