Learning objective

What is the aim of this learning resource?

The aim of this learning resource is to provide a broad introduction to the issues affecting minority ethnic carers and service users with an emphasis on achieving cultural competence within individual practice. Cultural competency is defined as:

A service which recognises and meets the diverse needs of people of different cultural backgrounds … it includes but is not limited to making provision for religious and cultural beliefs such as worship, diet and hygiene requirements, catering for communication and language diversity and involving users in service development. A key part of cultural competence is ensuring that discrimination on the basis of culture, belief, race, nationality or colour has no role in the delivery of services.
— Fair for All: Working Together Towards Culturally Competent Services, Scottish Government Health Department 2002

This learning resource will provide the learner with the necessary skills and knowledge to critically examine — from the point of assessment to actual service delivery — how the needs of minority ethnic carers and service users are currently being met. It therefore aims to ensure that the need to achieve equality of opportunity and access lies at the heart of individual and collective practice.

Who is the learning resource aimed at?

This learning resource is intended primarily for undergraduate students at Level 7 (first year students) of the new social work degree. Although the purpose of this resource is to provide an introduction to cultural competency, it may also be used at other levels in the undergraduate degree to stimulate further debate and encourage a deeper exploration of the issues raised.

In what ways can this learning resource be used?

It is envisaged that this learning resource could be used in a number of ways. For example, it could be used by educators in the classroom to stimulate and motivate discussion among individuals and/or groups of students in their exploration and analysis of BME issues. Educators, for example, might also ask learners to respond to further issues/questions arising from the tutorial/ lecture by encouraging them to work individually through certain sections (or indeed all the sections) and then to report back at the next class. In the classroom, learners might then be asked to work in small groups to ‘pool’ their thoughts about the resource and then, perhaps, respond to a number of scenarios.