Maternal and Child Health Training Program

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Cultural Competence

National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University features self-assessment tools for providers, a series of training modules, and information on culturally competent, family-centered care.

The mission of the NCCC is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health care programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems to address growing diversity, persistent disparities, and to promote health and mental health equity.

Voice: (202) 687-5387 

Cultural competence is:

  • A set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices within a system, organization, program, or among individuals, which enables them to work effectively cross culturally
  • The ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services, as well as staff who are providing such services

The following two principles are closely linked to cultural competence:

  • Linguistic competence is the capacity to communicate effectively and to convey information that can be understood easily by diverse audiences, including those with limited English proficiency, those with limited or no literacy skills, and those with disabilities.
  • Family-centered care honors the strengths, cultures, traditions, and life experiences that individuals bring to the provider-family partnership. Family-centered care empowers families to share in making health decisions with their primary care providers.

Rationale for Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Maternal and Child Health Bureau–Funded Training Programs

Cultural and Linguistic Competence Checklists for MCH Training Programs: Includes Climate of the Learning Environment; Curriculum (coming soon); Experiential Learning and Addendum (Applying Cultural and Linguistic Competence to a Framework for Creating Learning Spaces for the Enhancement of Experiential Learning); Research; and Community Engagement and Collaboration (coming soon)

Curricula Enhancement Series:

  • The series was developed by the National Center for Cultural Competence through a cooperative agreement with the Division of MCH Workforce Development, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The goal of the series is to increase the capacity of DRTE-funded programs to incorporate principles and practices of cultural and linguistic competence into all aspects of their leadership training.

The curricula enhancement series centers on four key content areas:

Additional Resources:

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