Building culturally relevant social work for children in the midst of armed conflict: Applying the DACUM method in Afghanistan

The 21st century has created renewed interest in developing culturally relevant social work where it does not exist, especially for children affected by armed conflict and disaster, in order to ensure that local professional standards guide responses to these types of distress. In this context, Afghanistan’s National Strategy for Children at Risk required the development of professional guidelines for social work practice with children in crisis. This article illustrates the collaboration of the Afghan government with two international schools of social work to initiate national social work standards and curricula by engaging local practitioners in defining their work and core competencies through the DACUM (Develop-A-Curriculum) method. Strengths and limitations of the method are explored, as are implications for social work development in Afghanistan and other conflict and disaster-affected countries.

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