Working With Difference
“Resistance is Futile”
By Chukumeka(Chukes) Maxwell
Spirit of the Session
Safe space to explore self
Respect the differences in the room
Engagement with the issues and feelings raised
Informal and interactive
Responsibility for one’s own learning
3 minutes each person and then feedback your name and
The meaning of your name - if known – it’s origin.
Your identity: How do you see yourself in terms of
Age, Disability, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Race and
Ethnicity, Religion or belief and any other info
What is your role
What do you do for your wellbeing
3 places you have lived and where you live now
What is your expectation of the session
Aims of the Session
Culture and Values are two key concepts
when working with difference. How does
your Personal, Professional Culture &
Values impact on children &families when
The 4 Whats
What is your internal culture?
What a you fearful of with resistant families especially from
What attitudes & beliefs hijack your work ?
What are your values Do they flourish in the workplace?
Resistance is Futile
There were five contexts where disagreements between the social
workers and the family members about the nature of problems
emerged, and therefore where resistance was likely:
Parental learning disability
Working with men
Race and immigration - being a refugee
Family perspectives on safeguarding and on relationships with children’s
Values, Policy, Culture and Diversity
Social Workers must operate at all times from an inclusive values base
which promotes recovery and recognises and respects diversity.
Diversity encompasses the range of cultural norms, including personal,
family, social and spiritual values, held by the diverse communities
served by the service within which the worker is operating.
Workers must respect and value individual differences in age,
sexuality, disability, gender, spirituality, race and culture. Workers
must also take into account any physical and sensory difficulties
people may experience in accessing services and make provision in
their work to mitigate these. They must be able to respond to
people’s needs sensitively with regard to all aspects of diversity.
They must demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunities for all
and encourage people’s active participation in every aspect of care
They must also demonstrate an understanding and awareness of the
power issues in professional/patient relationships and take steps in
their clinical practice to reduce any potential for negative impact
these may have. This session will, therefore, expose workers to the
concepts of diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism highlighting and
equipping them with the necessary knowledge, attitudes and
competencies to operate in an inclusive values driven service.
To define culture more clearly and appreciate it’s complexity
To introduce a useful model for understanding culture at different levels
To begin to make links between culture, power and oppression
A Model of Culture
People’s cultural values, or what they
think is most important to protect in a
situation presented, influence what
they would do in that situation
leading to actions and outcomes.
These are clues about the nature of
culture and how it can be seen as a
series of layers that interact with each
Values are based on certain beliefs
and assumptions that give meaning
to why something is important – in
other words beliefs give rise to
Adapted by Peter Ferns from Trompenaars &
Hampden-Turner (1997) and Argyris (1990)
At the deepest level of culture, core
beliefs and assumptions exist as the
unspoken rules of a cultural group or
are viewed by the group as ‘common
made up of a number of factors such as values, language, traditions,
religion, rituals, symbols, food, clothes and fashion
part of a living environment where individuals grow and develop; it influences
them but does not totally define them as people
is experienced subjectively and is chosen or rejected by individuals and
often results in parts of cultures being brought together by people, leading to
a constant mixing of cultures
always changing with time and with different groups of people in society
not easy to define clearly as it is not just a collection of facts that can be
learned or passed on to people who are new to that culture
culture frames realities, notions of normality and human experience. How
self is constructed. West - autonomy, self-reliance, self-containment. East interconnectedness, dialogical, mutuality.
Not easy to define clearly as it is not just a collection of facts that can
be learned or passed on to people who are new to that culture
Rich and varied, with a range of different values within each culture
Not value free – for example in a racist society in which Black
people’s cultures will tend to be seen as inferior to White people’s
cultures; lesbian and gay culture will be seen as inferior to
heterosexual culture and deaf culture will be seen as inferior to
Competence refers more to the acquisition of
knowledge and skills for specified tasks in a
largely predictable environment
Capability refers to the capacity of people to deal
with rapid change and novel situations with
greater creativity, confidence and effectiveness.
Multicultural Devon & Plymouth
The 2001 census found that 1.24% of the population of Devon identified as
coming from BME backgrounds. Plymouth- 1.62% and Exeter- 2.38%.
recent demographic changes to note:
It is estimated that the BME population has risen substantially since 2001:
EAL Service – 50 + languages in Exeter, 60 + in Plymouth
In 2009, most commonly used languages for Devon Partnership Trust
were Polish, Turkish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Slovak
Schools statistics- 3.4% of pupils in North Devon Schools come from BME
backgrounds. In Exeter some schools range from 17.2% -5.2%
% White British
What do you see
Binna Kandola’s work on eliminating bias in
‘The Value of Difference’
We need to accept that we are all biased, or we can’t make
progress with the diversity agenda.
