You are on page 1of 6

Skills Development Paper

SW 3000 Communication and Cultural Diversity


Dr. Karen Watkins
November 30, 2014

LaTricia Russell Skills Development

A: Cultural Competency Action Plan


Standard 1: Ethics and Values
I have recognized the importance of culture in peoples lives (value). I respect and am sensitive
to cultural differences. I have assessed personal, cultural values, recognized the existence of a
cultural lens that shapes our interpretations of the world. I understand and acknowledge the
historical relationship between my culture and other cultural groups. My behavior as a student
and as a future social worker is appropriate, and I recognize cultural strengths and ethical and
cultural value conflict dilemmas.
Standard 2: Self-Awareness
I have taken pre/post self-awareness cultural competency assessments and pre/post-Social Work
Cultural Competencies with culturally diverse groups and social, economic justice assessments. I
am aware of my worldview, values, assumptions, expectations, privileges, biases, and theoretical
orientation. The work I plan to do in the future as a social worker is to continue to expose myself
to tools that will sharpen my self-awareness.
Standard 3: Cross-Cultural Knowledge
I understand and have gained knowledge of human diversity in all its forms. Examples of human
diversity in a matrix of oppression: race, religion, gender, sexual orientation. I have assessed my
cultural background and identity as well as determined the amount of contact with groups and
individuals of other cultures and ethnicities. I have reviewed my beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral
responses. I realize the importance of attaining knowledge in my social work education journey.
The assessment raised consciousness about other ethnic and cultural history, beliefs, and
interaction patterns have increased my cultural awareness and made working with multicultural
clients in social service agencies a beneficial experience for both parties. In the future, as a social
worker, I will use my cross-cultural knowledge to utilize interventions and treatment appropriate.
Standard 4: Cross-Cultural Skills.
I understand the importance of attaining skills in my social work education journey. The
assessment raised consciousness about other ethnic and cultural history, beliefs, and interaction
patterns will increase one's cultural awareness and make working with multicultural clients in
social service agencies a beneficial experience for both parties. I also value the employment
experiences that I have had and look forward to the opportunities in the future armed with my
newest cultural awareness toolkit
Standard 5: Service Delivery
I am aware of services available in the community for a culturally diverse client group. I have
built relationships with community service agencies, volunteering. The group presentations
exposed me to many more services and resources for culturally diverse groups. In the future, I
plan to learn resources available in the community for a culturally diverse client group and will
continue to build relationships with service providers. I will also provide linkage to culturally
appropriate services.
Standard 6: Empowerment and Advocacy
I am aware of many social policies and programs on diverse client populations and agree to
support and with clients in the future whenever appropriate. This semester I participated in a
group presentation on disabilities and was able to expose the class to issues facing this culturally

LaTricia Russell Skills Development

diverse group. My group suggested overall that others should focus on the person not the
disability. A person with a disability has value and can do many things that those that are ablebodied can with accommodations. In the future, I plan to continue to empower and advocate for
culturally diverse populations. I will keep abreast of the state and federal laws and join my state
and national Social Work Organizations to help advocate.
Standard 7: Diverse Workforce
This semester I researched cultural competence and why having a cultural competent staff is the
key to fostering positive and productive relationships. A culturally diverse workforce will create
a synergy that can think outside of the box and be more creative with tailoring treatment and
services to a culturally diverse client group. In the future, I want to work for agencies that have a
culturally diverse staff.
Standard 8: Professional Education
This semester I participated in educational programs that helped advance cultural competence in
the profession by completing mini-assignments a-d. I listened to lectures by the instructor, Dr.
Watkins. I also listened to group presentations and learned new information about culturally
diverse groups. I had four cultural immersions that enhanced my knowledge about those possible
client groups. In the future, I plan to keep up with the changing needs of diverse populations by
attending trainings that focus on cultural competency.
Standard 9: Language Diversity
This semester I learned to make sure that the language used is appropriate for the audience that is
to receive the message. I learned to look and advocate the provision of information, referrals, and
services in a language appropriate to the client. I learned to be cognizant of the fact that an
interpreter may be necessary to ensure comprehension. In the future as a service provider, I will
make sure my culturally diverse clients are given written information in English and their native
language when possible.
Standard 10: Cross-Cultural Leadership
This semester I learned how to communicate information about diverse client groups to other
students during my group presentation. I also sharpened this skill by completing the individual ePortfolio. In the future I plan to empower diverse client populations, share information about
different groups and advocate for a fair and equitable treatment of these diverse groups.

B: Social Action Plan


This semester I learned mechanisms of oppression and discrimination by analyzing the matrix of
oppression. The oppression matrix has eight social identity categories that correlate to isms. I
learned about privileged groups, border social groups, and targeted social groups. I created a
micro/macro and mezzo/macro social action plan to confront oppression of persons with
cognition disabilities. I would like to be an ally for persons with cognition disabilities. This
group needs allies because this population is stigmatized and treated as substandard, less-than,
not normal.

