The system cannot begin to put the policies and procedures needed to become a culturally competent organization in place if the institution and the staff do not value diversity. The system must embrace the key role that diversity plays in strengthening quality of care that is accessible, efficient and cost effective.
Awareness of the “Dynamic of Difference”
The system must be conscious of the inherent dynamic of interacting cultures. This is a critical component in the design of service delivery. Having access to service delivery is not enough. How, where, and by whom the service is provided must also be taken into consideration.
This element reflects earlier cross-cultural models in its concern with worker knowledge and beliefs, or the area of cognition (Lefley & Pederson, 1986). One initial concern involves cultural and color blindness--the concept that practitioners should and can treat everyone the same.
Ability to Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge
The system must sanction and in some instances mandate the incorporation of cultural knowledge into the service delivery framework. This knowledge must be available at every level within the system
The practice element considers such issues as the interview process; diagnostic and assessment approaches; treatment planning techniques; and other practice skills that are culturally appropriate. Practice skills may be adapted to accommodate within- and between-group differences.
Adaptation to Diversity
Prevention interventions must be modified to meet the unique needs of the program participants. Programs and services should be delivered in a way that reflects the culture and the tradition of the people being served. The system should also take the necessary steps to scientifically adapt the prevention program, including cultural diversity criteria and indicators.
The system must have the capacity to self-assess their cultural diversity capacity to determine what they need to do and to know where they need to focus attention.
Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract. Reference #HHSS277200800004C. For training and/or technical assistance purposes only.