Cultural Competence

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The definition of the concept of cultural competence has evolvedthrough different perspectives, needs and interests all of which havebeen incorporated into state legislation, Federal laws and policieswithin the private sector organizations and the academic settings.Cross et al. define the concept of cultural competence as a set ofbehaviors, attitudes and the policies that define a particularsystem, agency or a team of professionals and serve to ensure theefficient execution of tasks within the agency. Culture as a term isincorporated because of the integration of the patterns if the humanbehavior that includes communication, actions, beliefs, customs andvalues held within the institution regarding racial, religious andethnic considerations. Competence as a concept comes into playbecause of the capacity to function efficiently. NASW has stipulatedthe standards for cultural competency in a typical social workplacewith the goal of bestowing the social workers with the responsibilityof being culturally competent as they execute the tasks assigned tothem. The paper aims at determining the cultural competence at theplace of an internship through the application of the concept ofcultural knowledge. The internship at Project Create and theexperience learned from working at the place serves as the foundationof the idea of cultural competence.

Assessment of the Field Work Agency

The first standard that applied at Project Create was on the issue ofethics and values. According to the NASW standards, the socialworkers have the mandate of functioning by values, standards andethics of their profession. Further, they need to recognize how theirpersonal and professional values can conflict with or otherwiseaccommodate the individual requirements of the clients. The communitywithin which the agency was operating from were receptive of theservices that were being offered. Project Create aimed did providearts education to the homeless people. The nature of servicesrendered by the staff was evidence enough that they were competent asattested by the level of reception that they did receive from membersof community they were serving. Also, there is the issue of stafftraining aimed at equipping the social workers with the expertiseneeded to execute the tasks they have been assigned with much ease.Such an act does serve as a way of providing the social workers withcompetence in the execution of the tasks that they have beenallocated. Project Create has helped a great deal in providingservices to the community when it comes teaching about artseducation.

As an intern at Project Create, multiple cues identify the level ofcompetency of the agency Project Create when it comes to how theywere executing the duties that had been assigned to them. The agencyis seen to adhere to NASW’s Standard Six. According to thestandard, social workers have the mandate of ensuring that they areaware of empowering and advocating for social policies that have abenefit to the populations that they are serving. For example,Project Create were providing arts education to people in poverty andthose in poverty. As part of their agenda, they needed to ensure thatthe policies that they have in place are effective enough to help thepeople they were serving. One of the requirements as an intern was tomake sure that all the tasks that were being conducted sought toempower the community.

Further, in assessing the level of cultural competence of the agency,it was essential to determine the degree of staff sensitivity.Drawing to the definition of the concept of cultural competence,there is a need to adhere to accepted behavior. The agency has staffthat observes the need to respect each other irrespective of theirplace of origin or status. As an intern at Project Create, the rolewas to help the senior staff in carrying out social work that hasbeen assigned to them. As a student in an internship, it was evidentthat my capabilities were limited. However, the staff I was assignedto work with was patient enough. The agency did identify the factthat I was a student in training and for the same reason, the levelof input expected from me was limited. The staff was sensitive to myneeds and did work with me within my limits. Such is an indication ofthe fact that Project Create was culturally competent.

Assessment of the Agency regarding Programs and Services Offered

The entire process of social work entails putting much effort,dedication to the delivery of quality services defined byeffectiveness and efficiencies. Project Create does offer artseducation to the homeless and those who are living in poverty. It hastaken the mandate of ensuring that in the community, children andyoung people with particular reference to the homeless and thoseliving in poverty do access quality arts education so that they canimprove their lives. Being an intern at the agency, it was evidentthat they put much effort toward ensuring that they were able toachieve the goals that they have set. According to NASW’s standardfive, social workers have the mandate of ensuring that they areknowledgeable and have skills when it comes to delivering services tothe community and the society at a greater length. Because ProjectCreate were offering art education to the community, it was vitalthat they work towards ensuring that they achieve the goals ofdelivery of quality services to their clients. As an intern, Iobserved that they had a vision of providing quality arts educationto the community. Such is a reaffirmation of the concept of culturalcompetence depicted by the agency when it comes to delivery ofservices.

Also, there is the idea of applying efficiencies when it comes to thedischarge of duties. Project Create utilizes the resources that theyhave to ensure that they exhibit capabilities when it comes to theexecution of the tasks that they have been assigned to conduct. Forexample, they have decided to use art as a way of encouraging thestudents to advocate for what they desire for in a typicalenvironment. They have introduced an internship program for socialwork students, one of which I am a part, as a way of furtherincreasing the capacity of those available to help them in furtheringtheir agenda. Relating the same to NASW’s standards of culturalcompetence, there is a need to have a diverse workforce that seeks tosupport the agenda that a particular organization aims atdisseminating. Through the same, they have created internshipprograms as a way of diversifying their workforce. Such is anindication of the cultural competence exhibited by Project Createthat serves to empower the community, particularly children and theyoung people when it comes to advocating for what they believe.

Personal Cultural Competencies

The internship program at Project Create did reveal my culturalcompetence especially in the duties that I was tasked to execute. Theinternship was demanding to negate the need for one to committhemselves fully towards the execution of the tasks that are assignedto them. The social work entailed engaging with children and theyoung when it comes to arts education. NASW’s tenth standardidentifies the need for me to exhibit cross-cultural leadership inthe tasks that they have been assigned. Because of the nature of theinternship, it was essential that the children be guided to make thembetter people in the society through arts education. Through theactivity, it was possible to encourage the young people to be betterindividuals in the community. Further, it was a revelation of thelevel of cultural competence that I did exhibit during an internshipin the agency.

The internship program required that one creates trust with thosethey are educating while at the same time building a goodrelationship with them. The ability to practice such as traits was ashow of cultural competence from my part as an intern at ProjectCreate. For example, it was essential that a good relationship iscreated with the children. The ultimate goal of the same was to seeto it that understanding is fostered among them. The teaching of artseducation among the children negates the need to exhibit competencysuch that the learners can utilize the same when it comes to makingtheir lives better in the society. It was possible to achieve that bycreating trust and a good relationship with the learners in thecourse of the internship.

Assessment and Problem Definition

The process of training as a social worker at Project Create wasessential as it provided an opportunity to identify my capabilitieswhen it came to the execution of task and identification of theproblem in place. In the course of the internship, it was evidentthat much needed to be done when it came to the application of theknowledge learned in class and applying the same in a practical workset up. Relating to the children of diverse backgrounds did prove abit of a challenge considering that each had a set of expectations.The need to meet the individual requirements of all of the studentswhen it came to the training of arts education made it mandatory tounderstand each of the students on a personal basis. It was a problemthat required being addressed. However, it was possible to accomplishthe task with the help of staff who provided professional guidance.

Personal, cultural competencies and final thoughts

The decision to work at Project Create made it possible to identifythe need to adhere to the cultural competencies that defined theagency. However, it was possible to achieve the goals of the samesince staff was working in a manner that depicted professional.Adherence to the culture of the organization was a prerequisitetowards accomplishing the training program. Through the entireprocess, it was possible to achieve the goals that had been setbefore the commencement of the internship program. Overall, theconcept of cultural competence is essential in any given agency tohelp in the realization of the vision that they have created asattested by Project Create.


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social workpractice. National Association of Social Workers.