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Cultural Competency Assessment

Cultural Competency Assessment
Cultural competency is a combination of attitudes, behaviors, and policies that creates a system within an organization or among groups. It allows people to work together effectively in cross-cultural, diverse situations. Culture is the pattern of behaviors that includes a person’s actions, thoughts, communications, beliefs, values, language, and institutions of social, ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Competence determines whether a person can function effectively as an individual, group, or organization within the context of the cultural behaviors, beliefs, and needs of clients and the communities in which he or she resides (Sutton, 2000). America is considered the “the melting pot” because of the culturally diverse communities we live, work, and play in.
Importance of Cultural Competence
America is a combination of diverse race and cultures, such as White, Asian, Native American, African American, Hispanic, and many others. Although every culture has created a new way of life in the 21st Century, each group has preserved values and beliefs from his or her original culture. Human service professionals need to provide services with objective, nonjudgmental, knowledgeable, open-mindedness, and the williness to understand the needs of each client. For example, a human service professional not aware of the Native American Child Welfare Policies may remove a child from his or her tribal family, and place that child in a nontribal foster home. This can create unnecessary legal battles for the worker and organization if the worker is not knowledgeable about race, culture, and ethnic backgrounds. Without the appropriate knowledge and skills, human service workers could unintentionally cause more harm for clients and would not provide adequate services. Without cultural competency, workers cannot effectively help diverse populations live up to his or her highest potential.
Description of Assessment
The A team chose a cultural competence assessment tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Website. This self-assessment questionnaire was developed as a tool to assess the training needs of mental health and social service professionals. This process will help agencies recognize cross-cultural strengths and weaknesses of the staff, and the organization when developing interventions for specific trainings. “Thus, the assessment should be viewed as an indication of areas in which the agency and staff can enhance attitudes, practices, policies, and structures concerning service delivery to culturally diverse populations” (HHS, 2006).
The questionnaire consists of 79 multiple-choice questions with a numerical value attached to each answer. Seven subtitles in the questionnaire include knowledge of communities, personal involvement, resources, staffing, service delivery, organizational policies, procedures, and outreach. Each member of the A Team completed the self-assessment and tallied a total for the entire assessment as well as totals and possible totals for each subtitle. Doing this allowed each team member to determine her strengths and weaknesses. The members of the A Team also researched her local census bureau to determine if she were correct in her knowledge of the cultural diversity in her service area.
Results of Team Members Assessments
Cherissa Boyd’s Assessment Results
Cherissa received a score of 473 out of 516 points on the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire. She scored high in some areas where she is knowledgeable and skilled, and low in other areas that did not apply. She is familiar with most services in her service area, and culturally sensitive to the needs of her clients and organization. She is also familiar with the cultural groups of color in her service area and effectively can serve this population. According to the US Census Bureau, (2012) the diversity in Los Angeles shows 49% of White people, 9.6% Blacks, 11.3% Asian, American Indian, and Alaskan Native persons show 0.7%, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders are at 0.1%. On the other hand, there were 4.6 persons reporting two or more races, and the Hispanic, or Latinos reported a huge 48.5% of its population. The report shows a higher number of Whites persons (not Hispanic) who reported at 27.8% living in the County of Los Angeles. Cherissa has extensive experience and personal involvement with cultural activities in her community. She also affiliates herself with State, County, and nonprofit organizations. She is a resource person for her organization and is knowledgeable about community resources and links clients to needed services. She follows her organizations policies and procedures, as she reaches out to diverse communities and populations. Cherissa uses interpreter services when communication is a barrier effectively to help clients resolve his or her issues. One of Cherissa’s weaknesses is not acquiring bi-lingual languages. Therefore, a recommendation is that Cherissa continue to research additional resources for the growing Hispanic and Latino community. Learning to speak Spanish definitely would help in communicating with this population. Cherissa’s strengths are that she is passionate about helping others; therefore, she would succeed in building bridges and forming helping relationships.
Dallas Andersen’s Assessment Results
