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1 Running head: SOCIAL ISSUES ON IMMIGRATION: CLAUDIA Germé Poston Social Issues on Immigration: Claudia SOCW 6111 Walden University
2 SOCIAL ISSUES ON IMMIGRATION: CLAUDIA Social Issues Being an undocumented immigrant in the United States can cause an insurmountable amount of stress, psychological issues, discrimination, and lack of fundamental human rights (American Psychological Association, 2012). A social issue that can develop from Claudia’s situation that a culturally competent social worker would be able to handle is language barriers. Many immigrants are not versed in the English language or familiar with its technical grammar and verbiage (Kitchen, 1999). Often or not, doctors and patients are left helpless, trying to figure out what the other is attempting to convey (Kitchen, 1999). Language barriers can cause problems when immigrants like Claudia’s parents who seek out medical care and are unable to understand the paperwork due to it not being in their native language. As socials workers, it is our ethical duty to advocate for services for our clients who may need assistance in understanding their paperwork (National Association of Social Workers, 2015). Fortunately, the agency that Claudia’s family went to was able to provide mental health information in Spanish to the family (Plummer, Makris, Brocksen, 2014). To go along with the language barrier, another cultural issue that may need to be addressed by a social worker are the aspects of the Nicaragua culture in and out itself. As a social worker, one must understand where the client’s family has grown up and learn to understand what their customs are. For example, the agency social worker sat down with Claudia’s mother to learn more about her upbringing in Nicaragua and how this has influenced how she wants to raise her daughter (Plummer, Makris, Brocksen, 2014). Knowing this information will allow the social worker to stay in the cultural boundaries of the family, while at the same time considering Claudia’s needs as well
3 SOCIAL ISSUES ON IMMIGRATION: CLAUDIA Culturally Competent Strategies for Children In order to be culturally competent when assessing a child, one needs to be aware that they are engaging with a child, not an adult. As a social worker, it is vital to understand that a child will not and does not think like an adult. One strategy is to know and understand the different developmental stages of children. Knowing child development provides social workers with a general framework of where their clients are at in their lifetime (Pennsylvania State University, 2015). This framework will help the social worker determine if more services are needed, where the child lacks, or even where they succeed. Also, knowing where a child is developmentally wise will help ensure that the social worker is using the right assessment and intervention tools i.e., nondirective play therapy for visual learners or shy children (Plummer,

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