WU Leadership Social Work the Cultural Lenses on Paula Cultural Competence Case Study


Respond to at least two colleagues in the following ways:

  • Address a colleague’s post that differs from yours with regard to at least one cultural lens and expand upon the colleague’s interpretation of Paula’s needs.
  • Explain whether you might use your colleague’s strategy for addressing multiple perspectives when treating clients, and explain why.

Be sure to use Reference

DB 1—


Post how you, as a social worker, might interpret the needs of Paula Cortez, the client, through the two cultural lenses you selected.

In my experience I have encountered many clients with similar backgrounds to Paula, and I still have challenges that I must work through to ensure I and meeting the needs of the client, by working to understand their cultural needs. In the case of Paula, she is a client I would place in medium risk category because of her multiple needs and conditions. If Paula’s conditions remain unmanaged, she will potentially put herself at risk of needing a higher level of care, which will decrease Paula’s chances at being able to care for her child. Paula’s wants to attempt to care for her child and as the social worker working with Paula, I cannot deny her that right, so my goal would be to support Paula’s needs, so she is prepared to care for her child. Paula needs support with completing referrals follow-up and managing her health so she can have the baby.

The first cultural lens is Paula is a Latino woman, and in her culture family is important. Paula persistence in keeping her child may be due to her cultural belief of family. Paula has no support and possibly she may see this child as a way, to show, she is capable of being a mother. Paula may feel abandon by those she loves and therefore this baby is a new person that will love Paula for Paula. As the social worker I would explore how much of Paula’s Latino background influences her.

Another cultural lens I would explore is Paula’s education level and how she interprets things. I would use this as a cultural lens because the report states that Paula has been inconsistent with referrals, medication adherence, and referrals. As the social worker working with Paula, I would explore how she interprets Western medicine and any beliefs or practices that her team needs to be aware of to better support her needs. If Paula wanted to continue to use the Chamomile tea on her feet, I would discuss how she could use both Chamomile tea and take medications to support her health. I would review with Paula the recommendations from her primary care providers and then discuss how much of the advice she has understood with Paula if there is anything within the directions that goes against her cultural beliefs.

Then, explain how, in general, you would incorporate multiple perspectives of a variety of stakeholders and/or human services professionals as you treat clients.

I would incorporate recommendations from Paula’s psychiatrist because of Paula’s recent stay at the psych unit. Paula’s mental health must be monitored during the pregnancy and after the child’s birth to monitor Paula’s mental health changes. If Paula is currently prescribed any psych meds, it will be essential to review if she can continue the medications while pregnant. Paula’s primary care psychical and psychiatrist need to communicate medications and health care needs, including changes and prescribed medications. As the social worker, I would assist with coordinating this communication. Both of these stakeholders have invested time and build rapport with Paula, and they may have invested interest to see improvements and Paula’s adherence to treatment recommendations, and overall health.


Austin, J. C.-C. (2008). The Culturally Responsive Social Service Agency: The Application of an Evolving Definition to a Case Study. Administration in Social Work, 39-64.

Northouse, P. G. (2021). Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice 5th ed. Washington: Sage.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). Cortez case study [Multimedia]. Retrieved on March 22, 2021, from https://class.waldenu.edu.

DB 2—


Post how you, as a social worker, might interpret the needs of Paula Cortez, the client, through the two cultural lenses you selected.

As a social worker addressing Paula Cortez, the client would consider her medical condition and physical disability. Paula Cortez is a 43-year-old Hispanic female who found out she is pregnant. She has a history of overcoming some challenging situations in her life, revealing that she has some incredible strengths in resilience and achieving her goals. Paula Cortez, however, is facing a high-risk pregnancy due to her history of noncompliance with her medication, her current medical conditions, and physical disability. As a social worker, it would be essential to assess the level of risk this pregnancy has towards Paula’s health and safety. She is currently experiencing a major stressful life event that has her decompensating psychologically. (Laureate Education, 2014).

She lacks social support and is facing constant paranoia due to the man she was dating. Based on this information, Paula would benefit from remaining hospitalized until she becomes stable emotionally, mentally, and physically. Paula’s wrong choices have a higher risk for both Paula and the baby in question. Paula’s lack of compliance with her medication makes it difficult to assume she will manage a newborn and fully meet its needs. This is because Paula struggles to meet her own needs and is overwhelmed by her current life situations. As a social worker, I would never recommend Paula terminate the pregnancy, guiding her towards making an informed decision. As a social worker, I would educate her to bring insight into her condition and various choices. Clients have the right to self-determination, and social workers should promote this in a supportive way. I would also include child welfare resources to assist Paula with parenting classes to prepare and plan for the newborn. (Laureate Education, 2014).

Then, explain how, in general, you would incorporate multiple perspectives of a variety of stakeholders and human services professionals as you treat clients.

According to Chun-Chung Chow and Austin (2008) shared that organizations, human services professionals, and stakeholders must demonstrate they value diversity and must provide culturally responsive programs/services. This is shown in the delivery, availability, and access to services to all people. Incorporating multiple perspectives from human services professionals and stakeholders among the treatment team is vital information that will help develop a treatment plan and interventions that best meet the needs of the client holistically. Their diverse perspective will help human service professionals and stakeholders collaborate resources and approach that is culturally inclusive. The inclusion of multiple perspectives and the interpretation to include diversity can create a culturally competent response to clients’ needs as you treat them. As a social worker, I would incorporate multiple perspectives of various stakeholders and human services by utilizing evidence-based theory to encapsulate an approach that would help the client become stable, including these perspectives in the client’s treatment plan to formulate SMART goals to address their presenting problem as outlined by these various perspectives. I would discuss the client’s presenting problem with them after building a rapport with them to help identify the problem. I would explore the client’s needs with them by way of discussion to promote self-determination on the potential goals the client would be interested in working on. In Paula Cortez’s case, some issues are evident that, as a social worker, I would encourage with urgency to address and provide the tools and information to do so. (Chun-Chung Chow & Austin, 2008).


Chun-Chung Chow, J., & Austin, M.J. (2008). The culturally responsive social service agency: The application of an evolving definition to a case study. Administration in Social Work, 32 94), 39-64.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). Cortez case study [Multimedia]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

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