Dallas completed the cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire and based her answers on her most recent job and the area in which she lives. Dallas worked for a center for independent living in a five county service area in rural Northwestern Illinois. The center provides services for people with disabilities. By adding the possible points and scored points per subheading, she could assess her strengths and challenges. Dallas scored a total of 417 points with the highest points in the area of outreach, personal involvement, knowledge of communities, and service delivery. She also noted areas that needed improvement, which included staffing, resources and linkages, and policies and procedures. The areas of Dallas’s low score shows lack of agency policy and procedures, and serving a limited diverse cultural population. According to the US Census Bureau (2012), research of the five counties service area provides information on the ethnic population of each county. The five counties have a limited ethnic population with the largest county’s development of a population of nearly 59,000 people and only 2% African American, and 11% Latino. This may make it difficult to provide a culturally diverse staff within small agencies. Dallas believed that she was aware of these culturally related resources, and realized that she needs more knowledge and awareness about these resources and linkages in her local communities. Considering these facts, Dallas recommends that professionals working in Northwestern, Illinois, become more aware of the lack of resources and become more knowledgeable of people, agencies, and communities that can meet the needs of every ethnic group. Danyelle Hick’s Assessment Results Danyelle received a score of 453 out of 516 on the Cultural Competence Self- Assessment Questionnaire. Danyelle scored high; however, there is room for improvement in many areas. Danyelle scored highest in knowledge of communities. Her community is culturally diverse with a variety of ethnic groups and languages. According to the US Census Bureau, (2012) the diversity in Alameda County is 43% of White people, 12.6% of Black people, 0.6% of American Indian and Alaska Native people. 26.1% of Asian people, 0.8% of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, 6.0% of people reporting two or more races, 22.5% of Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, and 34.1% of White persons not Hispanic. Danyelle scored well in other categories; however, she was unaware and not knowledgeable about the resources and linkages in her community. Her goal is to obtain the knowledge and skills she needs to effectively provide services in her service area. Taking the assessment helped Danyelle understand what she needs to accomplish and what her organization needs to improve its cultural competency.
Tobi Harris’s Assessment Results
Tobi received a score of 384 out of 516 points on the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Tobi’s strong point is resources and linkages. According to the United States Census Report of Payne County, (2012) Oklahoma has an African American population of 3.6% and the entire state of Oklahoma has a population of 7.4%. Oklahoma has more American Indians at 4.7%. Knowing these resources and linkages in Payne County, Tobi can better serve these cultures. Tobi’s weak point is service delivery and practice. From the information gathered, Tobi can use her resources and linkages to find other organizations that offer services to these cultures. This will allow her to deliver the services to the clients more efficiently. Tobi does not have as much experience as the other members of her team; however, she is involved with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) a nonprofit organization in her county. This organization teaches her about other services in the community that will further help the clients. Working with other cultures allows her to build her knowledge and skills regarding cultural resources. After Tobi finishes her degree, her goal is to work for the Department of Human Services. The information she has learned from school and the nonprofit organization will help her to obtain this goal. The assessment revealed Tobi’s weaknesses and helped her recognize her areas of needed improvements.
Conclusion
Cultural competency is a combination of attitudes, behaviors, and policies that creates a system within an organization or among groups. The A Team participated in a Cultural Competence Self-Assessment as a tool to assess the training needs of each profession, and her social service organization. The assessment tool results reflect that each person recognizes her cultural strengths and weaknesses. The assessment was extremely enlightening, and each team member highlighted her experiences, and recognized the barriers to service delivery in her community. Overcoming these barriers will allow the human service professional to help each client reach his or her highest potential. Human services professionals also need cultural awareness to provide services to culturally diverse populations.

References (NCCC) National Center for Cultural Competence (1989) Cultural Competence Health Practitioner Assessment Retrieved February 8, 2012 from https://www4.georgetown.edu/uis/keybridge/keyform/form.cfm?formID=277
Sutton, M., (2000) Family Practice Management: Improving Patient Care, Cultural Competence Retrieved February 8, 2012 from http://www.aafp.org/fpm/2000/1000/p58.html#fpm20001000p58-bt2 The National Fathers’ Network, (1996) Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire: Service Provider Version Equal Partners: African American Fathers and Systems of Health Care: Discussion and Resource Guide (p. 19-28) Retrieved February 9, 2012 from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/append_d.cfm
(HHS)The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2006) Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, U. S. Children’s Bureau. Appendix D - Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Questionnaire, Service Provider Version1 http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/append_d.cfm US Census Bureau, (2012) Alameda, California, People QuickFacts Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06001.html
US Census Bureau, (2012) Los Angeles, California People QuickFacts Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0644000.html
US Census Bureau, (2012) Payne County, Oklahoma People QuickFacts Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/40/40119.html
US Census Bureau, (2012) Westside Co, Illinois People QuickFacts Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17195.html

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