Practitioners need to achieve a degree of detachment from their own cultural background and gain insight into the nature of their beliefs, values and traditions and how these shape their worldviews and responses to others. The UK, like other Anglocentric nations such as the US and Australia, is not a culturally neutral society. Rather the demographically large and economically powerful White middle class is disproportionately influential in determining the overarching beliefs, values and conventions in these countries (Garner, 2007). These in turn become normalised and institutionalised to the point where, for those from the White majority, the day-to-day contexts in which they work and socialise appear neutral and unremarkable. To help social workers to develop reflective and reflexive capabilities in relation to race and culture, this chapter examines Whiteness as a racial identity and explores dominant strands of British culture in order to aid those primarily from the ethnic majority, but also from ethnic minorities, to identify and explore how their cultural heritage shapes their perceptions and assumptions. The implications for social work practice are examined through three case studies drawn from Serious Case Reviews involving British White families. These specific cases are exemplars of the impact of Anglocentric values in social work practices in relation to alcoholism, adolescent autonomy and sexual exploitation. They have multiple ramifications for work with ethnic minority families across a wide spectrum of child protection issues.
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