SWK6300EN - Cultural Competencies in Immigrant Social Work

Course description

An examination of cultural competency in social work practice. This course presents social work intervention and skills development needed to serve oppressed groups. It will teach students values, knowledge and skills needed for culturally competent social work practices with diverse underrepresented groups.

How this course benefits students

This course is essential for all student within the social work program.

Why this course is important

The social work profession has a strong commitment to developing human service approaches that support human diversity and alleviate or eliminate social oppression and injustice This course within the social work curriculum will develop a framework for understanding and respecting culturally diverse populations. While this course specifically examines the role of oppression in shaping lives of members of various cultural groups, we as members of the social work profession are committed to dismantling all forms of oppression directed at members of any distinct group. A course in cultural competence in social work will enable clinical to be mindful of their cultural bias.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Social Work
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Olivia Owusu-Boakyewaah, Professor of Social Ministry

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34. The world is becoming increasingly globalized; more people are leaving their homelands to seek better lives and opportunities elsewhere. There are many diverse and complex reasons for migration, ranging from economic necessity, war, or some type of persecution. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. This course will be built on the biblical principles as stated in Leviticus 19:33-34.

Missionally driven

This course will enhance the mission work of the clinical social worker through work with the immigrant community.

Contextually informed

In the US, immigrant families constitute a large and growing proportion of the population. About one-fourth of children born in this country are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Immigrant groups are more culturally diverse, have limited financial and social resources, experience higher poverty rates. Therefore, they are a population that seems to have higher need for attention. This course serves as an empowerment approach to social problems. It will highlight cultural adjustment and access to language, economic, health, and education services and benefits as defined by policies and laws. Specific problem areas related to immigrants and refugees will include child welfare, trafficking in persons, interpersonal violence, mental and physical disabilities, aging and intergenerational issues, and political conflict, detention and torture.

Interculturally focused

The course focuses on immigrants and refugees and examines how clinical social worker will be able to serve their needs.

Practically minded

This course will give students the practice tools and insight needed to work with immigrant and refugee families. The format for the class may include lecture, discussion, videotapes, small group exercises, panel discussions, and role play. It is designed for maximum student participation and sharing of experiences and insights in order to facilitate the integration of theory and advanced practice.

Experientially transformed

Students will be able to apply what they are learning into everyday work with immigrant and their families. Social Work field placement will involve work with immigrant and refugees families.