Revisioning Cultural Competencies in Clinical Social Work Practice

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This article proposes a revision to the construct of cultural competencies into cross-cultural competencies (CCC), to include relational and dynamic aspects from clinical social work practice. This approach moves the construct beyond a 1-person system (i.e., cultural competence as a clinicians characteristic across diverse clients) to a 2-person system that interacts between 2 cultural beings, client and clinician. Comparing the National Association of Social Workers Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice with the American Psychological Association Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists, this article illustrates the unique emphasis of clinical social work practice on cross-cultural interactions. The implications of CCC for clinical social work practice are also discussed.

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