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Cultural Competence

Cultural Competence


Research has documented that ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. are less likely to have access to health care, more likely to experience health problems, and frequently unable to get the best help available from the health care system. To build health programs that benefit all students, health programs at school must take into account the needs of their culturally diverse communities.

Information on immigrant and refugee children
A CHHCS Fact Sheet: Children of Immigrants and Refugees—What the research tells us.


Increasing language access

Access Project. The Language Services Action Kit: Interpreter Services in Health Care Settings for People with Limited English Proficiency. Available in English and Spanish. A guide for increasing availability of interpretation services in clinical settings. The guide also provides information on federal funding to help pay for interpretation services for patients insured by Medicaid and SCHIP. To order, go to http://www.accessproject.org/downloads/LEPform.pdf

Hablamos Juntos. Models for Language Access. Strategies for overcoming language barriers to effective care. The Hablamos Juntos web site also has papers and background studies for those who want a broader understanding of the issues involved.

Implementing culturally-aware care

American Academy of Pediatrics. Culturally Effective Pediatric Care.
A wide range of resources and links to help clinicians.


National Association School Psychologists. The Provision of Culturally Competent Services in the School Setting. Culturally competent educators and related services personnel are aware and respectful of the importance of the values, beliefs, traditions, customs, and parenting styles of the children and families they serve. They are also aware of the impact of their own culture on their interactions with others and take all of these factors into account when planning and delivering services to children and their families.

Background on racial and ethnic disparities

Institute of Medicine. Report Brief. Unequal Treatment: What Health Care Providers Need to Know About Racial and Ethic Disparities in Healthcare (PDF). An in-depth look at the issues, research findings, and future directions for providers.