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Culturally Competent Assessments Of Children In Need Social Work Essay Paper

Words: 7700, Paragraphs: 54, Pages: 26

Paper type: Assessment , Subject: Social Work

This article critically analyses ‘cultural competency ‘ as a theoretical concept and explores the demand for a model that will help societal workers to transport out culturally competent appraisals of kids in demand and their households. It is argued that the necessary constituents of a model for pattern in this country are a holistic definition of civilization, an ethical attack to difference, self-awareness, an consciousness of power dealingss, the acceptance of a place of complete openness in working with difference and a doubting attack to a commodified construct of ‘cultural cognition ‘ . The attack must avoid the totalisation of the ‘other ‘ for personal or institutional intents. It is argued that the Furness/Gilligan Framework ( 2010 ) reflects these concerns and could be easy adapted to help with appraisals in this country.

Cardinal words: appraisal ; kids in demand ; kids and households ; civilization ; cultural competency

Introduction

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The intent of this paper is to critically analyze ‘cultural competency ‘ as a theoretical concept and to research the demand for a model that will help societal workers to place when facets of civilization are important in the lives and kids in demand and their households. The 1989 Children Act places a legal demand to give due consideration to a kid ‘s spiritual persuasion, racial beginning, and cultural and lingual background in their attention and in the proviso of services ( Section 22 ( 5 ) ) . This proviso established the rule that understanding a kid ‘s cultural background must underline all work with kids. However, there has been a longstanding concern that services to kids are neglecting to be culturally sensitive. Concern over the disproportional figure of ‘children in demand ‘ from cultural minorities led to their specific reference in The Government ‘s Objective for Children ‘s Social Services, which states that “ the demands of black and cultural minority kids and households must be identified and met through services which are culturally sensitive ” ( Department of Health, 1999a: parity 16 ) . Government policy paperss progressively recognise the multicultural world of Britain. Yet, authorities assessment counsel provides practicians with small aid in footings of set uping ways in which cultural beliefs and patterns influence household life.

Social work has acknowledged the demand to react respectfully and efficaciously to people of all civilizations, cultural backgrounds, faiths, societal categories and other diverseness factors in a mode that values the worth of persons, households and communities and protects and preserves the self-respect of each ( BASW, 2009 ) . There are many indicants that civilization is important in finding the ways in which some people interpret events, resolve quandary, make determinations and position themselves, their ain and others ‘ actions and how they respond to these ( Gilligan, 2009 ; Hunt, 2005 ) . Practitioners may non, hence, be able to prosecute with service users or to ease appropriate intercessions if they take excessively small history of these facets of people ‘s lives or see them on the footing of inaccurate, ill-informed or stereotyped ‘knowledge ‘ ( Gilligan, 2009 ; Hodge et al. , 2006 ) .

Culturally competent pattern is so cardinal to appraisals of kids in demand that one might anticipate a well developed literature on the topic. This would move as a robust cognition base to underpin excellence in service bringing. Thompson ( 2006, p. 82 ) admits, “ there is a danger that appraisal will be based on dominant white norms without equal attending being paid to cultural differences. Failure to take such differences into history will non merely distort, and thereby annul, the footing of the appraisal but will function to estrange clients by devaluating their civilization. ” However, the literature in this country is surprisingly thin. Almost two decennaries ago it was described as a “ nothingness of published information ” ( Lynch and Hanson, 1992, p. seventeen ) and Welbourne ( 2002 ) argues that advancement is still slow. Boushel ( 2000 ) argues that despite the authorities ‘s declared concern to cognize more about the impact of ‘race ‘ and ethnicity on kid public assistance, the limited extent to which research reflects the experience and demands of culturally diverse kids fails to back up a true grounds base for policy or pattern. There is grounds that facets of civilization can all excessively easy be underestimated, overlooked or ignored, sometimes with highly serious effects ( Crippling, 2003 ; Gilligan, 2008 ; O’Hagan, 2001 ) . Many mainstream child care and kid protection texts make small mention to civilization ( O’Hagan, 2001 ) . Not one of the 20 pieces of research into differing facets of kid protection work considered in Messages From Research ( Dartington, 1995 ) explore the cultural facets of any of the instances dealt with.

