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Personal Work Plan for Culturally Competent Practice 1

Personal Work Plan for Culturally Competent Practice
Diversity Oppression and Social Justice
SW 3110
By: Heather Warczinsky

Personal Work Plan for Culturally Competent Practice 2

During my journey in SW 3110 Diversity Oppression and Social Justice Class I have
learned many important things that I will carry with me throughout my life. I’ve always known
that racial and ethnic cruelty still exists in our society today. But this class has widening my
horizons on it and taught me some new things and went into depth on the past and how it is
going on still today. In this paper I will be discussing my self-assessment of beginning cultural
Competence, what I have learned in the course, what does this mean for my practice, what more
I need to know and taking reasonable action steps that will increase my cultural competence.
Self- assessment of beginning cultural competence
My level of competence that I had when I started the course was unconscious
competence, where I knew I could do it, but just did not know how. The experiences that
particularly shaped my views of my culture and the culture of others are having values and
norms. As mentioned in the book called Diversity, Oppression, and Social Functioning, folkways
and mores play a huge part in my culture norms. My culture norms that shape my views are style
of dress and manners are examples of folkways. For instance, I know when to dress professional
and when not to dress professional, I have manners because that is how I was brought up by
showing respect and treat people how I want to be treated. According to the book Diversity,
Oppression, and Social Functioning, the mores are the strongest norms and comprise the basic
moral judgments of a society. Mores I feel play a huge part of my culture norms because I been
brought up to know what is right and that it is unaccepted to kidnap, kill people and animals,
love our parents and family and known that someone who is being abused is wrong. My cultural
values that have shaped my views are freedom and hard work. Freedom one of the basic values
in the American society and it plays a big part of my life because I ‘am taught to have a freedom
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of speech, freedom of religion. As a family, I been brought up to treat everyone equal, and my
family and always put my family first. Treating everyone equal regardless of what color they are
and what kind of sexual orientation they are. Never judge a book by its cover, that saying will
always be with me and I will make sure I pass it down to my children in the near future. Hard
work is another important value that teaches me to always work hard for my money and to
always help provide for my family. For instance, when I was growing up my parents worked
very hard for what they provided us and I want to do the same for my family in the future. I
learned to always put my family first no matter what is going on, family is what holds each other
together as one.
What have you learned in the course?
The aspects that I already knew going into this course was that there is still racism and
ethnic oppression still goes on in our society today. Today, racism and ethnic oppression is going
on all over the world, for instance, look what happen to the Boston marathon, we don’t know
who did this and why but they are treating this as a terriost attack and it’s so sad that innocent
lives were lost and injured, all their lives have been changed. Sick to my stomach that people can
be so cruel and mean and take innocent lives in the result of it. What challenged my
preconceptions was when we learned about the Trial of Tears. I thought that the Indian tribes
were just removed from their land and headed west, but there was more to that and what the
government did and made them do was so sad. I had no I idea that the Indian tribes went
through all that with their land and that the government wanted the Indian culture to convert into
the white culture. For instance, in order for the Indian tribes to have and live on their land they
had to live like the European civilians. It really upset me on how they were treated and I really
want to learn more about the Indian culture. I really want to learn more on what was the
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European motive on all that and when President Jackson was elected why did he feel he had the
right to just make all them completely move off their land and put them into camps and treat
them like they were beneath them.
What does this mean for your practice?
The clientele that I might find challenging, stimulating and beneficial to work with due to
my own background, values, and relationship style are the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender. The reason for that is I have a lot of friends that are going through an identity
crisis, they don’t know who they are and they don’t know what they should do and I want to be
able to help them with that and I feel like I could make a connection with them. The things that I
have learned about the cultures and families relating to my previous and current work experience
are that not everyone is the same and that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I woke at Macy’s
so when I worked on the floor as a sales lady, I meant a lot of people of different cultures. I
caught myself judging people and assuming what they were going to do or say but I was wrong
some of the time, but I learned that everybody are humans regarding their culture and skin color
and that everyone is the same but they are different in their own way and been brought up
differently. Honestly, I don’t have a specific group or/ and culture because in my eyes I need to
know about all of them if I want to be an effective social worker and provide effective services to
my clients. The population that may be difficult for me to work/ analyze are people who don’t
speak or understand English and yes it’s something that I can overcome as a social worker. To
better provide services for this population and make it easier for me to work with them I can get
a translator or find one of my coworkers who know and understand there language and help me

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What more do you need to know?
I think that it is important from a social work prospective to understand the background,
values, relationship styles, and customs of other cultures so that I can be prepared in dealing with
individual differences. I can prepare myself through researching and acquiring knowledge of
other cultures but I believe one of the most effective ways of learning is through experience. As I
work with different culture differences I will be mindful of the unique characteristics and values
of individuals. For instance, I would like to learn more about the Native Americans history of
racism, what’s going on today with their social and health problems, family, beliefs, rituals, their
spiritual traditions and their values. I want to look more in depth on where they are coming from
and versus from then and now.
Action plans
 I will be mindful of cultural differences through work experiences. As stated in
the book, each society’s norms or rules vary in the degree of feelings they
provoke and in the response to their violation.
 I will do research making myself aware of their values and cultural differences
 I will work collaboratively with other professionals in my field while being open
minded to their personal experiences and in others opinions and knowledge.

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Appleby, G., Colon, E., & Hamilton J. (2011). Diversity, Oppression, and Social functioning:
Person-In-Environment Assessment and Intervention (3rd Ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon