1. What is Cultural Competence?
Cultural Competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professional and enables this system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Competence implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.
Cross, T.L., Bazron, B.J., Dennis, K.W., Isaacs, M. (1989). “Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care”, Volume I Washington, DC: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center.)
2. Why is Cultural Competence important?
Communities in America are becoming more culturally diverse. Current projections suggest that by 2025, racial and ethnic minorities will account for more than 40% of all Americans. Lack of awareness of cultural differences can affect the prevention, identification, and treatment of many mental health problems.
(New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Final Report. DHHS Pub. No. SMA-03-3832. Rockville, MD: 2003).
3. What is the Cultural Competence Continuum?
This is a continuum that helps one understand the process of becoming culturally competent. There are six points along the continuum. They are cultural destructiveness, cultural incapacity, cultural blindness, cultural pre-competence, cultural competence, and cultural proficiency. These are all possible ways of responding to cultural differences. To lean more, visit the website below.
4. Who are the most recognized racial & ethnic minorities in the United States?
The four most recognized racial and ethnic minority groups according to United States Federal classifications are African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, White American and Hispanic American.
(Latino) is an ethnicity and may apply to a person of any race (U.S. Office of Management and Budget, OMB, 1978)