Jump to content

Black Men in Social Work


MarquettCS
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone!

Is there a need/market for African-American/Black men in Social Work? I was reading an article somewhere that said there was a shortage, but I thought I would ask here since the majority are enrolled or have been enrolled in social work programs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Need/market" is a matter of opinion, but men - especially men of non-white ethnicity - are definitely the minority. As of 2010, approximately 13.6% of MSW students are male (that's about 1 out of every ~7.5). Similarly, approximately 15.8% (1 out of every ~7) of all MSW students are african american, although it doesn't say how the breaks down along gender lines. Thus african american men are definitely a rarity (although not that ridiculously unique - maybe 1 out of every 50ish students). 

 

How much that helps when it comes to applying (for both school and jobs) is unknowable, but I'm sure it does. I'm a guy myself, so I may be biased, though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey everyone!

Is there a need/market for African-American/Black men in Social Work? I was reading an article somewhere that said there was a shortage, but I thought I would ask here since the majority are enrolled or have been enrolled in social work programs.

Yeah, so you're kind of like gold in this market!  I don't mean to be "reverse" sexist/racist, but men are few and far between in this field, and being a minority as well puts you at an advantage.  I'm totally shooting a subjective opinion, but I know at the agency I work for, we love when we get male applicants!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you proud of that 25-cent word you used there? Also, I believe you are in the wrong forum.

 

I didnt know that there was a restriction to where I could post, especially when its on the most recent post sidebar. That's fine, I'll shut up, I just think that wanting to know if the color of my skin or my gender gives me an advantage is a bit short sighted; Wouldn't you want it to be an even playing field, or at least one where one's abilities arent in question. 

 

Anyway, I'll shut up. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didnt know that there was a restriction to where I could post, especially when its on the most recent post sidebar. That's fine, I'll shut up, I just think that wanting to know if the color of my skin or my gender gives me an advantage is a bit short sighted; Wouldn't you want it to be an even playing field, or at least one where one's abilities arent in question. 

 

Anyway, I'll shut up. 

You don't work in the field.  Clients need males to relate to, especially if they are male clients - I have many clients who are African-American and like working with African-American clinicians because they feel they can relate better; it's their comfort level, not mine. 

 

The point of this post and the problem with the social work profession is that the playing field IS NOT EVEN, as you have suggested..  Women outrank men by about 8:1 in the field.  It would be ideal if it was 50:50, but that's not the case.  I know you don't work in the field, so you might not understand.  That's why I'd advise reading up on it before commenting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didnt know that there was a restriction to where I could post, especially when its on the most recent post sidebar. That's fine, I'll shut up, I just think that wanting to know if the color of my skin or my gender gives me an advantage is a bit short sighted; Wouldn't you want it to be an even playing field, or at least one where one's abilities arent in question. 

 

Anyway, I'll shut up.

I asked the question from a service delivery perspective. Women outnumber men in social work, and there are even fewer minority members. Clients come from all walks of life and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Being able to connect with them and empower them is my only concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked the question from a service delivery perspective. Women outnumber men in social work, and there are even fewer minority members. Clients come from all walks of life and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Being able to connect with them and empower them is my only concern.

 

Well, as a prospective social worker, you have to accept that you will not always see eye-to-eye with clients. You may unintentionally alienate any number of clients due to a number of factors that make you different from them, and not truly being able to understand their circumstances.

 

But there are clients who will see eye-to-eye with you, and who you can engage with. In this way, being a black man is advantageous. You're more likely able to share experiences with other black men than a white man or a black woman, and because black men are a group that is underrepresented in social work, this is a great characteristic to have. However, since being a black man isn't your only personal characteristic, you may not always see eye to eye with other black men. For example, you may have difference of opinion, or you may process information in different ways. You may come from a different socioeconomic background. But you have a different experience from many other social workers, and that helps you be able to relate to different kinds of people.

