Latinos currently compromise 16% of the entire U.S. population and 9.3% live in rural areas ((U.S. Census, 2010). These current percentages indicate that most social workers will work with this population at least once during their careers. Therefore, it is important that social workers develop skills and knowledge to work effectively with Latinos. Working with Latinos in our current sociopolitical climate poses many challenges for social workers working in rural areas. However, if social workers adhere to the guidelines and standards initially established by the profession and implement best practices many of their efforts will be successful. This chapter aims to illustrate, using case studies at the various levels of practice, some basic “nuts and bolts” to assure best practices. It also aims to help provide knowledge about cultural aspects in the Latino culture. The implications are that social workers will encounter working with Latinos. It will be wise to assess and assure that biases are not affecting their abilities to work with a population that is also very diverse based on citizenship, migratory patterns and regional residency.


Ed. note: This version of the article is slightly revised from what was originally published since the correct Spanish spelling of several words did not appear in the previously published version.

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