There is now a turning organic structure of literature written for wellness and societal attention professionals about the importance of developing and integrating cultural sensitiveness and consciousness in their work with others ( Campinha-Bacote, 1994 ; CHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C4 ” andHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C4 ” a HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C4 ” andHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C4 ” Furman, 1999 ; Hodge, 2001, 2005 ; Moss, 2005 ; Gilligan and Furness, 2006 ; Sue, 2006 ; Laird, 2008 ) . However, despite the evident outgrowth of a more general acknowledgment and recognition of these issues amongst many professionals, relevant daily pattern remains mostly dependent on single positions and attitudes ( Gilligan, 2009 ) . A Department of Health ( 2002 ) survey of 40 deceases and serious hurts to kids found that, “ information on the cultural background of kids and carers was obscure and unworldly in that it failed to see characteristics of the kid ‘s civilization, faith and race, as specified in the Children Act 1989 ” ( Department of Health, 2002, p. 26 ) . The failure to gestate accurately the cultural and societal context within which minority cultural parents are runing impacts on intercessions offered, which ‘ … served to reflect and reproduce bing impotence. . . ‘ ( Bernard, 2001, p. 3 ) . If, as this suggests, there is a shortage in societal workers ‘ ability to gestate minority cultural service users ‘ societal and cultural context in appraisals of kids, partially accounted for by a dearth of literature in this country, the deductions for pattern are potentially a failure to transport out culturally competent pattern for many vulnerable kids.

In The Victoria Climbie Inquiry Report 2003, Lord Lamming commented that, ‘The legislative model is sound, the spread is in the execution ‘ ( 2003, p. 13 ) . Report after study has expressed concern over the limited accomplishments of societal services staff when project appraisals and planing intercessions with cultural minority kids ( Batty, 2002 ) . While many professionals acknowledge that there is a demand to work in culturally sensitive ways, there is grounds that many professionals working with kids and households do non ever experience equipt to make so ( Gilligan, 2003 ) . Gilligan ( 2009 ) found that whilst professionals may recognize that service users ‘ beliefs are really of import, there is small consistence in how such acknowledgment impacts on pattern. Even within his little sample, there was considerable fluctuation in attitudes and much to propose that actions and determinations are the merchandise of single pick instead than professional opinion or bureau policies ( Gilligan, 2009 ) . Practitioners are able to go on with ‘culture-blind ‘ attacks without these being significantly challenged by bureau policies or by professional civilizations ( Gilligan, 2009 ) . There is a clear demand to look once more at what we mean by ‘cultural competency ‘ and to develop a model that will help societal workers to place when facets of civilization are important in the lives and kids in demand and their households.

Specifying civilization

There is a clear acknowledgment that aspects of civilization are important in the lives of kids and their households and that this needs to be considered in assessment pattern. In order to turn to the deficiency of apprehension and uneffective pattern among practicians in this country it is necessary to supply clear definitions of ‘culture ‘ and ‘cultural competency ‘ . Measuring kids in demand and their households is a complex undertaking. There is grounds of considerable fluctuation between societal workers ‘ definitions of the indispensable constituents of ‘good plenty rearing ‘ , reflecting the fluctuation between professionals in definition of ‘need ‘ ( Daniel, 2000 ) . When reexamining instances of serious hurt or decease, the Department of Health concluded that: “ . . .areas suggested by this research as ripe for… development [ include ] making common definitions of ”being in demand ” or ”at hazard of important injury ” ‘ ( Department of Health, 2002 ) . It is in this context of ambiguity that ‘culture ‘ must be defined. The 1989 Children Act uses the wording ‘culture ‘ as a statutory demand in turn toing the demands of black kids, but does non offer counsel about its definition.

Culture is a extremely dianoetic term and the object of an intensive theoretical and political difference ( Benhabib, 1999, 2002 ) . The building of civilization as a theoretical construct has ever been affected by embroiled positions, peculiarly in societal work ( Boggs, 2004 ) . Harrison and Turner ( 2010 ) found that participants in their survey spent considerable clip discoursing the complex nature of civilization and the troubles in specifying it. This means that when looking at the pattern of cultural competency as portion of measuring demand and put on the line the range for conceptual ambiguity is huge ( Welbourne, 2002 ) .

Eagleton ( 2000, p. 1 ) provinces that, “ civilization is said to be one of the two or three most complex words in the English linguistic communication ” . O’Hagan ( 2001 ) argues that civilization is a complex construct, with virtually illimitable parametric quantities, which can non be defined or explained in the two or three sentences normally allocated to them in much wellness and societal attention literature. For illustration, Payne ( 1997, p. 244 ) provides a instead equivocal definition of civilization: “ a hard construct. It implies a comparatively unchanging, ruling aggregation of societal values, and assumes that members of an identified group will ever accept these ” . It is possible to analyze definitions of civilization that root from anthropology, sociology, psychological science and cultural geographics ( O’Hagan, 2001 ) . The anthropologist Edward Tylor ( 1871 ) formulated the most abiding definition of civilization: “ civilization… is that complex whole which includes cognition, beliefs, art, ethical motives, jurisprudence, usage and any other capablenesss and wonts acquired by adult male as a member of society ” . The sociologist Giddens ( 1993: 31 ) says that civilization “ refers to the ways of life of the members of a society, or of groups, or within a society. It includes how they dress, their matrimony imposts and household life, their forms of work, spiritual ceremonials and leisure chases ” . O’Hagan ( 2001 ) defines civilization as “ the distinguishable manner of life of the group, race, category, community or state to which the person belongs. It is the first and most of import frame of mention from which one ‘s sense of individuality evolves ” . O’Hagan ‘s definition draws on anthropology and is broad plenty to dispute essentialist impressions of civilization, yet defined sufficiency to be meaningful. It besides balances the community and single facets of civilization. When we consider this definition of civilization it can be seen that all appraisal of kids in demand occurs within a cultural context. In fact it is possibly better understood as taking topographic point within a figure of interacting cultural contexts, with the civilization of the kid at the bosom of the procedure.

