Social workers have always worked with a diverse range of people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds and with differing levels of needs, so it would be fair to say that working with diversity is a natural and fundamental part of social work practice. However, diversity is often viewed as a negative and problematic concept, one that poses challenges for practitioners and users of services alike in that social work has often been criticised for failing to recognise the diverse needs of communities through providing a one-size-fits-all or mono cultural service. However, changes in global patterns of migration mean that social workers find themselves working with increasingly diverse populations. Though anti-oppressive perspectives have enabled social workers to develop an understanding of diversity and the negative effects of difference in terms of discrimination and marginalisation, Parrott (2014) suggests that social workers are ill-prepared to deal with the effects of an increasingly diverse client population within a globalised world.
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