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When we overlook culture or when we do not understand what is normal in the context of the
culture, we can make harmful decisions. We limit our ability to engage families and communities
and build on their strengths. Cultural competence allows social workers to feel more
comfortable and be more effective in their interactions with families whose cultures are
different from their own. It enables families to feel good about their interactions with their
social worker, and it allows the two parties to accomplish their goals.
When gathering information on child and families, it’s important to filter this information
through the child and family’s culture in order to get an accurate picture. It helps you to get a
picture of how the child and family interacts with the world around them. It’s also important, for
workers to recognize when they are filtering the information about child and families through
their own cultural beliefs about families and family life.
Watch the video posted to this module “What is Culture?”. After watching the video and doing
your own research on the importance of culture competencies, address the following in this
discussion board:
Why is culture competency important in child welfare?
How can you, as the social worker, minimize the possibility of your own cultural beliefs and
biases influencing how you work with families?