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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.

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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

September 2021

Sep 08 Wed
Enhancing Your Prevention Communication Strategies Through Traditional Media and Social Media

Learning Objectives:

  • Define social marketing, social norms marketing, and media advocacy
  • Identify how the goals and focus audiences differ for social marketing, social norms marketing, and media advocacy
  • List the steps necessary to implement social marketing, social norms marketing, and media advocacy
  • Identify when social media can be used to augment their substance misuse prevention work
  • Select the appropriate social media platform(s) for their focus audience(s)
  • Apply best practices for creating social media posts
  • Identify appropriate use of social media when implementing social marketing campaigns, social norms marketing campaigns, and media advocacy strategies
Location

Zoom

Sep 14 Tue
Ethics in Prevention for Maui County Providers

This free, two-day virtual training will cover the topic of ethics in the substance misuse prevention field.  The training will cover key terminology, the six principles in the Prevention Code of Ethics, and a decision-making process to use when faced with an ethical dilemma.  

Location

Zoom

Sep 14 Tue
Community Engagement Webinars (Two-Session)

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore a framework for community participation in prevention
  • Identify who you want to engage in which prevention efforts
  • Brainstorm ways to engage them during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Develop your community engagement plan
Location

Zoom

Sep 17 Fri
Sustainability 101: Sustaining Your Work for the Long-Haul!

Organizations are continuously faced with the day-to-day challenges of running programs and its operations. This often makes it difficult for organizations to make time to develop sustainability plans that take a broader perspective on ways to continue the work into the future. This training will explore ways for programs, coalitions, and organizations to understand sustainability, and begin developing a plan that sustains the work and the organization. We'll discuss key elements of sustainability, and participants will have an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals, and take initial steps to begin developing a sustainability plan for their program, organization, or coalition.

Location

Zoom

Sep 17 Fri
Maui County's September Network Meeting

This is a casual event to provide an opportunity for prevention providers and stakeholders to network and collaborate, discuss training and news updates, and share prevention-related information with each other.

There will be sharing and discussion on updates from organizations and prevention programs, and discussion of any relevant news, opportunities for collaboration, or other relevant prevention-related information.

Other resources and trainings needed will be discussed.

Location

Zoom

Sep 17 Fri
Partnerships for Success: Evidence-Based Workgroup Meeting

2021 Evidence-Based Workgroup Meeting

Location

Zoom

Sep 24 Fri
Evaluation 101: The Whys, Whats, and Hows to Evaluating Your Program

This training will explore the basic concepts of evaluation and will teach attendees how to utilize Excel to assist in program evaluation.

Location

Zoom

Sep 29 Wed
Prevention Ethics

The participants will learn the role and application of ethics in substance abuse prevention. Using scenarios and interactive activities, participants will explore the six standards in the Prevention Code of Ethics.

 

 

Location

Zoom