Culturally Competent Social Work Narrative Essay by Artemis

Culturally Competent Social Work
A social worker's account of how social work values and theory can be applied to a medical case involving the Hmong culture.
# 116210 | 1,867 words | 4 sources | APA | 2007 | US
Published on Sep 01, 2009 in Sociology (Social Work) , Sociology (Multiculturalism)

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Based on the book by Anne Fadiman, "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down", this paper describes the writer's approach to social work in helping the Lee family deal with their daughter's epilepsy.
The writer/social worker relates that the National Association of Social Worker's Code of Ethics would provide the initial foundation for what he would need to do in order to best assist in this case, while he would also attempt to be well-informed about all perspectives of the case. The writer relates further that he would draw on various social work theories, particularly interest group conflict theory, to frame his ability to assess and intervene in this situation, while recognizing the need to reach out to various community members to advance his understanding of the Hmong and medical cultures. The writer also explains how environmental perspectives are key in looking at this case.

From the Paper:

"With the little information that is known about the Lee family and their beliefs about Lia's epilepsy, it is imperative to acknowledge that lack of information surrounding the family and their culture (Fadiman, 1997). While it may be difficult to communicate the lack of knowledge surrounding Lia's case and Hmong cultural beliefs to the Lee family, it is important to acknowledge what I need to do in order to be well-informed about all perspectives of Lia's case. It is important to realize that the Lees have their own views surrounding Lia's case, and it is the social worker's job to learn what those impressions may be given the major cultural differences between these two groups. I need to educate myself in order to honor those beliefs and create ways for both the Lees and Lia's treatment team to better understand one another."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fadiman, A. (1997). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures (1st ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Gardiner, H. W., & Kosmitzki, C. (2001). Lives across cultures: Cross-cultural human development (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • National Association of Social Workers. (1996). Code of ethics of the national association of social workers. Retrieved October 13, 2007, from
  • Robbins, S.P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E.R. (2006). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Cite this Narrative Essay:

APA Format

Culturally Competent Social Work (2009, September 01) Retrieved April 01, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Culturally Competent Social Work" 01 September 2009. Web. 01 April. 2023. <>