Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Pa Der Vang

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine a growing inequality within American and international societies. The research seeks to explore how language barriers affect social work practice. In particular, the research question is to determine the relationship between interpreter service type and client satisfaction. With a recent estimate of the number of languages in the United States being 245, this inquiry is incredibly applicable to current social work practice (Lewis, 2009). Social workers are devoted to supporting communities and advancing culturally competence services. Therefore, social workers must also fully understand the role of communication and be mindful that “things are not always what they seem and it is easy to draw the wrong conclusion” (Dawood & Bains, 2011, p. 56).

In order to build a comprehensive knowledge base, this study began by conducting a review of past studies pertaining to language barriers in addition to the relationship between interpreter services and social services. The data collection methods and safeguard for research with human subjects are outlined. Using a questionnaire, data was collected and analyzed using SPSS 21, a statistical analysis software. The results of the statistical analysis will be used to compare with findings from the literature. A discussion regarding the effect that language barriers, with emphasis on the use of two interpreter services, have on client satisfaction with social services along with implications and plans for future research will follow.

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