Practice Notes logo


Vol. 4, No. 1
February 1999

A Look at Cultural Competency

"Cultural competence." By now you've heard the term; perhaps you've even attended a professional training event where the topic was addressed.

And when you heard or learned about it, you probably thought it sounded like a good, if somewhat obvious idea. After all, understanding and accepting differences in others is something everyone has to do to get along in this world, isn't it?

Yet many have found that consciously, formally integrating the elements of cultural competence into their work with birth families, foster families, and coworkers can be hard to do. Culturally competent practice involves analyzing yourself and your society, facing your biases and ignorance, and examining mistakes you may have made in the past. And it requires a commitment to constant learning and openness.

That's a pretty tall order, especially when you have to keep an eye on your caseload at the same time. This issue of Practice Notes is dedicated to reminding you why it is worth the effort, and to giving you a leg up on this daunting, rewarding challenge.


Culturally Competent Practice: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?
Guidelines for Working with an Interpreter
Culturally Competent Workers and Programs
Handling Intolerance in Others
Teaching Parents to Teach Tolerance
Calming a Client
Improve Your Ability To Serve Hispanic Families
Tips for Working with Hispanic Families
Is Race a Myth?
Click here to read or print the entire issue as a pdf file.

Main Page Next Issue Previous Issue