Were you paying attention a
couple of posts ago about recent changes made to the NASW Code
of Ethics? Let's find out. here's a quick quiz-style question:
Which of the following is a crucial new component of the
Cultural Competence section of the Code of Ethics?
A. Combating Stereotypes
B. Cultural Humility
C. Multicultural Competence
D. Social Justice
What do you think? If you know the Code of Ethics well, you'll
recognize three of these as being anything but new.
Let's answer the question with a question, this time more in the
style of the ASWB exam.
A social worker is confronted by a client for cultural
insensitivity. The social worker, seeing that the client is right,
apologizes and seems to repair the rift with the client. What
action should the social worker take NEXT to remedy the
A. Revisit the rupture with the client and examine any
B. In the next session, ask the client to help her
better understand and remedy her biases.
C. Seek guidance from others who share the same culture
as the client.
D. Engage in learning, self-reflection, and
self-correction regarding the misstep.
Okay, this one kind of answer itself, even if you haven't
the update to the Code's Cultural Competency section. One just
sounds more like the text of the Code of Ethics. Sometimes on the
social work exam you get lucky that way.
Why else is this the right answer? Social workers-and people in
general-should take care not to give others (particularly those who
are disenfranchised in any way) the extra job of educating and
hand-holding and putting-at-ease. That's work-usually unwelcome
work. Three of these answers fall into that trap. One-D-does not.
If an offered answer suggested seeking guidance from a
supervisor regarding the misstep, that might have been the
one to choose. It's supervisors' job to help social
workers navigate difficult areas, often including their own
conscious and unconscious biases. One way to think of it: if you're
going to ask someone to do work, try to make sure they're being
paid for it.
Cultural humility, by the way-that's the quiz answer. The phrase
is new to the Code of Ethics, and describes something that wasn't
quite there before. Keeping cultural humility in mind can only make
you a better social worker-and all-the-more ready to pass the