Cultural Competence (from The National Center of Cultural Competence)
Cultural competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.
The word culture is used because it implies the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group. The word competence is used because it implies having the capacity to function effectively.
Five essential elements contribute to a system’s institution’s, or agency’s ability to become more culturally competent, which include:
- Valuing diversity
- Having the capacity for cultural self-assessment
- Being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact
- Having institutionalized culture knowledge
- Having developed adaptations to service delivery reflecting an understanding of cultural diversity