Non-White social workers and their expectations in social work practice with multicultural populations in Winnipeg
Racialized people comprised 16.3% of Winnipeg’s population in 2006. Only 5% of all social workers in Winnipeg are racialized social workers. The literature indicates that non-White social workers do not experience social work practice the same as their White cohorts. The goal of this research is to understand the experiences of non-White social workers in Winnipeg and their perceptions of social work practice with multicultural populations. Using qualitative research methods, interviews were conducted with eight non-White social workers in Winnipeg, Manitoba that have worked with non-White and White clients. The analysis of the data indicates that non-White social workers feel that by virtue of being ‘visible minorities’, they are perceived differently by employers, co-workers, and the clients they work with. The participants feel the colour of their skin is often more of a factor in being perceived as competent, than their actual professional skills, training, and abilities.