How Do We Get Started?

Individual Self-Assessment

An individual self-assessment is critical to the success of the organization.  The individual must be ready and must have begun to do some work internally in order to participate in the organization’s transformation.  We provide you a sample of a few individual assessment questions later in this curriculum and will provide a full self-assessment as part of our implementation of the curriculum in your organization.

The self-assessment will help you, as a practitioner, achieve the following characteristics:

  • commitment to provide culturally responsive care
  • awareness and acceptance of cultural differences
  • awareness of own cultural values
  • understanding “dynamics of difference”
  • basic knowledge of the client’s culture
  • knowledge of the client’s environment
  • ability to adapt practice skills to fit cultural context

Attributes/Knowledge/Skills Necessary to become Cultural and Linguistically Responsive: Through individual or group coaching, we can help individuals learn the following:

  • genuineness, accurate empathy, non-possessive warmth and a capacity to respond
  • flexibly to a range of possible solutions
  • acceptance of ethnic differences between people
  • willingness to work with clients of different ethnic groups
  • articulation/clarification of the worker’s personal values, stereotypes, and biases about their own and other’s ethnicity/social class
  • personal commitment to change racism and poverty
  • resolution of feelings about one’s own professional image in a field that systematically oppressed and may exclude people of color


  • of culture (history, values, traditions, family systems, artistic expressions) of cultural group
  • of the impact of class and race on behavior, attitudes, and values
  • of help seeking behaviors of clients
  • of role of language, speech patterns, and communication styles
  • of the impact of social service policies on clients
  • of resources that can be utilized and how to access them
  • recognition of the ways that professional values may conflict with or accommodate the needs of minority clients
  • of power relationships within the community, agency, or institution and their impact on client


  • techniques for learning about culture
  • ability to communicate accurate information on behalf of client
  • ability to openly discuss racial differences and respond to culturally based cues
  • ability to assess the meaning ethnicity has for individual clients
  • ability to differentiate between the symptoms of intrapsychic stress and stress arising from the social structure
  • interviewing techniques that are culturally sensitive
  • ability to utilize the concepts of empowerment on behalf of the client and community
  • ability to recognize and combat racism, racial stereotypes, and myths in individuals and institutions
  • ability to evaluate new techniques, research, and knowledge as to their validity and applicability in working with people of color

How do we do this?

  • Skills and Knowledge are gained through education, training, practice and self-reflection.
  • Personal attributes can be developed through exposure to the positive aspects of minority cultures.
  • Knowledge and skill must be coupled with a willingness to let clients determine their own future.

Adapted from: “Toward a Culturally Responsive System of Care” T. Cross, B. Bazron, K. Dennis, M. Isaacs March 1989