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Ethnicity and Social Work Practice$
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Carole B. Cox and Paul H. Ephross

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195099317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195099317.001.0001

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Ethnicity and Social Services

Ethnicity and Social Services

(p.101) 6 Ethnicity and Social Services
Ethnicity and Social Work Practice

Carole B. Cox

Paul H. Ephross

Oxford University Press

The primary role of social services is to improve the functioning of the individual, family, group, or community. But this role can be enacted only if the need for assistance is recognized. Mainstream agencies using ethnic sensitive interventions are increasingly concerned with serving the needs of diverse clients and groups, frequently competing with ethnic agencies composed of community members. Although the latter may be more attractive to persons through their innate understanding of culture and traditions and the similarity of the staff, many prefer outside programs. Middle class persons may prefer mainstream agencies, while some may be reticent to share intimate or possibly culturally deviant information with persons from their own community. Availability, accessibility, and acceptability of services are critical factors in service utilization. Having a clear ethnic lens, free of stereotypes and prejudices is tantamount to effectively serving the community.

Keywords:   service utilization, ethnic agencies, mainstream, availability, accessibility, acceptability

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