Parenting and Partnering in the Context of Inequality

Module 5: Parenting and Partnering in the Context of Inequality

Marc: Hello Class,

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I think the biggest normative assumption is the concept of the culture of poverty. There is a lack of awareness that the real issue at play here is the case of restricted opportunity. This is a more of a political issue, the idea of mass prosperity and the ability to “pull yourself up by the boot straps.” Most laws are developed by leaders who are white and the white middle class has relied on social welfare programs more than reported or most will admit (O’Conner, 2009). The assumption or the doubt of macro level discrimination in institutions against race or gender is another common assumption that this can be overcome by, again, pulling up those boot straps. This myth that was shaped by the political leaders and the white middle class for decades (Barusch, 2018).

I think a proper way to engage families without making assumptions is to develop a program to ensure cultural sensitivity. The organization should open a dialog with staff, explore staff development needs, examine the budget to allocate appropriate funds for diversity needs, remove barriers such as vocational issues, and inform a staff about resources to support a diverse client base with the services that are provided (Forman and Nagy, 2006).
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Once this culture is established, assessment plans should be based on the community that is served. An assessment should be developed by accessing existing data, focused and conversational interviews, community forums and surveys (Bruggemann, pages 191-197, 2014). From there, the normative need can be established comparing current living conditions and what society deems acceptable ones. Even if the community doesn’t claim to need certain services, a social worker can advocate for additional ones to help the standard of living (Bruggemann, pages 191-197, 2014).




Module 5: The Cultural Generation Gap

Carla: The “Dramatic remaking of the nation’s child population” is a direct reference to the generations-long shift from bi and multiracial children born in the United States outnumbering their white counterparts. (Frey, 2018). This is due to the increase in birth rates, population swell among women of childbearing age in multi/biracial families, an increase in the age of white childbearing women (combined with the decision to delay starting a family. The Boomer generation is rapidly being replaced by a younger, less homogenous, more ethnically and culturally diverse generation which values social, political and economic activism.

It is important for social workers to understand the demographic shift as the field itself must undergo similar transition. The social workers who dominate the field do not accurately represent the racial and cultural demographic of their clientele, nor do they represent the changing cultural landscape of the nation. According to a 2019 report of labor statistics, in the field of social work, 89% of the workers are women and 69% are white. For a field which focuses on the needs of a population that is comprised of disenfranchised individuals who largely represent diverse families and groups, the representation among workers must improve. Additionally, the level of cultural sensitivity and awareness must represent a motivation toward mitigation of the potential for bias among social workers toward their clientele.


Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. (2020, January 22). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
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Frey, W. H. (2018). Diversity explosion: How new racial demographics are remaking America. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

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Kelly, J., Fitzgerald, M., Reports, T., & Brown-Bernstein, E. (2020, November 12). Does Your Agency Reflect the Diversity of the Community It Serves? Retrieved November 25, 2020, from


Module 5: 2018 Profile of Older Americans

Jerry: The two important characteristics of the 85+ population is medical care and long-term care clinics, which can be very costly to most individuals in America. When we look at our elderly population 85+ we have to assume that if they get sick, they will need further medical support to prevent loss of life; which will be costly to those W/O Medicare. While living in an assisted care clinic can cost up to 54,000 a year which is 148 a day, 4,500/ month most people cannot afford this type of cost for care; this is where social workers come into play for the elderly. A social worker that works with the department of human services would help line up care and options they can afford, in Washington state you cannot have a X amount value of liquidating assists, they go back 5 years to check and if you have anything and if so you can’t qualify for that program. This is another thing we have to look out for with the elderly population, they have gone from independent living to now requiring help for everything while also giving up everything they own just to afford healthcare and assisted living. We would want to as a social worker have followed up with the clients who have readjustment problems, this can lead to depression and into further social isolation which can bring on its own health problems that were not present when the client was admitted to the care clinic. So the loss of all property and loss of all freedoms is something the none elite elderly population will face 85+, we will also see a sharp increase and slowly decrease as time goes on for state-funded health care aid. To support future care of the elderly population we need to support our assisted living clinics, more funding so we can provide proper staffing ratios and needed medical costs; as a social worker, we could help push bills that would support this action.
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Administration for Community Living. (2018). Profile of older americans.

Frey, W. H. (2018). Diversity explosion: How new racial demographics are remaking america.

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