Bias helps us make sense of the world, but also leads us into
faulty decision making by creating false assumptions
The Dangers of the
To recognise the characteristics of institutional discrimination and
To understand what inclusive practice looks like at the individual and
Dr Shetty, a consultant psychiatrist at The Norvic Clinic
said: "There is a risk that, in places like Norwich, people may never
develop the awareness and skills to deal with black people because
there are so few of them".
Independent inquiry to the Death of David Rocky Bennett December 2003
‘The collective failure of an organisation to provide
an appropriate and professional service to people
because of their colour, culture ,or ethnic origin. It
can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which
amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance,
thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority
Steven Lawrence Inquiry 1999
“I have given up my country, my home, to be here, and I am
finding it hard to provide for my children on benefits. They (the
social workers) look at me as if I should be grateful for what I
have. They judge me for it. They make me feel ashamed. I
cannot ask for help. I cannot accept help. I must look after my
own family.” (Refugee parent)
Family perspectives on safeguarding and on relationships with
“When I first had contact, I thought, well they’re professionals,
they’ll help me. It was a shock. They’ve become a social police
force. They make you feel very small. If you say anything, they
twist it. If you get upset, they judge you. They rationalise it.
Accuse you. It can be so demeaning. They don’t realise some
basic fundamentals about what would make it easier (to) work
“I felt violated at the end – like I had been raped – like everything
had been taken from me and there was nothing left.”
Family perspectives on safeguarding and on relationships with children’s
Themes of Institutional Discrimination
Forcing people to fit into a dominant culture.
2. Under-reaction or Over-reaction
Ignoring serious problems or intervening in a punitive way with minor problems.
3. Disempowerment & Stereotyping
Taking away personal autonomy, reducing influence over one’s own life opportunities
and making negative assumptions about groups of people.
4. Service-led Approaches
Assessing and meeting people’s needs with the priorities of the service or organisation
put first with little or no regard for anyone else’s priorities.
5. Poor Access to Services
Bureaucratic procedures, difficult locations and poor publicity about goods or services.
6. Erosion of Rights
Denial of basic human rights and/or civil rights of people.
planned on preconceived
concern to use
need based on
Themes of Equality
1. Valuing Cultural Diversity
Reinforcing cultural identity of individuals / Providing positive images and symbols
of different cultures / Culturally appropriate services and work environments.
2. Preventative Approaches
Supportive services available to all within services or organisations / Timely
interventions in problematic situations / Providing opportunities for the growth &
development of people.
3. Autonomy & Advocacy
Assistance for individuals to express their point of view / Access to independent
advocates / Groups for building solidarity between people, promoting positive selfimage and building / self-confidence.
4. Holistic Approach
Model of assessment and planning that takes into account wider social and
community issues / Building on personal strengths & interests of individuals /
Helping to define & create desirable personal futures for people.
5. Participation & Information
Enabling meaningful participation of service users & communities in service
developments / Accessible information & publicity about services / Positive efforts
to involve communities in the management & provision of public services.
6. Safeguarding Rights
Policies & procedures to maintain & promote equality and diversity / Ensuring that
decision-making is linked to clearly defined values.
based on level
options in the
Country of origin Culture
Service Family Family
History of Psychology and Psychiatry
adapted from Bronfenbrenner, 1979
What Do These Really Mean?????
IFSW Code of Ethics
GSCC Codes of Practice
BASW Code of Ethics for Social Work
Single Equality Schemes
Equality Impact Schemes
The social work profession promotes social change , problem
solving in human relationships and the empowerment and
liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of
human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at
the points where people interact with their environments.
Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to
social work (2001).
All organisations should demonstrate
the ‘Ten Essential Shared Capabilities’
Providing service user centred care
Making a difference
Promoting safety & positive risk taking
Identifying strengths and needs
Dr Brene Brown
"Learning is experiencing,
everything else is just
“You cannot solve a problem from the same
that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”
What you do for yourself -any gesture of kindness, any
gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing
toward yourself-will affect how you experience your world. In
fact ,it will transform how you experience the world. What
you do for yourself, you’re doing for others and what you do
for others, you're doing for yourself