Giving health services to members of ethnic/cultural groups is significant mostly for behavioral health workers to understand that members of the same group have different cultural, political, and religious views from each other. Understanding traditions, cultures and beliefs is important but essentializing ethnic groups under one umbrella can cause harm than good. Human and health service providers should assume that cultural competence requires a wide system change which should be manifested at every level of organization. Cultural competence requires a clear understanding of social, cultural and political background of the people being served. There should be a clear-cut definition of the terms culture, ethnicity and race.
Human and health service providers should be interested in cultural diversity because they have to work with different people from different cultures. Especially people in United States are becoming diverse. This diversity has really come as a result of ethnic and racial distribution in general population, immigration patterns, greater inclusion of individuals with disabilities, broadening views of gender appropriate behavior and increased longevity (Fong, 2004, p. 42).
Human and health service providers should be experienced and culturally competence to be able to deal with people from diverse cultures. Research with human service individuals and cultural diversity should be standardized. There should be a good fit between cultural diversity among those people and cultures represented by the workers and organization offering services and the diverse culture education to those working in health and human services organizations. These workers should have full cultural competence with development and full inclusion of mechanisms for both staff and families being served. They should understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people they are serving so as to play integral roles in how and what services should be developed, evaluated and implemented for the culture to be meaningfully interwoven (Fong, 2004, p. 57).
List of References
Fong, R. (Ed), (2004), culturally competent practice with immigrant and refugee children and families (Social Work Practice with Children and Families), NY: The Guilford Press.