Diverse service users and diverse workers: The impact of globalization
A cornerstone in the values of social work is the willingness to celebrate diversity and embrace difference, a position central to the understanding of anti-discriminatory and inclusive practice. This diversity incorporates the many varying backgrounds, experiences, styles and beliefs of individuals and groups. Practising social work is, therefore, about working towards removing the physical and psychological barriers to the understanding and satisfying of diverse people’s social needs. But diversity also incorporates complexity, which is increasingly becoming a hallmark of current social work practice. This chapter explores the contribution that globalization makes to this complexity, arguing that developing and sustaining a global critique may now have become an important baseline practice skill for working with increasingly diverse groups of service users and staff. For social workers, therefore, to ‘think global’ when ‘acting-local’ may no longer be just an optional-extra.