The usage of the construct of ‘culture ‘ in developing ‘cultural competency ‘ and non ‘race ‘ has been a calculated displacement in nomenclature from anti-racist theorising. Anti-racist theory, with its accent on race, has been criticised for dichotomizing ‘blackness ‘ and ‘whiteness ‘ which does non allow any distinction in the experience of racism between different cultural groups ( Laird, 2008 ) . The thought of racial homogeneousness has been digesting but this thought must be challenged. White people and black people are non homogenous groups ( Laird, 2008 ) . Culture is a broader term than ‘race ‘ or ‘ethnicity ‘ and can include facets of age, gender, societal position, faith, linguistic communication, sexual orientation and disablement ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) . Using the term ‘culture ‘ allows for difference of attitude and experience between persons who are portion of the same cultural or racial grouping. If one considers that civilization is learned from coevals to coevals, it is necessarily individual specific and shaped by one ‘s personal and social context.

The Challenge of Cultural Competence

There are a assortment of paradigms in the survey of race, ethnicity and civilization which are located in peculiar socio-historical and political contexts. ‘Cultural competency ‘ is merely one of these and has non escaped unfavorable judgment in the professional literature. Writers in societal work have argued that cultural competency depoliticises race dealingss and promotes ‘othering ‘ ( Pon, 2009 ) , assumes workers themselves are from a dominant civilization ( Sakamoto, 2007 ) and is based on the flawed premise that geting cultural cognition will ensue in competent pattern ( Dean, 2001 ; Ben-Ari and Strier, 2010 ) . Despite its broad credence, the construct remains capable to multiple, frequently conflicting, positions. There is a demand to critically analyse ‘cultural competency ‘ as a theoretical concept in order to do it meaningful to practicians and to supply a footing for best pattern.

Concern with racism emerged in the societal work profession in the 1970s and during the 1980s major texts appeared to steer pattern ( Payne, 2005 ) . The construct of ‘anti-racist ‘ pattern emerged built on the rules that ‘race ‘ is a societal concept that has been used to warrant subjugation and that it is necessary to critically analyze the kineticss of power relationships that produce subjugation. Anti-racist theoreticians have criticised advocators of cultural competency for making an ‘exotic ‘ apprehension of people from cultural minorities and for non recognizing pattern issues of societal inequality or racial favoritism ( O’Hagan, 2001 ) . Cultural competency has been presented as unpolitical and has been criticised for neglecting to turn to the power battles of history ( Barn, 2007 ) . Key issues of power are absent from much of the analytical thought around the paradigm of cultural competency ( Barn, 2007 ) . Given that the political, cultural and professional positions on race and ethnicity have of import effects for minority cultural kids and households, societal workers need to integrate an apprehension of power dealingss as a cardinal tool for overthrowing racism. A more sophisticated and nuanced attack is necessary, which will affect a paradigm displacement from essentialist impressions of race which view civilization in stiff and inflexible ways to one in which cultural sensitiveness is understood within the context of power dealingss ( Barn, 2007 ) . It is of import to widen the argument beyond ‘black ‘ and ‘white ‘ , to recognize that racial, cultural and cultural groups are non homogeneous, but to non abandon the challenging of racism and other signifiers of subjugation.

Culturally competent pattern needs to take history of the tensenesss between different cultural norms and values within the UK, non merely between ethnically and culturally distinguishable groups of people. Social work norms and values may non be those of the bulk of Europeans, or even of the ‘mainstream ‘ white UK population, as the instance of A V UK demonstrates. Writers such as Olsen ( 1981 ) , Korbin ( 1981, 1991 ) and Thorpe ( 1994 ) have problematised the impression of a cosmopolitan criterion of child care, indicating to important cross-cultural variableness. The kernel of this challenge is that standardised definitions of kid maltreatment must be contested as they needfully relate to culturally defined norms. Korbin HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/35/6/901? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=how+and+when+does+athnicity+matter & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # KORBIN-1991 ” ( 1991 ) , in what is now a authoritative essay, warns against the dangers of both Eurocentric pattern and excessively culturally relativist pattern.

