Multiracial competence in social work: Recommendations for culturally attuned work with multiracial people

Kelly Jackson, Gina M. Samuels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


According to the 2010 U.S. census, approximately 9 million individuals report multiracial identities. By the year 2050, as many as one in five Americans could claim a multiracial background. Despite this population growth, a review of recent empirical and theoretical literature in social work suggests a disproportionate lack of attention to issues of multiraciality. Instead, social work practice models remain embedded in traditional societal discourses of race and culture that often exclude or marginalize the experiences of multiracial individuals and families. This article summarizes recommendations following the domains of awareness, knowledge, and skills in the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice to support culturally attuned social work practice with multiracial people. The authors argue that a culturally attuned practice approach-one that is inclusive of multiraciality-is not only timely, but also consistent with the profession's ethical obligation to provide culturally relevant services to all consumers and clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalSocial work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011



  • Cultural attunemetit
  • Cultural competence
  • Mixed race
  • Multiracial
  • Social work practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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