CULTURAL COMPETENCE. Joy Kennedy, Esq., LISW-S Assistant Public Defender Cuyahoga County. Exercise & Discussion. Think outside the box. CULTURE. Definition:
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CULTURAL COMPETENCE Joy Kennedy, Esq., LISW-S Assistant Public Defender Cuyahoga County
CULTURE Definition: The customary beliefs, social norms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also: the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time -Merrian-Webster Dictionary, 2009
CULTURAL COMPETENCE Definition: A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enables that system, agency, or those professional to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. (Cross, Bazron, Dennis, & Isaacs, 1990).
Four Components of Cultural Competence Awareness - consciousness of one’s personal reactions to people who are different. Attitude – toward cultural differences Knowledge - of different cultural practices, and worldviews Skills – used to effectively address diversity
Why is it important to acknowledge, possess, or exhibit cultural competence?
PREJUDICE Definition: • A preconceived judgment or opinion (2) an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge (3) an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics
Acknowledging Prejudices/Biases How do YOU perceive people with backgrounds that are different than yours? How many people do YOU believe should share a bedroom? Can a single parent raise two children in a one bedroom apartment? Efficiency?
Acknowledging Prejudices/Biases (Cont.) • Can children be raised in a 4th floor apartment that has a balcony? • Can a single father raise a newborn child? • How many diapers SHOULD a mother have before she brings her newborn baby from the hospital?
Acknowledging Prejudices/Biases (Cont.) • SHOULD a 14-year old girl be allowed to keep and parent her newborn child? • Can a client who is diagnosed with schizophrenia properly parent a child? Depression? Bi-Polar Disorder? Can a parent decide whether or not his child will take medication for ADHD? Is his decision to not to allow his child to take the medication synonymous with abuse or neglect?
Possible impact when an attorney lacks cultural competence • Breakdown in communication • Misrepresentation • Possible malpractice claims!
L-E-A-R-N Model for Cross Cultural Encounters • LISTEN with sympathy and understanding to the client’s perception of the problem • EXPLAIN your perceptions of the problem • ACKNOWLEDGE and discuss the differences and similarities
L-E-A-R-N Model for Cross Cultural Encounters (Cont.) • RECOMMEND possibilities/outcomes • NEGOTIATE agreement on how to proceed
Additional Guidelines for Cross-Cultural Interactions • Consider all clients as individuals first, as members of minority status, and then as members of a specific ethnic group. • Never assume that a person’s ethnic identity tells you anything about his or her cultural values or patterns of behavior.
Additional Guidelines for Cross-Cultural Interactions (Cont.) • Treat all “facts” you have ever heard or read about cultural values and traits as hypotheses, to be tested anew with each client. Turn facts into questions. • Identify strengths in the client’s cultural orientation which can be built upon.
Additional Guidelines for Cross-Cultural Interactions (Cont.) • Engage your client actively in the process of learning what cultural content should be considered. • Keep in mind that there are no substitutes for good communication skills, empathy, care, and a sense of humor.
Three R’s of Cultural Competence • Recognize diversity • Respect differences • Review your responses