A Pākehā journey towards bicultural practice through guilt, shame, identity and hope

Heidi Suzanne Crawford


INTRODUCTION: For many social workers, aspects of their training and the development of competence are a growth journey that begins even before they may be aware of it starting, continues during training and throughout social workers’ professional lives. One area that is of particular interest is bicultural practice, often an area that holds challenges for Pākehā practitioners for many reasons. The journey of understanding and growth towards being a social worker who practices biculturally is a long one that often, for Pākehā, starts in guilt and shame.

CONCLUSIONS: This article is a reflection of a Pākehā social worker, who shares her own personal journey through guilt and shame towards hope; hope that we can engage and journey in our bicultural practice to become a more compassionate, effective practitioner. As part of this reflection, the social worker shares her discovery of loss of identity as Pākehā and encourages other Pākehā to connect with who has gone before them in an attempt to understand self and understand others.



bicultural practice; biculturalism; Pākehā; identity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol28iss4id300


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