Essay Sample Describing Social Work Practice with Hispanic Families

Published: 2022-09-01
Essay Sample Describing Social Work Practice with Hispanic Families
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Social work Community health
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 700 words
6 min read

My team interviewed social workers who have experience working with Hispanic families and some members of this community to gauge the level of cultural competency of social workers who are based in culturally sensitive areas. The Hispanic population is currently the largest growing community in the United States (Dettlaff & Rycraft, 2009) and therefore, social workers of welfare agencies should have specialized training to handle the specific needs of these families based on the challenges they face. These challenges include substance abuse, low education levels, health issues, and discrimination.

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Hispanic families are heterogeneous they come from diverse nationalities with different ethnic and racial backgrounds (Furman et al. 2009). As per interviewed members of this community, they assert that no longer seek services from health care families, since it has felt they have been discriminated. They explained that for instance, the healthcare providers use only English as a means of communication which majority of them to do understand. To make it worse, the healthcare providers use models based on studies that did not obtain data from their families (immigrants), which makes the services incompetent and undesirable. Such a situation may lead to discrimination. Most of these families are migrants who move into the United States and are socially and politically vulnerable.

Hispanic families often move from one place to another. Thus, they lack a place of permanent residence, which hinders capacity to make interactions hence social isolation. They also lack job satisfaction due to lack of skills, low education levels, and discrimination. Consequently, they are exposed to minimum wages, lack of safety and health protection and are used as flexible labor; these lead to poverty and working for long hours and in hazardous areas.

They also lack emotional and social support, and they have to rely on themselves to manage work-related stress and to adapt to new environments, which may have a physical and psychological toll on them. They also experience delay reception of health services and they seek care from clinics or informal support systems. Besides, there is a lack of enough health providers and facilities to deal with rehabilitation from substance abuse. Miscommunication may lead to misdiagnosis, confusion in the treatment of related diseases and wrong prescription

A huge composition of the Hispanic population in America originates from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and, Colombia. Therefore, a program-wide approach is usually desired in such a culturally sensitive area to account these differences. On the other hand, social workers are the only persons who can intervene to offers care to such a discriminated group. The interviewed social workers suggest that to feel the gap in the care offered to Hispanic communities, they usually start by building a trusted relationship with the clients, because they have lost trust health service that they believe it is biased. Building trust with clients from the community is essential because a growing number of studies show that the Hispanic clients have a higher probability that white clients to feel a caregiver has judged them unfairly. Similarly, the tensed feeling may cause some members of the Hispanic community to deprive of seeking care from social workers.

However, some social workers claimed that the relationship with clients usually do not last for the expected period. The interviewed members of the Hispanic community give the reason that, in the course of them receiving care from the social workers, some of social workers do not use a care plan that adheres to their norms and values, forcing them to terminate the relationship. Hence, for social workers to ensure they maintain their relevance in a sensitive cultural workplace, they should stick on a plan based on studies carried out from the Hispanic community.

Understanding these issues would be of great relevance in the provision of welfare services. Competence in welfare practice ensures effective delivery of treatment to Hispanic families.


Furman, R., Negi, N. J., Iwamoto, D. K., Rowan, D., Shukraft, A., & Gragg, J. (2009). Social work practice with Latinos: Key issues for social workers. Social Work, 54(2), 167-174.

Dettlaff, A. J., & Rycraft, J. R. (2009). Culturally competent systems of care with Latino children and families. Child Welfare, 88(6), 109.Engstrom, D. (2017). Hispanics in the United States: An agenda for the twenty-first century. Routledge.

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