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It is expected that by 2050, the percentage of minority citizens in the U.S. could exceed 50 percent. When approaching individuals--minorities and non-minorities alike--in practice, cultural competency is not enough. Cross cultural efficacy is essential to reengaging individuals and their families with society. Cross cultural efficacy signifies a practitioner's cultural competence as well as the responsiveness to the needs and cultural interpretation of the consumer of service. The following article presents a theoretical model of interpreting cross cultural efficacy and its inclusion in treatment paradigms.
The U.S. population is not merely growing in number, it is evolving into a rich diverse tapestry of cultural capital. With a population of over 300 million persons, 35 percent of the U.S. population identifies as a minority (Passel & Cohn, 2008). It is expected that by 2050, the percentage of minority citizens could exceed 50 percent. Although our nation has made great progress in moving beyond the racial boundaries limiting social connectedness and engagement in our society, the expectations of many citizens have yet to be realized. Such expectations include social inclusion, political equality, tolerance and strong associational life (Kelly, 2008, 2006).
Some minority citizens may have had a difficult migration experience, oppressive interactions within housing, social services or health care systems, or experienced educational or caregiving centers as judgmental, biased and evasive. Such experiences have cultural parameters that influence an individual's understanding of her place in our society; they increase an individual's likelihood of presenting as estranged from society or at-risk of being estranged (Kelly, 2008). When approaching individuals--minorities and non-minorities alike--in practice, cultural competency is not enough. Cross cultural efficacy is essential to re-engaging individuals and their families with society.
Cross Cultural Efficacy--A Definition
Cross cultural efficacy signifies that a practitioner is culturally competent in the cultural background of the individual or family (hereinafter referred to as the "consumer"), but also conscientious and responsive to the consumer's cultural interpretation of the services provided, expected and needed (Anderson, Scrimshaw, Fullilove, Fieldin & Normand, 2003; Nunez, 2000; Toporek & Reza, 2001). Emerging from a discipline of cultural competency and representing the notion of culturally and linguistically competent and responsive service delivery, cross cultural efficacy rests on the principle that neither the organizational culture, nor practitioners' cultures, or clients' cultures offer the preferred view for treatment. However, all cultural backgrounds involved provide some clarity and inform …