for Agencies Serving Latinos
Recruit Bicultural Employees
may be able to meet the needs of Latino clients better than someone
who can just speak the language. To find prospective bicultural employees,
contact universities in other parts of the U.S. that have large Latino
populations (e.g., Florida, Texas, California, New York), as well as
universities in Puerto Rico and Central and South America.
Collaborate with Others
to Develop Community Resources
Agencies should consider
pooling their resources and sharing strategies for reaching out to Latinos.
Some, such as the health department, may have more experience and therefore
more information to share about what works and what doesnt. Also,
consider reaching out to groups and organizations important to the Latino
community, especially the Catholic Church. Set up a task force in your
community. Apply for grants to fund programs.
prejudice, and resentment are common results of increased contact with
unfamiliar cultural groups. Every employee from every part of the agency
will benefit from cultural competency training and frank discussions
of the challenges and rewards of serving a new client population.
Open Your Agency Up
To support Latinos,
agencies must welcome and accommodate them by providing interpreters,
signs and forms in Spanish, and employees who understand and are sensitive
to Latino culture. Agencies should also reach out to Hispanics and educate
them about the agency and the services available to them. Developing
a positive relationship with the broader Spanish-speaking community
can make it easier to recruit Latino foster and adoptive parents and
may even improve an agencys overall ability to respond toand