Human service professionals and social workers are required to offer quality support to people from diverse backgrounds. Failure to focus on the cultural differences of the targeted people can result in injustice and ineffectiveness (Murcia & Lopez, 2016). Cultural competence has, therefore, emerged as a powerful concept that can empower human service professionals to meet the diverse needs of many clients from diverse cultures.
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Cultural Values: African American, Caucasian, and Asian American Populations
The majority of African Americans live in rural areas and suburbs. Many men live alone after attaining the age of 20 (Murcia & Lopez, 2016). Christianity is taken seriously by this cultural group. Most of these individuals “rate their health less positively” (Murcia & Lopez, 2016, p. 4). Folk medicine is embraced by this cultural group. Herb and root healers are common in the community. Some individuals who follow traditional African systems believe that being in harmony with the universe or nature is what promotes good health. Illnesses can then be treated using locally available natural substances.
The number of Asian Americans has increased over the past two decades. Many Asian Americans believe that family is very important. Problems are shared within the family. Traditional practices, such as rituals and celebrations, are common. Meditation is embraced by different individuals in this culture (James & Gilliland, 2017). Elderly Asian Americans are respected by their relatives. The cultural group is known to live harmoniously with nature.
The Caucasian population in America is associated with a number of cultural attributes. For instance, people believe in scientific methods and theoretical approaches to solve problems. The nuclear family is taken seriously. Medical practices, medicines, evidence-based therapies are embraced by this culture (Hayden, Williams, Canto, & Finklea, 2015). English is the common language used by individuals in this culture. Time management is taken seriously. The people believe in Christianity and the power of prayers. Hard work, according to them, is the key to success.
Sensitive Areas for Social Workers and Human Service Professionals
When focusing on the needs of African Americans, human services professionals should use a personalized approach. This is the case when focusing on young men. The family should be involved because they have strong extended-family bonds. The concept of group therapy is essential because people have a communal culture. Evidence-based approaches will be appropriate for African Americans who embrace the teachings of Christianity (Diller, 2015).
A social worker providing support to Asian Americans should consider the issue of family. The therapy should be task-oriented. Relatives should be involved while at the same time, maintaining the highest level of privacy. Meditation should also be considered whenever providing support to Asian Americans (James & Gilliland, 2017). An interpreter can support the care delivery model and minimize language barriers.
A culturally competent social worker planning to provide humanitarian support to the Caucasian population should use western-style therapy. The use of modern approaches such as the Gestalt technique will deliver positive results. The therapy should be analytical and personalized. Depending on the individual’s faith, prayers can support the process (Diller, 2015). The social worker can also consider the need to include members of the nuclear family. Punctuality should also be taken seriously.
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This analysis shows conclusively that effective humanitarian support and care is possible when the social worker clearly understands the background and culture of the targeted group (Diller, 2015). The personalized approach will ensure the professional is equipped to meet the diverse needs of the targeted clients.
Diller, V. (2015). Cultural diversity: A primer for the human services (5th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Hayden, S., Williams, D., Canto, A., & Finklea, T. (2015). Shelter from the storm: Addressing vicarious traumatization through wellness-based clinical supervision. The Professional Counselor, 5(4), 529-542. Web.
James, K., & Gilliland, E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Murcia, S., & Lopez, L. (2016). The experience of nurses in care for culturally diverse families: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagen, 24(1), 1-11. Web.