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Tuesday, February 1

Connect With Cultural Competency

Giesela Grumbach, LCSW, President Elect

The promotion of cultural competence standards to our profession is vital. Culturally competent practice helps us to recognize the nuances, customs, belief systems, and practices of people from a variety of backgrounds. The lack of an adequate understanding or appreciation for the uniqueness of others can lead to practices which go against the premise of the helping profession. Johnson & Simring report that, … “minority patients who suffer from emotional problems are less likely than whites to be referred for psychotherapy… (and when) … they are referred they are more likely to be sent to inexperienced therapists and given more drugs” –The Race Trap, Harper Collins, NY, NY 2002. We are to first do no harm, but how can we do that if we are not armed with the knowledge necessary to carry out such a dictate?

 The NASW Illinois Chapter has been responsive to this issue and is working to revitalize its Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. The purpose of this committee is to promote the development of awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of racial and ethnic diversity in the social work profession and our society. The Committee’s charge is to identify and prioritize issues and policies of the Illinois Chapter with respect to the diverse backgrounds and needs of its members and will provide recommendations to the Chapter Board as needed.

 More specifically, the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity will focus on ways to promote cultural competence in social work practice, promote the diversity of leadership in Chapter activities, promote member proficiency of the Cultural Competency Standards set by our national office, and collaborate with the Chapter Board and Districts as needed pertaining to these issues.

 If you are interested in being a contributing member to the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity contact the NASW office by dialing 312.236-8303 or by email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 02/01/05 at 02:27 PM (0) Comments

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