Cultural Competence Continuum
Community demographics are continuing to evolve nationwide, making the need for culturally competent organizations more prevalent than ever. In this article, we will discuss what this means for you as a provider of social services, and how your organization can progress in this realm by exploring the what, why and how of cultural competence.
Being able to recognize your own levels of cultural competence will help you
continue your growth in cultural competence. Knowing your strengths will help
you build on them. Knowing where you need to learn more will guide you in
Not only do internationally adopted children have to adjust to a new family, but they have to adjust to a new culture. This means they have to grow accustomed to new foods, smells, tastes, sounds, sights, sleeping schedules, eating schedules, etc.
While many will look at the term specific to transracial adoptive readiness, we extend cultural competence to include a respect for people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientations.
A culturally competent system of care acknowledges and incorporates–at all levels–the importance of culture, the assessment of cross-cultural relations, vigilance towards the dynamics that result from cultural differences, the expansion of cultural knowledge and the adaptation of services to meet culturally unique needs.
In open adoption, two family cultures come together to provide for the needs and to shape the life of an adopted child. Differences in these family cultures can sometimes cause confusion and mis-communication if they are not explored and acknowledged.