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Teaching Cultural Responsiveness and Affirmative Care Skills to SW Graduate Students

Presented by:

Nicole L. Arkadie, California State University of San Bernardino

Erik M. P. Schott, California State University of San Bernardino

Through a DEI lens. Enhancing cultural responsiveness and affirmative care skills of graduate students to work with BIPOC and marginalized communities.

Teaching Cultural Responsiveness and Affirmative Care Skills to SW Graduate Students


Social work students’ clinical and ethical skill development must ensure they have adequate cultural humility/responsiveness and an affirming care approach to client services while utilizing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) framework with marginalized communities. Social work students’ effective client care skills are essential while working with diverse and marginalized populations by addressing three critical domains in coursework designed from a DEI framework that includes: assessment, engagement, and intervention. In addressing these three domains, future professional social workers will ensure that they are providing affirmative, culturally competent clinical care to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities.


Instructional Skills, Course/Curriculum (Re) Design, Indirect Instruction


Acquire strategy on how to incorporate a DEI framework in course syllabus.
Describe and provide information about affirming care approach to use with students.
Demonstrate cultural responsiveness as an teaching intervention for students.

Hear it from the author:

Teaching Cultural Responsiveness and Affirmative Care Skills to SW Graduate StudentsNicole L. Arkadie, California State University of San Bernardino
00:00 / 01:12

Audio Transcript:

Hi! My name is Dr. Erik Schott and I am a clinical social worker and an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the California State University at San Bernardino and I'm here with my colleague.

Hi! I'm Dr. Nicole Arkadie, also in the School of Social Work and we developed this poster as a problem because students felt ill equipped in their practice skills to work with diverse underserved populations due to the deficit in the course curriculum. Our master level students expressed the need to have micro practice courses that specifically targeted cultural responsiveness and engagement of client services.

We really saw that there was a need to create a graduate level social work course to address issues that impact the lack of inclusive diverse and equitable client services for our students. The DEI elective course and the Social Work Practice with the LGBTQ2SIA+ Community courses were developed as direct response to student driven initiatives.

We look forward to speaking more to you about what we discovered in these courses.


Call, D. C., Challa, M., & Telingator, C. J. (2021). Providing affirmative care to transgender and gender diverse youth: Disparities, interventions, and outcomes. Current Psychiatry Reports, 23(6), 1–10.

Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of teacher education, 53(2), 106–116.

Sue, S., Fujino, D. C., Hu, L.-t., Takeuchi, D. T., & Zane, N. W. S. (1991). Community mental health services for ethnic minority groups: A test of the cultural responsiveness hypothesis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59(4), 533–540.

Thorp, H. H. (2020). Time to look in the mirror. Science, 368(6496), 1161.

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