Cross-cultural awareness involves understanding both our own and the client’s culturally-based perspectives. The first step in this complex process is developing an understanding of how our own cultural background informs our perspectives as practitioners. The purpose of this draft is to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of diversity issues through self-reflection:
1. Draft an introduction which prepares the reader for the topics explored.
2. Describe your family of origin’s ethnic/cultural membership (this may involve more than one group membership).
3. Discuss your family of origin’s position on the following topics: race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, age, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, mental illness, physical ability, AND intelligence/cognitive ability.
4. Discuss the values you personally have incorporated and/or rejected as a result of your family’s ethnic/cultural membership.
5. Discuss the ways in which your own experiences of privilege and/or marginalization have shaped your personal values, beliefs and cultural membership. Use at least one theory from person-in-environment, sociocultural)
6. Identify cross-cultural issues you believe will challenge your practice as a social worker. For example, you may want to look at your personal expectations and consider whether you might hold them for clients. Identify values from the Code of Ethics that apply to these cross-cultural issues.
7. Discuss how you will manage differences between yourself and your clients (individuals, groups, families, communities) in your future social work practice and describe the ways in which you will work to engage with clients who do not share your personal values and beliefs.
8. Provide a conclusion which ties up the key points discussed in the draft.