On the one manus, Eurocentric pattern serves merely to enforce one set of cultural beliefs and patterns as preferred and hence reproduce forms of domination and subjugation. In the British literature, concern has been expressed that minority households are excessively often pathologised and stereotyped, with workers over-relying on cultural accounts for their jobs and using a theoretical account of cultural shortage ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ; Chand, 2000 ; Ahmed, 1994 ) . It is argued that they receive more and speedier punitory services than preventative/care services ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ) . Lees ( 2002 ) argues from her research that there is a inclination to ‘pathologise ‘ behavior that is non culturally ‘normative ‘ , an illustration being negatively measuring the act of running off from an opprobrious place among immature black adult females instead than following inactive header schemes.

At the other extreme, Korbin notes “ … utmost cultural relativism, in which all opinions of humane intervention of kids are suspended in the name of cultural rights, may be used to warrant a lesser criterion of attention for some kids ” ( 1991, p. 68 ) . It has been suggested that cultural relativism ‘freezes the position quo ‘ by doing standard-setting harmonizing to ‘universal ‘ norms impossible ( Laird, 2008 ) . Barn et Al ( 1997 ) found that acceptance of a place of cultural relativity through fright of being labelled as racialist affected statutory proviso to kids and households. They found that some societal workers were loath to step in to protect kids because they believed that opprobrious behavior was sanctioned by their civilization ( Barn et al, 1997 ) . The kid abuse inquiry studies of Jasmine Beckford ( Blom-Cooper, 1985 ) and Tyra Henry ( Lambeth, 1987 ) concluded that ‘culture ‘ had impinged upon events taking to the deceases of these kids. It was suggested that workers were excessively optimistic in their appraisals of carers and that opprobrious behaviors were interpreted as facets of civilization.

Whilst these concerns turn on the acknowledgment of facets of cultural difference as important in the procedure of appraisal, it has long been noted in the societal work literature that practicians fail at the first hurdle, in every bit much as they do non recognize at all the importance of civilization: a culture-blind attack ( Dominelli, 1998 ; Boushol, 2000 ; Graham, 2002 ) . The culture-blind attack eschews difference in its hunt for a cosmopolitan expression. It suggests that a criterion of good pattern can be established which fits all. For illustration, Payne ( 1997 ) rejects the statement that western societal work theory may be incompatible with some of the nucleus constituents of other civilizations and ignores the fact that it was used extensively in the procedures of obliteration of assorted autochthonal civilizations ( O’Hagan, 2001 ) . Despite being systematically criticised as naif and oppressive, this attack represents a powerful paradigm within societal work ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ; Dominelli, 1998 ) .

Finding the balance between these concerns poses considerable troubles for those charged with appraisals of kids in demand ( Dominelli, HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/35/6/901? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=how+and+when+does+athnicity+matter & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # DOMINELLI-1998A ” HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/35/6/901? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=how+and+when+does+athnicity+matter & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # DOMINELLI-1998A ” 1998 ) . What is needed is an attack to pattern that can dispute normative stereotypes of ‘appropriate ‘ behavior by parents or kids while advancing the rights of kids to safety and ‘good plenty ‘ rearing. Brophy ( 2003, p. 674 ) states “ Balancing a regard for differing manners of parenting and guarding against inappropriate inroads into life styles and belief systems, while besides protecting kids from ill-treatment, remains an demanding undertaking. Professionals can be castigated for step ining excessively rapidly or excessively easy. ” Social workers must run with cultural sensitiveness within the assessment procedure but at the same clip acknowledge that at the bosom of anti-oppressive pattern is a committedness to the non-relative nucleus value of human equality.

A Knowledge Based Competency?

Cultural competency as a pattern response to these issues has been conceptualised in several ways. There are non one, but multiple definitions of cultural competency and it appears to be a mutable, germinating construct ( Harrison and Turner, 2010 ) . The models available to help practicians in measuring facets of civilization are preponderantly of two types: appraisal theoretical accounts that try to help in the aggregation of information and the apprehension of specific service users ‘ strengths, demands and fortunes ( Carballeira, 1996 ; Hodge, 2001, 2005 ; Hogan-Garcia, 2003 ; Sue, 2006 ) and brooding theoretical accounts that aim to assist the practician to develop relevant accomplishments and consciousness in general footings ( Green, 1999 ; Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ; Papadopoulos, 2006 ) .

Assessment theoretical accounts of cultural competency often refer to the integrating and transmutation of cognition about persons and groups of people into specific criterions, patterns and attitudes used in appropriate cultural scenes to increase the quality of services, thereby bring forthing better results ( Davis and Donald, 1997 ) . To work efficaciously with diverseness, practicians are expected to derive cognition of different cultural patterns and worldviews, to hold a positive attitude towards cultural differences and develop cross-cultural accomplishments ( Ben-Ari, 2010 ) . Examples of assessment theoretical accounts include the LIVE and LEARN Model developed by Carballeira ( 1996 ) which identifies a series of activities which practicians need to prosecute in to be culturally competent: Like ; Inquire ; Visit ; Experience ; Listen ; Evaluate ; Acknowledge ; Recommend and Negotiate. Another illustration is Campinha-Bacote ‘s ( 2002, pp. 182-3 ) ASKED theoretical account which identifies five dimensions of cultural competency: cultural Awareness ; cultural Skill ; cultural Knowledge ; cultural Encounter ; and cultural Desire. In line with this attack Sue ( 2006 ) argues that “ culturally competent societal work pattern is defined as the service supplier ‘s acquisition of consciousness, cognition, and accomplishments needed to work efficaciously in a pluralistic democratic society ” ( 2006: 29 ) .

