2001 Jordan Institute
6, No. 2
Those Who Work With African Americans And Other Minorities
The following self-assessment, excerpted
from the article Cultural Competence in Child Welfare by Anna
R. McPhatter, is one way of evaluating where you are as a practitioner
and a person when it comes to spending time with those who are different
How much personal/social
time do I spend with people who are culturally similar to or different
When I am with
culturally different people, do I reflect my own cultural preferences
or do I spend time openly learning about the unique aspects of another
- How comfortable am I in [being
immersed in a different culture], especially when I am in the numerical
minority? What feelings and behaviors do I experience or exhibit in
- How much time do I spend engaged
in cross-cultural professional exchanges? Is this time spent in superficial,
cordial activity, or do I undertake the risk of engaging in serious
discourse that may divulge my fears and lack of knowledge?
- How much work have I actually
done to increase my knowledge and understanding of culturally and
ethnically distinct groups? Does this work include only an occasional
workshop in which I am required to participate? What are my deficiencies
and gaps in knowledge about important cultural issues?
- What is my commitment to becoming
culturally competent? What personal and professional sacrifices am
I willing to make in the short term for the long-term benefit of all
children and families?
- To what extent have I nondefensively
extended myself in approaching professional colleagues with the goal
of bridging cultural differences?
- Am I willing to discontinue representing
myself as knowledgeable and as having expertise in areas of cultural
diversity that I have not actually achieved?
- If I am unwilling to commit to
a path leading to cultural competence, will I take the moral and ethical
high ground and discontinue providing services to people I am unwilling
A. R. (1997). Cultural competence in child welfare: What is it? How
do we achieve it? What happens without it? Child Welfare, 76(1),