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Social Work with West Indian Families: A Multilevel Approach

The social work practice literature on working with West Indian families is relatively sparse. A review of the literature reveals that this population faces a series of stress-producing events that often results in the need for social work services. Intervention may be necessary due to problems in the parent/child relationship, family role changes, and employment and education-related difficulties (Mahoney, 2002; Thrasher and Anderson, 1988;McNicol, 1993;Sowell-Cokeretal., 1985). The literature also reveals that this population has low service utilization rates. These low rates have been attributed to cultural insensitivity among service providers in understanding their values and life-styles, lack of knowledge and experience in using services, and reluctance to receive assistance outside of the family (Thrasher and Anderson, 1988;McNicol, 1993;Sowell-Cokeretal., 1985; Mathews, 1994; Smith and Mason, 1995).