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Getting Started Cultural competence is a cornerstone of social work. It is an on

Getting Started
Cultural competence is a cornerstone of social work. It is an ongoing process, in which professional social workers are expected to improve their knowledge, understanding, and skills in working with diverse people on a regular basis. Social work, in general, is concerned about addressing – and when possible, eliminating – oppression. Ecological theory, also referred to as ecological framework, ecological systems, ecosystems perspective and others, provides an overarching view of how people are affected by their environments, and, in turn, affect their environments. This includes societal, as well as individual, views and beliefs about marginalized and oppressed groups. A rather challenging aspect of cultural competence, as well as social work in general, is managing our own worldview and bias. This is challenging because it is very difficult for us to see or be aware of our own biases, and often they are only revealed through discussion with others. However, within the context of practicing social work, it is extremely important that you become aware of your personal biases and how they influence your reactions and responses to others as well as your decision-making. Thus, through supervision, self-reflection, reading about cultural competence, and examining specific case studies or examples of your own work, you ideally will become more aware of your biases as well as strive to become more objective and culturally sensitive in your social work practice. In this discussion, we will also examine how our understanding of diversity, marginalization, and oppression is informed by our commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion, which are fundamental to ethical social work practice.
Textbook: The Social Work Practicum: Preparation for Practice
Website: NASW Code of Ethics
Lau, J. & Ng, K. (2014). Conceptualizing the counseling training environment using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory.  International Journal of Advanced Counseling, 36(4), 423-439. 
Background Information
This assignment will allow you to become more self-reflective, manage your personal biases, address how to better work with diverse clientele, how to utilize and apply the ecological theory (or ecosystems perspective) in a case study, demonstrate character, and gain a deeper understanding of the NASW Code of Ethics. Through reflecting on a case study or example from your practicum, you will analyze a situation and reflect on how you can improve in your practice with others, including reducing the influence of personal biases and strengthening your cultural competence. As we reflect on these case studies, it’s important to consider how our approach to diversity, marginalization, and oppression is influenced by our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) in social work practice.
Read Chapter 13, “Diversity in Social Work Practice,” in your textbook The Social Work Practicum: Preparation for Practice.
Review the NASW Code of Ethics by clicking on “About NASW” in the main navigation. scroll down to “Ethics” and choose “Code of Ethics.”
Review the content on Ecological Theory provided in the article by Lau and Ng (2014). You can find this article using Online Campus Library Services (OCLS).
Select a case study, scenario, or situation that occurred recently in your practicum (Community Mental Health: MI/DD Adult Case Management) that relates to diversity, marginalization, cultural competence, and/or personal bias.
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following discussion questions or prompts:
Briefly describe your case study, scenario, or situation that occurred recently in your practicum, providing specific examples of the marginalized or oppressed clientele with whom you are working, along with the situation. This can be a situation you have been directly involved with or have heard about through others at the agency.
Apply the ecological theory or perspective to your marginalized/oppressed clients. Explain how this theory assists you in not only understanding why they are marginalized/oppressed, but also how you can seek to reduce marginalization/oppression (locally or nationally). Be sure to explain relevant aspects of the theory and to cite sources from course materials or other professional literature in your responses. 
Describe how you are working to be aware of your biases and how they may affect your interactions with this clientele. Be specific about how you are or can use reflection, supervision, research, etc. to assist you.
Describe how you are advancing your cultural competency and anti-racist practice with this clientele. Give an example. 
What are you proud of in your work with this clientele when it comes to cultural competency? What can you do differently?  Be specific in your responses to these questions.
Be sure to reference both the textbook and the NASW Code of Ethics in your discussions.

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