Evidence-Based Multicultural Social Work

Evidence-Based Multicultural Social Work

No matter how well prepared you are, you will eventually work with a client from a culture with which you have less familiarity. While the client can teach a social worker about their culture, the client should not have to teach everything there is to know about a culture. Finding evidence from scholarly resources is another way to develop cultural competence. Research can provide knowledge about different cultures and about the effectiveness of different interventions with diverse client groups. Engaging in evidence-based practice is not only an expectation of social work’s professional Code of Ethics (2008), it helps develop the third area related to cultural competence: developing appropriate intervention strategies and techniques.

This week, you learn more about how to use evidence as part of multicultural social work. You then have an opportunity to practice by finding and applying an article related to working with immigrants and refugees.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
Apply evidence-based practice to diverse cultural groups
Reflect on values, prejudice, and biases and their impact on social work

Learning Resources
Required Readings
Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Multicultural social work practice: A competency based approach to diversity and social justice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Chapter 13, “Evidence-Based Multicultural Social Work Practice”
Chapter 14, “Culturally Competent Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees” (pp. 440–449)
Cohen, E. (2010). A social worker’s tool kit for working with immigrant families. Retrieved from https://bettercarenetwork.org/sites/default/files/A Social Worker%27s Toolkit for Working with Immigrant Families.pdf

Required Media
Le, T. (2011, December). My immigration story [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_my_immigration_story

Betts, A. (2016, February). Our refugee system is failing. Here’s how we can fix it [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_betts_our_refugee_system_is_failing_here_s_how_we_can_fix_it?language=en

Discussion: Applying Research to Practice

Refugees and immigrants are one group experiencing constant change due to sociopolitical events impacting global populations. Thus, social workers need to seek additional understanding and awareness of global issues as new groups may enter the United States, hence, the need for evidence-based practice.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process that integrates the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and client values and preferences. When engaging in evidence-based practice, a social worker will consider culture as one of the variables when asking a practice-related question and searching the literature. Social workers then evaluate research methodology in terms of sample representativeness. If the sample of the research study does not match the social identities of your clientele, the research may not be as applicable. Finally, social workers consider the cultural values and preferences of their clients when choosing whether or not to implement an intervention.

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