 

Male social workers are also really important because of the code that men shouldn't seek help, because if they can't do it themselves, they're worthless. You have a valuable opportunity in the field of social work because you're in a unique position where you're able to say to other men that it's okay to have moments of weakness or ask for help. And that being able to rely on others, be weak, and admit that you can't always handle things is, in itself, a form of strength, because you let others help you and be strong for you. You can be an anchor for others because you received strength from other people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didnt know that there was a restriction to where I could post, especially when its on the most recent post sidebar. That's fine, I'll shut up, I just think that wanting to know if the color of my skin or my gender gives me an advantage is a bit short sighted; Wouldn't you want it to be an even playing field, or at least one where one's abilities arent in question. 

 

Anyway, I'll shut up.

That's not what he asked. He was asking whether or not there was a demand, not whether or not it'd give him a competitive edge. Males are drastically underrepresented in social work. African Americans, especially males, are underrepresented in graduate studies more generally. This is both problematic not only for reducing disparities in patient care, but for reducing the race-patterned inequalities that are so extreme in the United States. Besides, race/ethnicity can only be considered as a "plus" factor in addition to other qualifications; a student with stats that are lower than another student's cannot be given preferential treatment in admissions. Affirmative action measures as a means for reducing disparities must also meet a strict scrutiny test, which means proving that there is compelling interest, it is narrowly tailored, and there are no other more effective ways to achieve this. So, not exactly a walk in the park. As decided in University of California v. Bakke, diversity among medical students (generalizable to professional students) does constitute a compelling interest. There is also gobs and gobs of evidence that racial/ethnic concordance in the patient-provider relationship, much moreso than the culturally competent approach utilized by mainstream doctors, is effective in reducing disparities in care. This is because even well-meaning physicians bring their biases, stereotypes, and inevitably cultural gaps into the relationships, which has been linked to minorities' reduced likelihood of being offered or receiving treatment, even after controlling for patient characteristics.

A level playing field is one in which players have equal opportunity. But when marginalized groups start out on the lower rungs, in terms of income, wealth, education, morbidity, mortality, and more variables than I can possibly expound upon here, while other groups reap their cumulative advantage, that is not a level playing field. To claim that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed is asinine. People should be considered on the basis of ability alone, you say? Well isn't it interesting that such seemingly inherent traits, such as IQ, are altered during childhood, for better or worse, due to the quality of communications from parents? And there is evidence that many learning disabilities develop during childhood due again to these environmental factors which are beyond the individual's control, such as poor nutrition and weak relationships with parents that limit a child's vocabulary, and thereby the connections in their brain. Yet they're expected to compete with those who have been nourished and enriched in a stimulating environment, steeped in years and years and often generations of privilege. And that's supposed to be an even playing field? About that...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well said!

That's not what he asked. He was asking whether or not there was a demand, not whether or not it'd give him a competitive edge. Males are drastically underrepresented in social work. African Americans, especially males, are underrepresented in graduate studies more generally. This is both problematic not only for reducing disparities in patient care, but for reducing the race-patterned inequalities that are so extreme in the United States. Besides, race/ethnicity can only be considered as a "plus" factor in addition to other qualifications; a student with stats that are lower than another student's cannot be given preferential treatment in admissions. Affirmative action measures as a means for reducing disparities must also meet a strict scrutiny test, which means proving that there is compelling interest, it is narrowly tailored, and there are no other more effective ways to achieve this. So, not exactly a walk in the park. As decided in University of California v. Bakke, diversity among medical students (generalizable to professional students) does constitute a compelling interest. There is also gobs and gobs of evidence that racial/ethnic concordance in the patient-provider relationship, much moreso than the culturally competent approach utilized by mainstream doctors, is effective in reducing disparities in care. This is because even well-meaning physicians bring their biases, stereotypes, and inevitably cultural gaps into the relationships, which has been linked to minorities' reduced likelihood of being offered or receiving treatment, even after controlling for patient characteristics.

