Challenging Colonial Legacies: Developing Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practicum in Dominican Republic


  • Mirna Carranza McMaster University


Social work in Latin America and the Caribbean as in other parts of the world has its roots in a welfare philosophy. Since this was born of the "goodness" of privileged classes and in their concern for the "other," those social groups that lived in marginalization or poverty. This paper is based on six years of collaborative work in the DR, to develop the practicum of a Baccalaureate in social work (BSW) with the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). The focus of this article will be on the collaborative work of a team of professors from Canada and the DR to develop a BSW placement structure. The DR’s engagement with social welfare, had a long standing history with community development (Baker & Maxwell, 2012), a focus that UASD wanted to maintain while professionalizing social work practice. The outcomes relating to this project were then to create a BSW curriculum that could shape a social work practice in the DR that built upon its history of community development to influence government and NGOs to focus on reducing marginalization from a policy or macro perspective. To do so, one of the key objectives was to foster a complementary relationship between casework and Governments, to actualize pre-existing and develop new policy.

Author Biography

Mirna Carranza, McMaster University

Associate Professor School of Social Work


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