The importance of cultural competency is highlighted by the increased likelihood of encountering persons from different cultural origins when working in social work and human services. The concept of diverse attitudes, actions, and skills that enable one to function effectively in a cross-cultural situation is encompassed while discussing the subject of cultural competency. Given the diversity and the challenges it presents in society, cultural competency extends beyond the awareness of the differences but presentation of attitudes that make it possible to work amid the differences. There is no denying that living in the modern world requires working in a multicultural setting (Diller, 2017). This essay defines several words related to cultural competency, including cultural awareness, knowledge acquisition, skill development, and race and ethnicity. Following the definitions, each term’s similarities and distinctions are discussed. The discussion concludes with a definition of unconscious bias and an explanation of why it is critical for social work practice.
Because cultures differ, one will inevitably have to engage with people from various cultures. As a result, in order to become culturally competent, one must become culturally conscious. Achieving a high level of sensitivity and comprehension of one’s own culture as well as the cultures of other ethnic groups is referred to by the phrase. Understanding one’s and others’ social positions have always been important in understanding how to approach those perceived as being different (Hall, 2008). Cultural awareness affects the self, which causes a shift in values and attitudes. A person with a high cultural awareness can identify their biases and values. The values and prejudices of the individuals one interact with will also be understood.