• Culturally Competent •

Cultural competence requires that organizations to have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally; the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities they serve; and incorporate the above in all aspects of policy making, administration, practice, service delivery and involve systematically consumers, key stakeholders and communities.  (http://nccc.georgetown.edu/foundations/frameworks.html)

In 2010, the Ohio Department of Mental Health & the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC) adopted the statewide definition of Cultural Competence as “a continuous learning process that builds knowledge, awareness, skills and capacity to identify, understand and respect the unique beliefs, values, customs, languages, abilities and traditions of all Ohioans in order to develop policies to promote effective programs and services.”

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Agency, supports the following definitions:

Cultural Competence is the understanding and appreciating the differences in individuals, families, and communities, which can include:  thoughts, speech, actions, customary beliefs social forms and material traits of a racial, religious or social group.  It also affects age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or physical disability.

Linguistic Competence is the capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, and individuals with disabilities.  This may include the use of bilingual staff, interpretation services and assistive technology.

There are various websites which may be helpful in learning more about Cultural & Linguistic Competence.  These include.