Practice to make a difference.

Critical Multicultural Practice in Social Work: New perspectives and practices

A guide to the theory and practice of effective and sensitive multicultural approaches across a range of settings including aged care, disability services and child protection, suitable for both students and practitioners.

Critical multicultural practice, rather than being a specialism, is integral to Australian social work. Drawing on critical race theory, critical multiculturalism, intersectionality and critical reflection as practice theory, this major new edited collection challenges many of the dominant assumptions of cross-cultural social work and provides instead a new model of transformative engagement.

Key concepts are considered, including identity, culture, diversity and superdiversity, how power and privilege shape everyday interactions and what is meant by citizenship in the contemporary context. Part One explores the changing nature of multicultural practice in Australia, including our society's changing demographic profile, the impact of asylum and refugee migrations, race and racism and cultural identity. Indigenous perspectives and the relationship with multicultural practice are examined, together with the ethical and legal basis for multicultural practice. This part concludes with an outline of the editors' framework for critical multicultural practice. Part Two draws on contributions from a range of practitioners and offers new perspectives on diverse fields, including child protection, mental health, disability, ageing, homelessness and rural and regional practice.

Featuring case studies and insights drawn from across the spectrum of practice, this book is a vital resource for all social workers practising in Australia today.


  • Table and figures
  • Editors and contributors
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Understanding ethnic diversity
  • 1 Australia and its 'others': Multicultural theory, policy and practice
  • 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and multicultural responsibilities
  • 3 The ethical, legal and policy context of critical multicultural practice
  • 4 Critical multiculturalism in practice
  • Part II: Fields of practice
  • 5 Critical multiculturalism and disproportionality in child protection
  • 6 Mental health and critical multicultural practice: An arts-based approach
  • 7 Beyond the silos: Towards transformative social work practice with people from refugee backgrounds living with a disability
  • 8 Ageing and ethnicity
  • 9 Critical multicultural practice: Domestic violence, and refugees and asylum seekers
  • 10 A relational pedagogy: A YoungMILE in our decolonising social work practice journey
  • 11 Critical multicultural resettlement practice
  • 12 Nationless, homeless and seeking asylum: Considerations for social workers
  • 13 Working with community groups
  • 14 Responding to rural and regional multiculture
  • 15 Critical multicultural practice with ethnic minority children and their families

Author Bio:

Dr Sharlene Nipperess is a lecturer in social work at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT.

Critical Multicultural Practice in Social Work: New perspectives and practices

Author: Dr Sharlene Nipperess

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