LaTricia Russell Skills Development

Micro/Macro Plan
On a micro level (individual/small group) some supportive practices for work with persons with
cognition disabilities are to accept that a person is more than their level of ability (ableism).
Tailor treatment to the individual and utilize their strengths. Seek the opinions of people that
have cognition disabilities because they may have valuable ideas and experiences. Try to
empower and encourage people with cognition disorders and facilitate linkage to appropriate
community services. According to Lum (2011), cultural competence must address multiple
social identities and their unique intersection for each individual, organization.. (p. 439).
Emory and Grady Hospital are a couple of local service providers for cognition disabilities
Persons with cognition disabilities are faced with communication barriers and breaking down
that barrier will enable client to attain goals. As a social worker, I will build on clients strengths
and empower and advocate achieving their goals.
Mezzo/Macro Plan
On a mezzo/macro level (society/institutional/system level) some supportive practices are to use
language that does not promote exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural
imperialism of any social group. The media representation of persons with cognition disabilities
must have accurate portrayals and held accountable for negative and stereotypical images. As a
future social worker, I will question political agendas regarding vulnerable groups and band
together with others to advocate social changes. According to Lum (2011), a person with a
disability is qualified to receive individual treatment and services and this justifies a social
workers employment (p. 457). The use of this plan would help combat oppression and
discrimination of targeted social groups and raise the consciousness of society.
On a macro level (large group/institutional/system level) some supportive practices to utilize are
to seek out local social and political organizations that support cognition disabilities in the
community. National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is an organization that I will support. I
will also encourage clients to join NAMI and take an active role in fighting for their rights.
According to Lum (2011), The primary problems facing disabled people today are problems
related to social justice and not to individual pathology (p. 460). I will participate in programs
that education me about new treatment and information for persons with cognition disabilities. I
will be aware of current issues and know my local representatives views about this vulnerable
group.
C: Post Reflection Experience
The Communication and Cultural Diversity class provided a wealth of information about how
ones culture shapes their worldviews, values, ethics, and impacts interactions with other various
groups. The first stop on my journey to become culturally proficient I took four self-assessment
cultural competency tests. I took two pretests and two post-tests. I scored 113 and 133 on the
pretest and posttest of my cultural competency, respectively. The score could have ranged from
36 to 144. There are four levels of cultural competence. Visually a pyramid depicts the levels;
the lowest level, level 1, is culturally incompetent. A level one score range is 36-69. The next
level, level 2, is culturally aware. The range for level 2 is 70-94. The third level, level 3, is
culturally competent. The range for level 3 is 95-128. The top level, level 4, is culturally
proficient. The range for level 4 is 129-144. Cultural proficiency encompasses my values and

LaTricia Russell Skills Development

behaviors in relation to working with diverse groups. I moved from a level 3 in my pretests up to
a level 4 in my posttest. The lectures, readings, research, videos, and group presentations have
helped me evolve and gain more knowledge about myself. I scored 234 and 262 on the pretest
and posttest of my social work cultural competencies with culturally diverse groups and social
and economic justice, respectively. The score could have ranged from 78 to 272. There are four
levels of cultural competence. Visually a pyramid depicts the levels; the lowest level, level 1, is
culturally incompetent. A level one score range is 78-155. The next level, level 2, is culturally
aware. The range for level 2 is 156-233. The third level, level 3, is culturally competent. The
range for level 3 is 234-254.The top level, level 4, is culturally proficient. The range for level 4 is
255-272.
Cultural proficiency encompasses my values and behaviors in relation to working with
diverse groups. I moved from a level 3 in my pretests up to a level 4 in my posttest. The lectures,
readings, research, videos, and group presentations have helped me evolve and gain more
knowledge about other culturally diverse groups and social economic justice. In the future, I plan
to be more mindful of events or opportunities to interact with more diverse populations. The
cultural immersions and group presentations helped gain knowledge and skills needed to work
with culturally diverse groups. The dominant and subordinate group membership assignment and
the cultural biography assignment helped me to reflect on my experiences and understand myself
better. I felt good about the increase in my scores from the pretest to the posttest. It validated the
fact that I have raised my consciousness and will be a better resource to future clients and
coworkers. I acknowledged my erroneous perceptions and assumptions about other culturally
diverse groups and became more self-awareness since the beginning of the course. As a future
social worker, I will use culturally appropriate interventions and seek to utilize the clients
natural supports in the community and within their particular cultural context to attain their
goals.

LaTricia Russell Skills Development

References
Lum, D. (2011). Culturally Competent Practice. A framework for understanding diverse
groups and \justice Issues. (4th\Ed). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. ISBM: 978-08400-3443-4.