Racial and ethnic identities
People conceptualize their racial/ethnic identities and respond to inequalities in a variety of ways. Social workers must never make assumptions about a client based on experiences with other clients of the same group. Each has their own story—their own thoughts, reactions, and coping mechanisms. So… how do you access that story? How do you gather details about a client’s racial and ethnic identity, in a culturally humble manner, to inform your assessments?
In this Discussion, you practice assessing one such client who is a member of a marginalized ethnic group. As part of your assessment, you analyze the client’s interactions with systems and the dominant ethnic group.
- Review the Learning Resources on cultural formulation and cultural competence. https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.CulturalFormulation
- Access the Social Work Case Studies media in the Learning Resources and explore the case of Aaron.
- Consider the skills you would employ while assessing Aaron and how you might view his experience in the context of ethnicity.
Post an explanation of the skills and considerations needed to conduct an initial assessment with Aaron. Specifically:
- What does Aaron need, and why?
- What questions would you, as the social worker, ask to provide him with support and better understand his story?
Then, analyze Aaron’s experience as a marginalized ethnic group in the United States.
- What systems does Aaron interact with?
- In what ways might the dominant ethnic group be impacting Aaron’s experience?