Baby Boomers of Color: Implications for Social Work Policy and Practice
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Because researchers often treat baby boomers of color as belonging to one group, quality data on the individual status of specific racial populations is lacking, leading to insufficiently designed programs, policies, and services. The absence of data is a testament to the invisibility of baby boomers of color in society and deeply affects the practice of social work and other helping professions that require culturally sensitive approaches. Melvin Delgado rectifies this injustice by providing a comprehensive portrait of the status and unique assets of boomers of color. Using specific data, he grounds an understanding of boomers’financial, medical, and emotional needs within a historical, socioeconomic, cultural, and political context, resulting in tailored recommendations for meeting the challenges of a growing population. His research focuses on African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American older adults and addresses issues of financial security, employment stability, housing, and health care, which are often complicated by linguistic and cultural differences. Rather than treat baby boomers of color as a financial burden on society and its resources, Delgado recognizes their strengths and positive contributions to families and communities, resulting in an affirming and empowering approach to service.