Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity

As a profession, Social Work acknowledges that the term cultural implies integrated patterns of diverse and unique human behaviour including attitudes, thoughts, communications, actions, traditions, customs, beliefs and values. Culture also encompasses diversity on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, age and generational differences.

Social Work philosophy and practice promotes the development of a just and equitable society where persons and groups are not discriminated based on their social origin. In view of this goal, Social Workers must commit to enhancing their beliefs and understanding through practices that challenge any form of discriminatory and oppressive practice.

5.1.1. Social Workers shall conduct their practice with sensitivity and understanding of their client’s diverse, cultural needs.

5.1.2. Social Workers shall use a collaborative approach, when appropriate, to assist the client to access culturally appropriate services and resources.

5.1.3. Social Workers shall continuously engage in reflection and self-assessment in order to critically examine how their own beliefs, attitudes and practices may reinforce power dynamics and impact helping relationships with people of diverse cultural needs.

5.1.4. Social Workers shall be concerned with identifying and addressing issues of power imbalance as they occur within the social, economic, political, cultural and ethnic contexts of the client’s environment, respecting principles of individual human rights and freedoms.

5.1.5. Social Workers have the responsibility to allow clients to define their personal cultural identity which in turn, allows them to include or not include factors they feel are important to them. In doing so, Social Workers recognize the importance of the diverse cultural needs and to assist the client in identifying and assessing those needs through appropriate interventions.

5.2.1 Social Workers are responsible for developing ongoing knowledge and understanding of diverse, culturally relevant issues. This may be done through independent research, participation in professionally appropriate cultural and ethnic activities, courses and workshops, and through collaboration and consultation with persons and/or groups who are knowledgeable in this area.