However, there is disparity in the literature as to the ‘knowledge ‘ that is necessary for effectual culturally antiphonal pattern. The above theoretical accounts adopt a cultural literacy attack in which civilization specific information and pattern is categorised under wide cultural group classs ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) . For illustration, Laird ‘s ( 2008 ) book “ Anti-Oppressive Social Work ” contains chapters entitled “ communities with roots in India ” , “ communities with roots in the Caribbean ” and “ communities with roots in China ” . Similarly, O’Hagan ( 2001 ) includes chapters about “ Islam ” , “ American Indians ” and “ Australian Aborigines ” in his book about cultural competency. Laird ( 2008, p. 156 ) states “ It is merely by deriving cultural cognition, that is, larning to appreciate the assortment of ways in which people with different heritages organise their lives, that practicians from the white-majority community can derive cultural consciousness. This is because cultural cognition… offers practicians a comparative analytical tool with which to analyze cultural influences upon their ain lives ” .

From this attack ‘knowledge ‘ is seen as cardinal to the development of cultural competency accomplishments, which are basically knowledge-based erudite capacities ( Ben-Ari and Strier, 2010 ) . It is widely believed that cultural cognition is the key to construing the codification of cultural diverseness ( Ben-Ari and Strier, 2010 ) . It is argued that without cognition, one can non be cognizant of the presence of prejudices in professional patterns and pattern could stay ethnocentric ( Adams et al. , 2001 ) . There is a inclination to believe that if a worker learns about a civilization, what Spradley ( 1994 ) calls ‘explicit cultural cognition ‘ , so they will hold a model for working with that civilization. Widely bing constructs of cultural competency assume that the ‘other ‘ is cognizable and that this cognition is a requirement for being culturally competent ( Ben-Ari and Strier, 2010 ) .

A radically different stance has been suggested by Ben-Ari and Strier ( 2010 ) who examine cultural competency through the lens of Levinas ( 1969 ) theory of ‘other ‘ . Levinas ( 1969 ) proposes that moralss precedes cognition. He argues that our humanity is realised through the ‘wisdom of love ‘ and non through the ‘love of wisdom ‘ ( the actual Greek significance of the word ‘philosophy ‘ ) . In other words, moralss precedes any nonsubjective searching after truth ( Beals, 2007 ) . Levinas ‘ thesis ‘ethics as first doctrine ‘ agencies that the chase of cognition is but a secondary characteristic of a more basic ethical responsibility to the ‘other ‘ . Within this model, the chief inquiry becomes what relation to the ‘other ‘ is necessary in order for cognition to be possible? He argues that the ‘other ‘ is non cognizable and can non be made into an object of the ‘self ‘ , as is done by traditional doctrine. By underscoring the primacy of moralss to knowledge, Levinas creates a new model for working across differences.

This raises cardinal inquiries with respect to the nature of societal cognition. Laird ( 2008 ) argues that the most critical demand of culturally sensitive societal work is to maintain open the duologue between people from different cultural backgrounds and to guarantee that each single emerges as a alone complex of values, beliefs and aspirations. It is necessary to see how accrued cognition about ‘other ‘ civilizations has the possible to restrict our openness in our brushs with people who are ‘other ‘ to us. Knowledge about other civilizations can take to the experience of entirety: something is nil more than what I make out of it ( Ben-Ari and Strier, 2010 ) . When we totalise the ‘other ‘ we cut down our apprehension of it. Levinas ( 1987 ) proposes that we should take for the experience of eternity, that is, the acknowledgment that something is more than what we could do of it. Berlin ( 2002, p. 144 ) notes the danger of totalizing people from other civilizations, saying “ sorting people on the footing of group rank merely gives us the semblances that we are being culturally sensitive, when, in fact, we are neglecting to look beyond easy word pictures for the peculiar and specific ways this individual is understanding, feeling and moving ” . A cognition based attack to cultural competence has a inclination to make overgeneralisations of cultural groups and can take to the worker comprehending themselves as an ‘expert ‘ despite the likeliness of them being in a place of cultural naivete ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) .

