Cultural Competence: A Tool for Addressing Racism in Palliative Social Work

Recorded Webinar 
Instructor: Karen Bullock, Ph.D., LCSW, APHSW-C 
CEs: 1.5 CEs 
Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Social workers and other social service providers.
Course Delivery Method and Format: Recorded webinar, self study. All courses are hosted on SmithOnline. Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration.
System Requirements: Attendees will need access to a computer with internet and the capability to play recorded videos.

Date of original webinar: September 1, 2021

Racial inequities have become central in the national conversation about serious illness care during COVID-19. Moreover, the constant exposure to the indelible reality of health disparities across racial groups amplifies the need for cultural competence in palliative social work.

If we are to dismantle structural and systemic racism and provide equitable care for all, we must commit to becoming anti-racist healthcare practitioners. Reflecting on the current climate of social unrest and race-related inequities across diverse populations, a critical race theory perspective helps frame an understanding of the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and the relevance for palliative and end-of-life care.

This webinar provides participants with knowledge and understanding of the revised NASW Code of Ethics, its values and principles. This session will examine the barriers and mediating factors influencing healthcare inequities and discuss cultural competence as a tool for addressing racism in palliative social work.

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

$35 (one time registration fee of $5) | Ongoing

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify health inequities in systems of serious illness care.
  2. Discuss ways in which racism affects healthcare outcomes.
  3. Explain frameworks for advancing anti-racist practices.
  4. Describe cultural competence in palliative and end-of-life care.
  5. Explain how to apply the NASW Code of Ethics to address structural and systemic racism.


  • Reflect on the current climate of social unrest and race-related inequities across groups. Discuss COVID-19 impacts and the relevance for palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Consider the barriers and mediating factors influencing disparities and inequities between White Eurocentric experiences and Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latino, People of non-European heritage through a lens of cultural competency.
  • Identify culturally congruent models of care for patients impacted by legacy of structural and systemic racism.
  • Review Critical Race Theory and its application in palliative social work.
  • Discuss cultural competence in the framework of continuing education, aligned with ethical principles and as a tool for improving palliative and end-of-life practices in social work.
  • Recommend strategies and approaches for identifying structural and systemic racism in palliative social work to facilitate change.
  • Review the NASW Code of Ethics and ways to incorporate new knowledge and insight into practice behaviors.
  • Questions & Answers

About the Instructor:

Karen Bullock, Ph.D. is professor and head of the School of Social Work at North Carolina State University. She earned her Ph.D. in sociology and social work from Boston University, her master’s degree in Social Work, from Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina State. She is affiliate faculty at the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP) at the University of Connecticut. Bullock has more than 20 years of clinical practice experience in mental health and aging, with interests and expertise in health care disparities and end-of-life care issues. She is a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar and serves on several national boards and committees, including AGE-SW, Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network (SWHPN), the American Cancer Society (ACS) Oncology Social Work Research Peer Review Committee, and is current chair of the NASW Mental Health Section Committee. Bullock's research focuses on cancer care and social support for older adults with non-curable illnesses. Her article on The Influence of Culture on End-of-Life Decision Making, won the 2012 Best Article Award by the Routledge Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care. She has been a leading force in advancing social work practice, education and training in gerontology, mental health, palliative and end-of-life care. She has been quoted in the Washington Post, USA Today and LA Times as an expert in these areas. Bullock has published and presented nationally and internationally on these topics. She was a visiting scholar at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and previously held appointments at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, the University of Connecticut, Salem State College, Smith College and UNC-Wilmington.  

Completion Requirements for Recorded Webinars and Online Courses.

To receive a CE certificate, you must complete the entirety of the recorded webinar or recorded video presentation. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the class. For recorded webinars and online courses, participants must complete an evaluation and a post test, noting the length of time to complete the course. Participants must earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the post test in order to earn CEs. Retesting is allowed up to five (5) times. If a passing score is not achieved, CEs will not be awarded. Links to the evaluation and post test are available in SmithOnline. Participants must also complete an attestation of completion for each fully completed course. A copy of the attestation is available in SmithOnline. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the course evaluation, successfully passing the post test and submitting the attestation, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of course completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on submitting attestion, completion of the evaluation and passing the post test.

Continuing Education Credits and Approvals for This Course

Continuing Education (CE) credits offered vary by course. This course only offers the CE credits listed below.  It is the attendees' responsibility to contact their licensing board to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.


Smith College School for Social Work, #1755, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period:11/19/2021-11/19/2024 . Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 cultural competence continuing education credits.


Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School’s Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

NY State

Smith College School for Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0169.

Not Approved for Counselors (LMHC/LPC)

Smith College School for Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7110. This program does NOT qualify for NBCC ACEP approval.