Developing cultural competence is an evolving, dynamic process that takes time and occurs along a continuum.1 The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development describes the six stages of this continuum:2
- Cultural destructiveness – Attitudes and practices (as well as policies and structures in organizations) are destructive to a cultural group.
- Culture incapacity – The capacity to respond effectively to the needs, interests, and preferences of culturally and linguistically diverse groups is lacking.
- Cultural blindness – The predominant philosophy is one that views and treats all people as the same.
- Cultural pre-competence – There is awareness of strengths and areas for growth to respond effectively to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
- Cultural competence – Acceptance and respect for culture is consistently demonstrated in policies, structures, practices, and attitudes.
- Cultural proficiency – Culture is held in high esteem and used as a foundation to guide all endeavors.
- Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis, K., & Isaacs, M. (1989). Towards a culturally competent system of care, volume 1. Washington, DC: CASSP Technical Assistance Center, Center for Child Health and Mental Health Policy, Georgetown University Child Development Center.
- National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. (2004). Cultural competence continuum. Washington D.C.: Author. Retrieved from http://www.nccccurricula.info/; Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis, K., & Isaacs, M. (1989). Towards a culturally competent system of care (Vol. 1). Washington, DC: CASSP Technical Assistance Center, Center for Child Health and Mental Health Policy, Georgetown University Child Development Center.