The deduction of this is that culturally competent appraisals must come from an ethical point of view of openness on the portion of the practician. O’Hagan ( 2001 ) provinces, “ The workers need non be extremely knowing about the civilizations of the people they serve, but they must near culturally different people with openness and regard ” . It must be recognised that ideas, feelings and actions are influenced by external and internal variables that are cultural in beginning and, as a effect, that each person who enters the kid public assistance system is alone ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) . A effect of this is that perceptual experiences of the kid public assistance job will be alone to each client or household. Understanding how the household perceives the job enables child protection workers to work in a more culturally antiphonal manner in developing solutions. Cooper ( 2001, p. 732 ) states “ the significances in context of a kid ‘s hurt are non ‘revealed ‘ through nonsubjective facts or through ‘expert ‘ nonsubjective appraisal or diagnosing. An in agreement significance, understanding and possible for alteration can merely be co-constructed, with the service user and their societal relationships and webs, within a located administration and multi-agency context ” . Aligning solutions with the cultural individuality of the household provides the possible for family-centred responses. Cultural competency must travel off from an accent on ‘cultural cognition ‘ if it is to supply an ethical model for working with difference.

A Matter of Reflection?

The 2nd chief type of cultural competency theoretical account is a brooding theoretical account. Reflection has been portion of pattern discourse for a figure of decennaries ( Schon, 1983 ; 1987 ) . More late the construct of critical contemplation has taken clasp ( Fook, 2002 ) . A critically brooding response challenges the values and attitudes associated with professional behavior ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) . An illustration of a brooding theoretical account of cultural competency is the ‘cultural-reflective theoretical account ‘ developed by Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward ( 2005 ) . This theoretical account includes the procedures of cultural thought ; critical contemplation and brooding pattern results. A strength of the theoretical account is that is recognises the interaction between the ‘self ‘ and the ‘other ‘ within interactions between people of different civilizations.

Ben-Ari and Strier ( 2010 ) argue that the development of the construct of ‘cultural competency ‘ could profit from sing the significance of ‘self ‘ and ‘other ‘ mutuality in modern-day arguments on cultural diverseness. They analyse dealingss between ‘self ‘ and ‘other ‘ utilizing Levinas ‘ theory of ‘other ‘ and research the ways in which these dealingss play a polar function in working with differences. A individual ‘s definition of the ‘other ‘ is portion of what defines the ‘self ‘ ( Levinas, 1969 ) . The thought that the ‘self ‘ requires the ‘other ‘ to specify itself has been expressed by many authors ( Brown, 1995 ; Riggins, 1997 ; Gillespie, 2007 ) . It has been recognised that the construct of ‘otherness ‘ is built-in to the apprehension of individualities as people construct functions for themselves in relation to an ‘other ‘ .

The deduction of this is that that all cross-cultural brushs between societal workers and service users bring into drama non merely the heritage of the service user, but besides that of the practician ( Laird, 2008 ) . Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward ( 2005, p. 59 ) note that “ appraisals of the societal universe are likely to state more about the percipient than the individuals under survey ” . Social workers need to detect and reflect upon their ain value system and traditions in order to be culturally competent. Brooding theoretical accounts, such as Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward ‘s ( 2005 ) , recognise that our cultural thought responses are frequently automatic and outside of our control. It is necessary to inquire where our responses and linguistic communication come from ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward ‘s, 2005 ) . The brooding procedure encourages an scrutiny of values and beliefs underpinning reactions. It involves disputing our premises, recognizing stereotypes and recognizing power and its effects. Without this it is easy to believe that it is our manner of being is the norm and other people who are “ cultural, idiosyncratic, culturally curious ” ( Eagleton, 2000, p. 26 ) . Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward ( 2005, p. 29 ) note that “ being so familiar, our ain manner of thought and our ain manner of life can so easy seem ‘simply human ‘ to us ” . O’Hagan ( 2001: 262 ) states “ cultural competency emerges from strict self-exploration ; it expands the professional ‘s empathetic repertory, guaranting there is no culturally biased instant response ” . It is self-awareness and an ethical stance of openness that are the most of import constituents of cultural competency, non accumulated cognition of the ‘other ‘ .

Developing a Model for Practice

Having re-conceptualised the indispensable constituents ‘cultural competency ‘ it is necessary to see what deductions this has for pattern in the country of appraisals of kids in demand and their households. Any deductions have to see the policy and organizational context that appraisals of kids take topographic point within. The policy that underpins appraisal in this country is The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families ( The Assessment Framework ) ( Department of Health, 2000b ) . The Assessment Framework was issued as counsel under the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, which means that it must be followed by local governments unless there are exceeding fortunes that justify a fluctuation. The Assessment Framework represents a manner of capturing the complexness of a kid ‘s universe and an effort to build a coherent attack to roll uping and analyzing information about a kid ( Rose, 2001 ) . The model is underpinned by an ecological attack, intending practicians finishing an appraisal consider three ‘domains ‘ : the developmental demands of single kids ; rearing capacity ; and household and environmental factors. Each ‘domain ‘ is further divided into ‘dimensions ‘ that indicate cardinal countries that should be considered for that peculiar sphere.

