As British society has become more heterogeneous, cross-cultural effectiveness has emerged as an essential skill for all social workers who work with children and young people. Over the past two decades, social scientists (mainly in the US) have become increasingly aware of the contributions that cross-cultural research findings can make to our understanding of human development. Little of the current social work literature in Britain has addressed the issue of cross-cultural child development. Articles and books written for social workers on child development are Eurocentric in nature and as a result require considerable adaptation before they can be responsive to some of the needs of black children. Kagitcibasi (1996) notes that developmental psychology textbooks ‘tend not to include cultural differences, or they treat them as extraneous variables’ (p. 4).
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