A level playing field is one in which players have equal opportunity. But when marginalized groups start out on the lower rungs, in terms of income, wealth, education, morbidity, mortality, and more variables than I can possibly expound upon here, while other groups reap their cumulative advantage, that is not a level playing field. To claim that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed is asinine. People should be considered on the basis of ability alone, you say? Well isn't it interesting that such seemingly inherent traits, such as IQ, are altered during childhood, for better or worse, due to the quality of communications from parents? And there is evidence that many learning disabilities develop during childhood due again to these environmental factors which are beyond the individual's control, such as poor nutrition and weak relationships with parents that limit a child's vocabulary, and thereby the connections in their brain. Yet they're expected to compete with those who have been nourished and enriched in a stimulating environment, steeped in years and years and often generations of privilege. And that's supposed to be an even playing field? About that...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's not what he asked. He was asking whether or not there was a demand, not whether or not it'd give him a competitive edge. Males are drastically underrepresented in social work. African Americans, especially males, are underrepresented in graduate studies more generally. This is both problematic not only for reducing disparities in patient care, but for reducing the race-patterned inequalities that are so extreme in the United States. Besides, race/ethnicity can only be considered as a "plus" factor in addition to other qualifications; a student with stats that are lower than another student's cannot be given preferential treatment in admissions. Affirmative action measures as a means for reducing disparities must also meet a strict scrutiny test, which means proving that there is compelling interest, it is narrowly tailored, and there are no other more effective ways to achieve this. So, not exactly a walk in the park. As decided in University of California v. Bakke, diversity among medical students (generalizable to professional students) does constitute a compelling interest. There is also gobs and gobs of evidence that racial/ethnic concordance in the patient-provider relationship, much moreso than the culturally competent approach utilized by mainstream doctors, is effective in reducing disparities in care. This is because even well-meaning physicians bring their biases, stereotypes, and inevitably cultural gaps into the relationships, which has been linked to minorities' reduced likelihood of being offered or receiving treatment, even after controlling for patient characteristics.

A level playing field is one in which players have equal opportunity. But when marginalized groups start out on the lower rungs, in terms of income, wealth, education, morbidity, mortality, and more variables than I can possibly expound upon here, while other groups reap their cumulative advantage, that is not a level playing field. To claim that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed is asinine. People should be considered on the basis of ability alone, you say? Well isn't it interesting that such seemingly inherent traits, such as IQ, are altered during childhood, for better or worse, due to the quality of communications from parents? And there is evidence that many learning disabilities develop during childhood due again to these environmental factors which are beyond the individual's control, such as poor nutrition and weak relationships with parents that limit a child's vocabulary, and thereby the connections in their brain. Yet they're expected to compete with those who have been nourished and enriched in a stimulating environment, steeped in years and years and often generations of privilege. And that's supposed to be an even playing field? About that...

 

Bravo! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I go to an HBCU and there are quite a few African-American males in my program. Professors are always gushing about how black male social worker are in high demand. I have also found this in my professional experience doing direct care/IIH work. Purely anecdotal I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go to an HBCU and there are quite a few African-American males in my program. Professors are always gushing about how black male social worker are in high demand. I have also found this in my professional experience doing direct care/IIH work. Purely anecdotal I know.

Might I ask which program you're in? I'm going to apply to the MSW program at Tennessee State University next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I am a Black Male with an MSW and its a joke that being what I am gets you preferential treatment in any area of life in the country related to being successful.  The low number of Black Males working in the field is proof of that.  Being me means its harder to do everything, the obstacles we face as professionals are no different than the obstacles we face as non educated citizens.  My MSW isn’t stapled to my back when I move around every day I'm a Black Man before anything else.  People don’t want to hire us in the field because they feel intimidated by our presence we live under a microscope and are scrutinized about every single action.  If black men cant work how can they provide for their families, If they cant work how can they feel good about themselves? My story is worse than Kevin Durant's I just wasn’t 6 ft 9 with a jump shot an all my friends stories are the same.... I could keep going to solidify my point but why?  I gotta find a job LOL.................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I am a black male with an LMSW every position. I interview for I am put in front of a 30 something year old white woman. The filter she uses is not of an employer its more like I am a client. Black males are not given the benefit of the doubt. I am expected to be proficient in every area. I am being asked questions in an attempt to exclude me from consideration. My degree from one of the countries top schools of social is never given the weight it deserves. The social work profession is not reflective of the community they serve. We pride ourselves on cultural competence and the majority of social work professionals have know idea what it means. If I had it to do over again I would have choosen a different path. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you will do great in the field! They are right, you need to be proficient in all skills, but there might be a plus if clients are relating to you. I've had some clients refuse to work with me because of my age, gender, race, etc. and that is perfectly acceptable. My job is then to find who will have the best worker-client relationship with them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.