The Assessment Framework provinces, “ differences in conveying up kids due to household constructions, faith, civilization and cultural beginnings should be respected and understood. . .every attempt should be made to guarantee that bureaus ‘ responses do non reflect or reenforce that experience [ day-to-day experience of favoritism ] and so, should antagonize it… Guaranting equality of chance does non intend that all kids are treated the same. It does intend apprehension and working sensitively and knowledgeably with diverseness to place the peculiar issues for a kid and his/her household, taking history of experiences and household context ” ( Department of Health, 2000b, p.12 ) . However, the attending given to facets of a kid ‘s civilization within the Assessment Framework is really limited. If a practician uses the Assessment Framework without doing mention to the attach toing counsel, as appears to often be the instance ( Horwath, 2002 ) , it would be easy to construe the influence of civilization on household life in a really narrow manner. The Practice Guidance attach toing the Assessment Framework notes that “ . . .although many professionals are cognizant that it is indispensable to take history of race and civilization, and in peculiar to be culturally sensitive in their pattern, they are frequently at a loss to interpret this into practical footings ” ( Department of Health, 2000a, p. 38 ) .

Whilst acknowledgment of issues of civilization in appraisals of kids has had a turning organic structure of literature, the limited extent of empirical research in this country fails to bolster evidence-based policy devising and potentially signals a failure to transport out culturally competent appraisal for cultural minority kids ( Boushol, 2000 ; Welbourne, 2002 ) . There is small empirical grounds to show that the rule of cultural sensitiveness and consciousness ushers practitioner determination devising, or to verify the claim that it benefits cultural minority clients ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ) . Williams and Soyden ( 2005 ) carried out a cross-national survey that examined these concerns within the context of kid protection. Their survey demonstrates that despite fluctuations in national policies the kid ‘s cultural association evokes small important response by societal workers irrespective of the state, corroborating a mostly universalist attack ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ) . Overall, their findings suggest that the logic of universalism continues to extenuate against the important recognition of ‘difference ‘ in appraisals of kids ( Williams and Soyden, 2005 ) . This highlights a clear demand to develop a model to help practicians in measuring facets of civilization when transporting out appraisals of kids in demand and their households.

It is unrealistic to anticipate practicians to carry on separate appraisals of issues originating from civilization ( Furness and Gilligan, 2010 ) . Any extra appraisals are likely to be unwelcome to service users, many of whom tell research workers that they undergo excessively many already ( Furness and Gilligan, 2010 ; Dartington Social Research Unit, 2004 ) . Harrison and Turner ( 2010 ) found that deadlines and clip restraints were considered to be hindrances to culturally competent pattern and pattern responses have to be cognizant of these issues. There is tenseness between trying to supply culturally competent practicians within nerve-racking, under resourced public systems ( Connolly, Crichton-Hill and Ward, 2005 ) . Therefore, any suggested model for cultural competency in measuring kids in demand and their households has to be compatible with the Assessment Framework ‘s ( Department of Health, 2000a ) recording signifiers and timescales.

It has been established that the necessary constituents of a model for pattern in this country are a holistic definition of civilization, an ethical attack to difference, self-awareness, an consciousness of power dealingss, the acceptance of a place of complete openness in working with difference and a doubting attack to a commodified construct of ‘cultural cognition ‘ . To accomplish this it seems indispensable that practicians are non limited by a procedural theoretical account of appraisal, but are free to inquire appropriate open-ended inquiries, in order to let people to show themselves in ways that they choose, are familiar to them and esteem their expertness. It is besides of import to recognize that beliefs and patterns will change even amongst those within the same cultural grouping. A assortment of day-to-day life activities may be deeply influenced by a individual ‘s civilization and may, hence, necessitate geographic expedition with them: race and ethnicity ; linguistic communication ; faith and spiritualty ; modesty and privateness ; vesture, jewelry and makeup ; rinsing and hygiene ; hair attention ; supplication ; holy yearss and festivals ; physical scrutiny ; birth ; contraceptive method ; abortion ; attitudes to decease, deceasing and mourning ; medicine ; mending patterns ; transfusions, organ contribution and graft ; last offices ; postmortem and funeral services ( HusbHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C36 ” andHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C36 ” HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C36 ” andHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bcp159v2? maxtoshow= & A ; hits=10 & A ; RESULTFORMAT= & A ; fulltext=social+work+religion+and+belief & A ; searchid=1 & A ; FIRSTINDEX=0 & A ; resourcetype=HWCIT # BCP159C36 ” Torry, 2004 ) . Discussion of these issues may inform the appraisal in important ways.

Gilligan and Furness ( 2010 ) have developed a model with the purpose of helping practicians to reflect on and measure the relevancy of their ain spiritual beliefs and those of service users in appraisals. The model consists of eight cardinal inquiries to assistance practicians ( Gilligan and Furness, 2010 ) ( see Figure 1 ) . This model, which follows loosely person-centred and strengths-based attacks ( Rogers, 2003 ; Saleeby, 2008 ) , has been piloted with societal work pupils and refined through feedback and application. The model was developed to be integrated into the most often used bing models for appraisal, including the Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families ( Department of Health, 2000b ) .

