Good Example Of Cultural Competency Essay
Discuss three distinctive cultural patterns that may impact the delivery of culturally competent services to the Latino community.
The United States is the most culturally diverse nation in the world (100). As a consequence, if the state is to effectively serve the people, it must attempt to understand on a culturally level, the many groups that comprise the population. Culture in this sense refers to the values, traditions customs, history, and languages that are shared among a group of people. Cultural competence refers to the process by which the state makes an effort to “learn patterns of behavior for a particular group and respond to those behaviors in a culturally appropriate manner” (107). The Latino community, which is one of the largest ethnic groups in the nation, offers the state a valuable opportunity and potential risk to analyze it cultural competence. However, before the state can effectively institute culturally competent services, there are a number of patterns within the Latino community that it must address.
First, while the Latino community is categorized as one homogenous group, the reality is that there are substantial differences within the community (102). For example, Hispanic refers to anyone from Central or South America regardless of race (102). With such diversity, it is only natural that a Native American Latino from Mexico will have noticeably different values and attitudes from an African American Latino from Columbia. Accordingly, states in drafting culturally competent services, the state must consider the distinct differences within the larger Latino community that will allow them to understand how one micro-community think and behave in contrast to another.
Second, one of the commonalities that bind the Latino community together is language. To be sure, speaking Spanish defines one level of inclusion in the Latino community (104). The reliance of speaking Spanish in the Latino community is a cultural pattern that has been an obstacle for the effective delivery of culturally competent services. On the one hand, a reliance on speaking Spanish limits the ability of the Latino community to assimilate into the larger American society. This is demonstrated, for instance, by the public and law enforcement’s the inability communication on the simplest of issues in some Latino communities (108). On the other hand, the state’s unwillingness or inability to increase Spanish language material or interpretation to the Latino communities under their care also has also lead to confusion, mistrust and bad feeling from the Latino (114).
Third, while family is an important factor is every community in the nation, for the Latino community it takes on a deeper meaning. Family here not only refers to the nuclear family but also to a group of close friends that one may have. In the Latino concept of family, the actions of an individual must always be considered for the effect that it might have on the whole. This is rather different from the American idea of family which emphasizes that a person’s actions, while subject to influence from the family are fundamentally there individual decision. Accordingly, policies and services for the Latino community must be less focused on the individual and more targeted to the family or group.
Discuss the factors that contribute to the reasons many ethnic and racial minority clients’ preference to interact with ethnically and racially similar practitioners.
As mentioned, culture refers to the values, traditions and customs that are shared among a group of people. For example, speaking Spanish is a custom that is shared and binds the many groups that make up the Latino community. Having shared values offers a way for one to how they fit into the larger community as well as provide a window to understanding how and why one a minority community may react to actions of the majority community. In short, without a background of the shared values of culture, race and ethnicity, a client may not feel that they are receiving the necessary understanding from the practitioner that will be needed to resolve the underlying problem.
In his article, Furman touches on this through his explanation that a white practitioner meeting with a minority client may not understand the privileges that enjoy as being part of the majority (7). Their dominant position, in turn, will be relayed to the client as just another example of the white community abusing or misunderstanding the minority community. Whereas is a practitioner was the same race or ethnicity as the client. The dynamic that would be created is one of equals where both practitioner and client share common values that can be used as a bridge to help the client resolve whatever issue they have. Moreover, a client may not feel as if they are “losing face” by addressing an issue that a white practitioner may think trivial but a minority practitioner will be able to relate to.