Race, place, space : meanings of cultural competence in three child welfare agencies.
Nybell, Lynn M. Gray, Sylvia Sims.
Eastern Michigan University
Published: January 2004
Vol. 49 , p. 17-26
Publication Information: Annapolis JCT, MD : National Association of Social Workers Press
Available from: National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
750 First Street, NE Suite 700
Washington, DC 20002-4241
Tel: 202-408-8600 800-638-8799 800-227-3590 (Order)
Despite a consensus on the need to take culture into account in social services delivery, remarkably little data is available on the processes of culturally competent organizational development. This article addresses how workers, supervisors, and managers involved in culturally competent organizational change perceive the goals and dilemmas of these efforts during the initial stages. Data are drawn from three nonprofit child and family agencies in one metropolitan area. The data demonstrate that cultural competence means disparate and conflicting things to differently positioned members of each organization. The authors argue that conflicts may be inherent in the process of culturally competent organizational development, particularly to the extent that such efforts attempt to redistribute power in the workplace. Efforts to develop cultural competence must identify, surface, and renegotiate these conflicts. (Author abstract)
cultural competency; organizations; child welfare agencies