Cultural Competence Practice Paper ( African, Mental Health Issues)

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*Cultural Competence Practice Paper Assignment-The Cultural Competence Practice Paper is a compilation of course content covered and is the department’s Standardized Assignment for Cultural Diversity. In addition to a numeric grade, the assignment will be used to calculate scores for the achievement of specific competencies. The instructor will provide students with a competency report before the end of the semester (see attached).

The purpose of this is assignment is for students to (1) examine the dynamics of oppression and discrimination, especially for populations at risk, (2) apply knowledge of cultural diversity to individual development and behavior, (3) appropriately intervene in an advocacy role geared toward social change, and (4) develop the ability to demonstrate an understanding of values of diversity, human rights, and social and economic justice, and (5) understand from the various system levels (micro, mezzo, macro). Students will complete this assignment using their selected vulnerable population from the Diller (2019) textbook and topic selections (Figures 1 and 2). The assignment expands the student’s awareness of both the cognitive knowledge and skill necessary to effectively interact with and serve culturally diverse populations utilizing the social work cultural competence framework (refer to Lum, 2011, chapters 4-7). The cultural competence framework has three functions: awareness, knowledge, and skill.

Figure 1.

Cultural Group Selection (Diller, 2019)

African Americans

Diverse Parents and Families


Arab and Muslim Americans

Individuals with Disabilities

Native Americans

Asian Americans

Latinos/as Americans

White Americans

Bicultural Americans

LGBT Americans


Figure 2.

Topic Selection

Dynamics of Oppression and Discrimination

Family Life (roles of various: family members, age groups, gender)


Health Issues

Engagement and/or Assessment Practices

Immigration Patterns (Voluntary and/or Involuntary)

Political Issues

Housing Issues

Programmatic and Policy Issues

Family Traditions, Customs, Beliefs

Portrayal in the Media


Evidence-based Intervention

Substance Abuse Issues

Sexuality Issues


Religion and/or Spirituality

Mental Health Issues



The student will complete this assignment in an APA format 6-7-page paper (excluding title and reference pages). The paper will include a minimum of five (5) professional references, and a minimum of eight (8) in-text citations. References should be from scholarly publications and peer reviewed. Articles and/or books must be published in the past ten (10) years (2010 forward). Students in the face-to-face version of this course will complete a 15-minute presentation to the class.

Included in the assignment should be the most salient themes and issues reflective of the cultural group that have been researched. The student will discuss the learning from both Diller (2019) and Lum (2011) that will be useful to their professional practice endeavors, but especially with the members of the group researched. The student is encouraged to incorporate resources and course assignments. The paper should include the following items and utilize the items in bold as headings:

Introduction (identify the population data as related to age, gender, etc. (i.e. LGBT, African Americans, etc.)
Discuss major economic and health issues
Historical Perspective
Provide a brief historical timeline of the major social experiences of the group (i.e. oppression, alienation, discrimination, etc.)
Provide major historical milestones and/or social movements (i.e., Suffrage, Stone Wall, Civil Rights, etc.)
Dimensions of Health Factors
Discuss the major cause of morbidity and mortality
Discuss major health barriers
Dimensions of Economic Factors
Discuss poverty, employment, and wealth gaps
Discuss major economic barriers
Dimensions of Religion and Spirituality
Discuss major religion practiced by the group
Discuss similarities and differences with the dominant religion
Traditions of the Culture
Discuss the lifespan characteristics of the group (i.e., marriage, childrearing, etc.)
Discuss of ideology on death and dying, help seeking behaviors rearing, etc.)
Cultural Competency Practice
Cultural competency practices to effectively serve the group such as counseling practices, individual and family approaches, perception of time, space, gender role, etc.
Discuss the relevance of the cultural competence framework to the cultural group
Discussion of the limitations of the social work cultural competence framework
Discussion of how you identify yourself racially/ethnically/culturally.
Discussion of how your sense of race/ethnicity or culture has changed over time.
Discussion of your reactions, feelings, thoughts, or concerns come to mind when you think about working professionally with members of this group.
Discussion of what kinds of answers, information, learning experiences, contact, and so forth do you need to become more comfortable with members of this group.
Conclusion -The student is required to include a conclusion paragraph that addresses the entire body of the essay.
Discuss one strategy that social workers or human service professionals can use to promote social and economic justice rights
Synthesis what was learned and how it may affect professional practice (i.e. managing personal biases and values)
Student will state what was gained from the assignment and how it be useful to one’s process of truly becoming a culturally competent professional.

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