Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency


The purpose of this policy is to establish cultural competence standards and values for the agency and ensure that all staff are culturally competent.

The Operations Director will be responsible for this plan with oversight from the Executive Director.


Cultural competence is the integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services, thereby producing better outcomes.


Diversity — the concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.  It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies.

Cultural competence refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, sexual orientation and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth of individuals, families and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each.


The agency will collect current demographic, cultural, and service delivery profiles of the community being served as well as a needs assessment to accurately plan for and implement services that respond to cultural, linguistic, and gender characteristics of the service area.  This process will include determining unique regionally-based knowledge, needs, and socio-economic factors within the communities/populations served.


The agency will conduct initial and ongoing self-assessments of cultural competency.  Results of this evaluation will be used in strategic planning.  If deficiencies related to cultural competence are found, corrective actions will be undertaken to identify and address root causes/processes.

Services to Clients

Access to services is maintained by locating agency offices in central locations along public transit access.  Cultural differences shall be considered and accommodated whenever possible.

The agency will strive to provide competent language assistance and interpretive services.

Retention, Recruitment, and Promotion

The agency will strive to recruit and retain a diverse staff; efforts will be made to enhance diversity through recruitment and selection.  The agency will work to retain workforce diversity by instituting welcoming environment practices, and by providing support systems and opportunities for professional growth and career advancement.

Education and Training Staff

The agency will strive to ensure cultural competence of staff through education and training based on the needs of the clients served.  Staff at all levels and across all disciplines will receive ongoing education and training.

Training topics may include but are not limited to factors which define cultural differences related to history, traditions, customs, values, belief systems, national origin, acculturation and migration patterns, reasons for immigration, dialect and language fluency, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, religion, spirituality, class/socioeconomic status, education, art, music, food, and politics. Trainings should address how class, ethnicity, social status, and other distinguishing factors influence behavior, attitudes, values and belief systems, issues of stigma, help-seeking behaviors, and address practical strategies for adapting service delivery strategies to various cultural groups.

Informing the Public

Agency efforts will be shared with the clients, staff, and interested parties via QA reports.

Data Collection and Operation

Client cultural identification information such as racial, ethnicity, gender, and primary language is collected and maintained in client records.


rev. 12/19/2013