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Cultural Competency

"The SPF Process" by Center on the Family. All rights reserved.

Cultural Competency

In addition to the five steps of the SPF process, there are also two overarching goals that cut across the entire process and which must be considered at each of the five steps. These are cultural competency and sustainability. Cultural competence refers to the ability of organizations, programs, interventions, and staff to serve communities in ways that resonate with their cultural values and beliefs. If a prevention program, intervention, or evaluation fails to be culturally relevant to the target community, then it is highly likely to fail in all other respects as well. Therefore, when assessing community resources and needs, when building community capacity for prevention efforts, and when planning, selecting, implementing, and evaluating programs it is imperative that every effort is made to consider the cultural priorities and values of the target population(s).

Often when thinking about cultural competency, it is important to focus on how to choose a good program, and then if and how to adapt that program so that it makes sense and is meaningful to the target population. One way to think about how a program may match a cultural value system or not is to look at both the surface structure and the deep structure of the program:

Surface structure: The parts of the program which are most visible and most easily changed are referred to as the surface structure of that program. Surface structure can include things such as the language used, the names and labels used during examples, the look of any visual aids or illustrations, and the types of materials and activities shown or used. For example, using Native Hawaiian or local names and phrases, such as 'ohana and pono, are examples of ways that programs can change their surface structure to reflect local culture.

Deep structure: The parts of the program which may be less visible, but which reflect the essence of the values and goals of the program are known as the deep structure of that program. Deep structure is harder to change than surface structure, but it is very important to make sure that the deep structure resonates with the target population. In other words, it is important to either choose a program or adapt a program so that its deep structure elements match the values and goals of the people in the community. For example, just using the words 'ohana and pono in a casual way is likely to be less effective that incorporating the full significance and meaning of these concepts into the very structure of the program in a way that harnesses their meaningfulness. 

This is often a complex and difficult consideration for many community interventions, largely because most communities are diverse and include many different perspectives, values, and beliefs. Collaboration among many different groups and sectors of a community, therefore, becomes critically important. It only is through dialogue, collaboration, and the genuine inclusion of many perspectives that culturally resonant prevention programming is achieved. While choosing and adapting programs to be culturally relevant tends to be a strong focus for many prevention efforts, this kind of inclusion and attention to cultural values needs to be present from the very beginning and throughout the SPF process.

SPF in Hawai‘i: Cultural Competency

During the SPF-SIG project, cultural competency was a major focus. Trainings related to cultural competency were made available and organizations and agencies were strongly encouraged to consider culture when selecting and adapting their prevention programs. In fact, most (28 out of 32, 88%), of the prevention education providers implemented at least one form of cultural adaptation for their prevention programs. The remaining providers felt that their programs were already appropriate and did not require adaptation.

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References

Resnicow, K., Baranowski, T., Ahluwalia, J.S., and Braithwaite, R.L. (1999). Cultural sensitivity in public health: defined and demystified. Ethnicity and Disease, 9 (1), 10-21.
SAMHSA. (2015, September 25). Cultural Competence. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/capt/applying-strategic-prevention/cultural-competence

May 2020

May 06 Wed
ADAD Zoom Training: Advanced Ethics

The purpose of the session is to gain an understanding of ethical guidelines in an advanced setting. Participants will be better equipped to resolve ethical dilemmas in Substance abuse and Mental Health field. This will be beneficial for those that have already completed Ethic's the Basic.

Location

Zoom

May 14 Thu
Tri-Isle Prevention Network: Virtually Managing Staff And Running Programs

This training is for nonprofits in Maui County who are looking for ways to manage staff and run programs in a virtual environment.

Location

Zoom

May 15 Fri
ADAD Zoom Training: What You Need To Know About Kratom
  • Learn the history of kratom
  • Understand the use of kratom and the effects on the body
  • Understand the difference between kratom and kava
  • Explore kratom's rising popularity in the US
  • Understand the current kratom debate over whether the drug is a healthy alternative to opioid misuse
  • Discuss how to assess this emerging drug trend within your work
Location

Zoom

May 21 Thu
Steps to Becoming a Certified Prevention Specialist

This webinar will explain the value of the Certified Prevention Specialist and the steps to become certified.

Location

Zoom

May 21 Thu
ADAD Zoom Training: HIV, Hepatitis, STI 101 & Substance Use Counseling

Participants will be able to:
1. Describe the transmission routes and prevention methods for viral hepatitis, HIV, and STDs.
2. List components of an effective risk assessment for sexually transmitted and other communicable disease.
3. Demonstrate risk reduction counseling techniques for people living with and at-risk for viral hepatitis, HIV, and STDs.

Location

Zoom

May 26 Tue
ADAD Zoom Training: Opioid Overdose Prevention And Response

Overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in Hawaii and around the U.S.  This interactive session will explore the impact of opioids on the body and identify the risks for accidental opioid overdose. Participants will be certified to administer Naloxone, the opioid antagonist.

Location

Zoom

May 27 Wed
ADAD Zoom Training: LGB&T Cultural Humility

This SAMHSA training was developed to provide practitioners and administrators’ familiarity and knowledge about the interaction between LGBT issues and substance use disorders. The curriculum offers skill-building knowledge enhancing practical abilities to offer sensitive, affirmative, culturally relevant, and effective treatment to LGBT individuals in substance use disorders treatment.

Location

Zoom

May 28 Thu
Environmental Prevention 101: How Environments Impact Behaviors

This training will provide an overview of environmental substance misuse prevention and how it shapes substance use behaviors.

Location

Zoom