Discussion 1: Cultural Influences of Social Policy

Cultures, regardless of where they are or how long ago they existed, share a few common characteristics. Among these characteristics is a structure to care for their children and to socialize them in the culture. Children are taught, both directly and indirectly, the values of the culture, their role in the culture, and the expectations the culture has for them. Children absorb the rules, dynamics, and values, which they will later pass these on to subsequent generations.
As a social worker, you will deal with families from different cultural backgrounds. Understanding the cultural background of the families you work with will help you to effectively intervene and advocate for policies that support their needs. How prepared are you to identify and advocate for social policies that are just and support families from all cultures?
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including the Hernandez Family video case. Consider how cultural considerations might affect child welfare policy. Then, think about what your responsibilities, as a social worker, might be in supporting the Hernandez family in addressing their child welfare needs through the accessibility of services.

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 Hernandez Family Episode 3 Program Transcript 
JUAN HERNANDEZ: Do you have any idea how hard it is for us to get to these classes? ELENA HERNANDEZ: And there’s only one class a week. We don’t have a choice when to come. FEMALE SPEAKER: That is why we offer the parenting class at night, to make it easier for working families to attend. ELENA HERNANDEZ: That’s fine for some people, but that’s when Juan gets his overtime. He can’t do both. Every time we come here it costs us. We lose money. And the way things are, we can’t afford to lose a dime. FEMALE SPEAKER: I understand that missing overtime is having a big impact on you financially. And I understand what you’re saying about the class only being offered one night a week. If we could offer it several times a week, that would probably be more helpful. But in the meantime– JUAN HERNANDEZ: Look, let’s stop dancing around what’s really wrong here. We appreciate what you’re doing. You want to help parents do a better job with their kids. But we’re good parents. We love our kids. Yes, they get punished when they need to be punished, just Elena and I when we were growing up. But we don’t hit our boys. We don’t hurt them. If anything, you hurt them by making us come here when I could be out there making extra money, money that the family needs. Do you hear me? This class this, whole policy is the real problem. That’s what needs to change, not us.  

By Day 3
Post an explanation of how cultural considerations might affect child welfare policy. Then, explain what your responsibilities, as a social worker, might be in supporting the Hernandez family in addressing their child welfare needs through the accessibility of services.

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