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Every person is unique, some of us have been mistreated or have been oppressed because we are a member of a particular group. If we decide to ignore these present day or historical differences, we may fail to understand the needs of those individuals. People are often afraid that recognizing any kind of differences will divide people from each other. However, learning about cultural differences can bring people closer together because it can show us how much we have in common as human beings.Based on the toolkit, Working with Latino Individuals, Couples and Families, it mentions that on July 1, 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau released data that revealed that most children younger than the age of one in the United States are now minorities.
Social Stratification states that minority is the social classification that singles out one group for differential treatment or discrimination due to physical or cultural characteristics, and has traditionally been disadvantaged or experienced less access to resources. They are also known as “subordinate groups” or “marginalized groups” in society. These demographic shifts are a clear signal of the important and growing role of minorities in this country. Nationally, Hispanics are the most populous minority group. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority, with their population increasing by 3.1% since 2010, compared to blacks (1.6 %) and Asians (3.0%) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).
Safety-net service agencies need to increase and develop their capacity to serve Latino and Hispanic clients. This toolkit is designed to help stakeholders, which includes administrators, supervisors, and safety net service providers around the country to better serve Latino families, couples, and individuals. The term safety-net service providers refers to governmental agencies and programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child support services, child welfare, labor and workforce services, and Head Start, along with other stakeholders who provide community and family services, education, youth independent living, and Tribal services. This toolkit recognizes that the Latino community in the U.S. is not homogeneous and static. The experiences of immigrant families and subsequent generations of Latinos are diverse, complex, and rich. Most of this toolkit’s content was based on studies conducted on Mexican and Puerto Rican families, who represent 64.9% and 9.2% of the U.S. Hispanic population. This toolkit will help safety-net service providers acquire cultural competence. After reading through this toolkit, it seems to be very useful and effective, especially coming from an immigrant Latino family who struggled financially and had to rely on public assistance for years.
I remember accompanying my mother to most appointments since she did not speak English and remember feeling embarrassed and intimidated by some workers as some looked down upon us just because we were there in the first place. It is extremely important for human service workers to be cultural competent and empathetic towards others; especially not knowing of the client’s situation. Culture is a strong part of people’s lives and it influences their views, values, humor, hopes, loyalties, and their worries and fears. So, when you are working with people and building relationships with them, it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures. As we explore culture, it is also important to remember how much we have in common. Reading through Working with Latino Individuals, Couples and Families A toolkit for stakeholders, it states that the purpose of this toolkit is to:
It also states that the use this toolkit is used as a starting point and reference guide for the following:
According to our text, Cultural Diversity: A Primer for the Human Services states “Cultural paradigms define and dictate how human beings live and experience life” (Diller, 2015, p. 95). The dimensions of culture are:
People see the world very differently and we are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced pain and fear. At the same time, we can’t pretend our cultures and differences don’t matter. We can’t polish over differences and pretend they don’t exist, wishing we could all be alike, and we can’t pretend that discrimination doesn’t exist. The world is becoming increasingly diverse and includes people of many religions, languages, economic groups, and other cultural groups. It is becoming clear that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other than our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups.
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