Social Work Interventions: Helping People of Color

Social Work Interventions: Helping People of Color

Social Work Interventions: Helping People of Color

Social Work Interventions: Helping People of Color

Synopsis

This book provides a holistic study of the physical and mental health conditions that predominate among people of color. By presenting a thorough review of Third World cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors centering on health care, Henderson lays a firm foundation for understanding traditional non-Western cultures. Since immigrants, women, and people of color will be 85% of the net growth in the work force by the year 2000, human services professionals who assist people of color in state, county, and municipal agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and nursing homes will be challenged to provide assistance to an increasing number of culturally diverse clients.

Excerpt

The 1990 U.S. census of the American population of 248.7 million includes 199.7 million whites, who comprise 80.3 percent of the total; nearly 30 million black Americans, who comprise 12.1 percent; 22.4 million Hispanics, who comprise 9.1 percent; 7.3 million Asian and Pacific Islanders, who comprise 2.9 percent; and nearly 2 million American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleut Americans, who comprise 0.8 percent. Currently, one of every four Americans is a person of color. But these statistics are only a small part of the changing demographic picture. Consider for a moment the fact that the U.S. white population grew 6 percent since the 1980 census, the black population grew 13.2 percent, the Indian population grew 37.9 percent, the Hispanic population grew 53 percent, and the Asian population grew 107.8 percent.

The demographic shift in favor of minorities over whites of European origin is already seen in the composition of public school students. By the year 2000, one of every three Americans and half of all school-age children will be nonwhite. There will be large numbers of children in our public schools for whom English will not be their primary language. School playgrounds will be noticeably punctuated with Spanish, Vietnamese, Khymer, and other languages.

Relatedly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor has projected that by the year 2005 the percentage of African Americans in the U.S. work force will increase by 28 percent, Hispanics by 75 percent, Asian Americans by 80 percent, American Indians by 30 percent, and Third World country immigrants by 50 percent. in sheer numbers, ethnic minorities will constitute nearly 35 percent of the work force. Consequently, human services professionals must be knowledgeable about indigenous and foreign cultures. Unfortu-

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