Community Social Work
When was the last time you drove through an unfamiliar neighborhood or community? How
quickly did you identify that area as a “good” or “bad” part of town? What led you to that
assessment? It is easy to label a community or town based on its appearance or reputation
alone. Have you ever wondered, as you drove through certain communities, why some areas
appear to be safe, clean, and filled with many varied businesses, while others appear rundown and lined with only check cashing centers, fast-food restaurants, and liquor
stores? As a macro social worker, you often will see that communities thrive and falter due
to the lack of resources available. Additionally, these areas may not grow or prosper because
their resources have been untapped. Identifying strengths—be it in your individual clients,
groups, families, and communities—is a key social work value. Use of this strengths
perspective helps you to identify the potential strengths of a community and how to
advocate for its members to obtain the resources and services they need to be successful.
For this Discussion, reflect on a community with which you are familiar and that is in close
proximity to you. Then, consider the population and geographical characteristics of that
community, as well as its strengths and challenges. Take pictures of the community that
represent the characteristics you identified. Finally, think about how these challenges you
identified might be viewed as a strength for that community.
Post a description of the community you selected. Then, explain the strengths and
challenges associated with that community based on its characteristics. Finally, explain how
you, as a social worker, might help the community view its perceived challenges as a
Discussion 2: Cultural Identity
What is culture? Is it synonymous with nationality? Can culture emerge from the
intersection of multiple factors, such as gender identity, ability status, or language?
Consider these questions as you prepare to describe your own culture.
For this Discussion, think about how you would identify your culture. Consider aspects of
your identity such as your ethnicity, gender identity, religion, race, ability status, sexual
orientation, or any other identifiers that contribute to what you would consider your culture.
Post a description of important aspects of your culture that an outsider might not know.
Explain the information a social worker would need to know about your culture in order to
effectively assist your family in the face of a pressing issue. Describe potential consequences
of a lack of cultural awareness on the social worker’s part. I am Caucasian male.
Discussion 3: Cultural Competence
The term cultural competence denotes an integrative perspective on the cultures of other
people. Individuals displaying higher levels of cultural competency tend not to promote
their culture over others or vice versa—they instead demonstrate an interest in learning
more about the customs, habits, and behaviors of those whose backgrounds are different
from their own.For this Discussion, review one of the case studies in the Learning Resources and consider
your knowledge of the client’s culture. The case study to use is attached under
Post a description of your level of familiarity with the culture of the client. Describe at least
two additional pieces of information you would need to gather from the client in order to
best assist him or her.
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