Social Working With African Americans

Topics: African American, American Civil War, Southern United States Pages: 8 (2213 words) Published: November 29, 2013

Social Work Practice with African Americans
The focus of this paper is to highlight one of many special population groups within the United States, the African American community. This paper will give a preliminary understanding of the African American community, as well as an understanding of the problems associated with this community. Research included will provide information on the causes and consequences of the problems associated with the African American community, the involvement of social agencies in response to problems within the African American community, and the U.S. legislative actions relative to the African American community. This paper will also highlight the underlying strengths of the African American community.

Social Work Practice with African Americans
Introduction of the African American Community
While working in the field of social work, it is important that a social worker seeks to eliminate any possible complications that may interfere with his or her client-practitioner services. A social worker that has an unbiased understanding of the major differences among various population groups is more likely to have a positive relationship with his or her clients, as well as provide better techniques and strategies to solve his or her clients’ needs (Morales, Sheafor, & Scott, 2012). According to statistics conducted by the National Association of Social Workers, more than 86% of social workers in the United States are of White/Caucasian ethnicity, and with more than half of this percentage consisting of White/Caucasian women (, 2012). The National Association of Social Workers also report that even though African Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population, only 7% of African Americans compromise the total number of all American licensed social workers (, 2012). These statistics are significant, as it represents the lack of diversity in ethnicity and gender amongst American social workers (Morales, Sheafor, & Scott, 2012). Although social workers provide services among many population groups, social workers must be very understanding in their workings with the African American population group. Since the founding of the United States, the African American population has been subjected to years of oppression and several forms of social injustices. Even though many ethnical groups within the United States have made progress in several different areas, the African American population group continues to rate lowest among all racial groups of society. SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE 4

Increased rates of Black on Black male violence, teenage pregnancy, alcohol and illicit drug usage, low education, and single-parent households are all contributing factors of the problems faced by many individuals within the African American community (Morales, Sheafor, & Scott, 2012). Although many African Americans have made several contributions to American society, many of these contributions were challenged with much opposition and resentment. Although viewed as a vulnerable and inferior population group, the African American population is a community of resilient and influential people who have changed the attitudes and viewpoints of many individuals of today’s society. Problem Areas within the African American Community

Even though the African American community is a highly influential population group within the United States, it is a population group that has been subjected to years of unequal distributions of economical resources, which in turn have lead to the community’s high rates of poverty, family complications, men and women’s issues, lack of educational funding and training, and access to proper health care (Morales, Sheafor, & Scott, 2012). Among these problem areas, the issue of poverty is considered to be the most problematic issue within the African American...
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