Cultural Competence aims to foster constructive interactions between members of different cultures. The following is a widely used definition: “Cultural competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross cultural situations” (Cross et al, 1989). The word “culture” implies an integrated pattern of human behavior and the word “competence” implies having the capacity to function effectively. Cultural competence should be viewed as an on-going process. Through this process, individuals develop awareness and knowledge about the value that diversity can bring to an organization and a community. Cultural competence goes beyond “culture as ethnicity” to discover the complexities of individual cultural identities (Cross et al, 1989). A culturally competent organization: Values diversity and incorporates at all levels the importance of culture.
Conducts an assessment of cross-cultural relations.
Is vigilant towards and manages the dynamics of cultural difference.
Expands its cultural knowledge.
Adapts its services to meet the culturally-unique needs of individuals served
(Cross et al, 1989).
Groups: Underrepresented GroupsGeneral Population
Keywords: Underrepresented PopulationsContinuumCultural CompetenceCultural DiversityTool Kit