School social workers' issues and practices in cross -cultural dyads
Williams, Suemai Pello Spann
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In the 1970s, the Council on Social Work Education set new policies for the inclusion of content related to diversity of populations in the educational requirements for social workers. Since that time, the profession has been concerned about how effectively knowledge regarding special populations is being integrated into practice.;This study sought to assess the levels of cross-cultural acceptance and practices among social workers in the public schools of Connecticut. In addition, this study investigated the relationships between the use of culturally sensitive practices, the acceptance of cultural diversity, and the following background factors: social workers' ethnicity, gender, educational background, length of experience, year of graduation, and course work in cross-cultural issues.;This study used a survey design that employed an ex-post facto approach. Four hundred and fifty-nine (459) school social workers were sent anonymous questionnaires by mail asking them to voluntarily participate in the study. Two hundred fifty-six (256) school social workers responded, constituting a fifty-six percent (56%) return rate.;The findings of the study revealed that: (1) There were no significant gender differences with respect to cross-cultural acceptances and cross-cultural practice. There was a significant difference between minorities (African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native American, and White social workers with respect to cross-cultural acceptance and cross-cultural practices. (2) There was a significant relationship between the number of special population courses/workshops taken and levels of cross-cultural acceptance and cross-cultural practice. (3) The strongest positive relationship was found between the number of courses/workshops a social worker took, that related to working with special populations, and his/her cross-cultural acceptance and use of cross-cultural practices.