Questions one to seven of the model ( Gilligan and Furness, 2010 ) represent an attack that incorporates the indispensable facets of an ethical attack to cultural competency outlined above and could easy be adapted in order to help with culturally competent appraisals more widely ( See Figure 2 ) . If the 8th cardinal inquiry is removed, this model besides avoids the totalisation of the ‘other ‘ through an inappropriate usage of ‘cultural cognition ‘ . The practician needs to get down with a holistic definition of civilization as discussed above and follow a critically brooding attack, sing power dealingss and their deductions.

This attack to working with cultural diverseness implies, foremost and first, an ethical relation to difference. The brooding attack of the theoretical account avoids the totalisation of the ‘other ‘ for personal or institutional intents. The acknowledgment that differences can non be to the full known means that we are cognizant that they are ever more than what we grasp. Ben-Ari and Strier ( 2010 ) believe that spread outing our apprehension of Levinas ‘ ethical stance, which absolutely advocates the replacing of cognition with duty, is a promising lead in this way. It is non merely that cognition is non adequate, but that under certain conditions, it can even be harmful. Finally, this theoretical account does non detach working with differences from an anti-oppressive position presuming societal duty towards the excluded and oppressed ( Dominelli, 2002 ; Danso, 2009 ) .

Clearly there would be a demand to through empirical observation research the utility and effectivity of such a model for sing facets of civilization in appraisals of kids in demand and their households, which would necessitate to see the organizational context within which such appraisals take topographic point. 87.5 per cent of participants in Gilligan and Furness ‘ ( 2010 ) pilot of their model said that it had been and would be helpful in their appraisals. However, the fact remains that such a model adopts an ethical stance towards difference in civilization.

Decision

To to the full appreciate and prosecute with affairs associating to civilization when measuring kids in demand and their households is non easy and a balance needs to be struck between places of Eurocentric pattern and excessively relativistic pattern. It has been argued that the necessary constituents of a model for pattern in this country are a holistic definition of civilization, an ethical attack to difference, self-awareness, an consciousness of power dealingss, the acceptance of a place of complete openness in working with difference and a doubting attack to a commodified construct of ‘cultural cognition ‘ . The attack must avoid the totalisation of the ‘other ‘ for personal or institutional intents. It has been argued that the Furness/Gilligan Framework ( 2010 ) reflects these concerns and could be easy adapted to help with appraisals in this country. Underestimating or disregarding the topographic point of civilization can ensue in the loss of chances to do existent differences and betterments in the lives of service users, while inactivity could, on juncture, lead to serious injury. Competent practicians need to set aside their ain biass and to stay unfastened and receptive to the demands of all service users. In the present clime, it can be hard for busy practicians to happen clip for contemplation and personal development. However, this is critical if societal workers are to work efficaciously within a culturally diverse society.

Figure 1: Furness/Gilligan Model: Principles for Reflection on Religion and Belief

1.A Are you sufficiently self-conscious and automatic about your ain spiritual and religious beliefs or the absence of them and your responses to others?

2.A Are you giving the individuals/groups involved sufficient chances to discourse their spiritual and religious beliefs and the strengths, troubles and demands which arise from them?

3.A Are you listening to what they say about their beliefs and the strengths and demands which arise from them?

4.A Do you recognize persons ‘ expertness about their ain beliefs and the strengths and demands which arise from them?

5.A Are you nearing this piece of pattern with sufficient openness and willingness to reexamine and revise your programs and premises?

6.A Are you constructing a relationship which is characterised by trust, regard and a willingness to ease?

7.A Are you being originative in your responses to persons ‘ beliefs and the strengths and demands which arise from them?

8.A Have you sought out relevant information and advice sing any spiritual and religious beliefs and patterns which were antecedently unfamiliar to you?

Figure 2: Adapted Furness/Gilligan Framework: Principles for Reflection on Aspects of Culture

1.A Are you sufficiently self-conscious and automatic about your ain cultural individuality and your responses to others?

2.A Are you giving the individuals/groups involved sufficient chances to discourse their cultural attitudes and beliefs and the strengths, troubles and demands which arise from them?

3.A Are you listening to what they say about their civilization and the strengths and demands which arise from it?

4.A Do you recognize persons ‘ expertness about their ain civilization and the strengths and demands which arise from them?

5.A Are you nearing this piece of pattern with sufficient openness and willingness to reexamine and revise your programs and premises?

6.A Are you constructing a relationship which is characterised by trust, regard and a willingness to ease?

7.A Are you being originative in your responses to persons ‘ civilizations and the strengths and demands which arise from them?

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