Culturally Responsive Care

CHWs act as cultural mediators. CHWs educate and support providers in working with clients from diverse cultures, and help clients and community members interact effectively with professionals working in different organizations to promote health, improve services, and reduce disparities. Culture is defined here as beliefs, values, customs, and social behavior shared by a group of people with common identity. Identity may be based on race, ethnicity, language, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, health condition, education, income, place, profession, history, or other factors. Culture also includes organizational cultures, which are reflected in how organizations deliver services. CHWs encourage and help enable clients to participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities.

During our training, participants will learn to:
  • Explain how one’s own culture and life experience influence one’s work with clients, community members, and professional colleagues from diverse backgrounds
  • Describe different aspects of community and culture and how these can influence peoples’ health beliefs and behavior
  • Describe ways the organizational culture within provider agencies and institutions can affect access, quality, and client experience with services
  • Employ techniques for interacting sensitively and effectively with people from cultures or communities that differ from one’s own
  • Support the development of authentic, effective partnerships between clients and providers by helping each to better understand the other’s perspectives
  • Make accommodations to address communication needs accurately and sensitively with people whose language(s) one cannot understand
  • Advocate for and promote the use of culturally and linguistically appropriate services and resources within organizations and with diverse colleagues and community partners
  • Advocate for client self-determination and dignity
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