Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

Cultural and Linguistic Competence Community of Practice

Cultural and linguistic competence is one of the core values of systems of care. Cultural Competence is defined as "the integration of knowledge, information, and data about individuals and groups of people into clinical standards, skills, service approaches and supports, policies, measures, and benchmarks that align with the individual's or group's culture and increases the quality, appropriateness, and acceptability of health care and outcomes” (Cross et al., 1989). Linguistic competence is "the capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, and individuals with disabilities” (Goode & Jones, 2004).

The Cultural Competence Action Team (CCAT) supports system of care communities by helping to enhance their efforts to integrate and implement cultural and linguistic competence through its Cultural and Linguistic Competence Community of Practice (CLC-COP). Through the CLC-COP, the CCAT maintains a cohesive vision, facilitates communication and coordination among the learning communities, provides assistance and support to system of care communities, and offers tools and resources to help system of care communities implement and improve their cultural and linguistic competence.

LGBTQI2-S National Workgroup for Systems of Care

The Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch (CAFB), Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration established this national workgroup to support and enhance services for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, or two-spirit (LGBTQI2-S). The workgroup is guiding CAFB efforts to develop policies, programs, and resources that will help improve services and supports for youth who are LGBTQI2-S and their families. Learn more about the LGBTQI2-S National Workgroup.

Featured Resources

A Systems of Care Approach to Providing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services to Latino Families (Video)

National Latino Behavioral Health Association, Technical Assistance Partnership (2013)

Demonstrates how to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to a Latino family in a system of care model and meet the new enhanced national Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards.

Health Reform and Immigrant Children, Youth, and Families: Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Behavioral Health (PDF)

Technical Assistance Partnership (2013)

Provides substantial insight into how the ACA addresses the unique health care challenges confronting children, youth, and families who have immigrated to the United States.

Cover Image A Blueprint for Using Data to Reduce Disparities/ Disproportionalities in Human Services and Behavioral Health Care (Blueprint) (PDF)

Technical Assistance Partnership (2013)

Assists in the effort to address disparities and disproportionalities (D&D). The Blueprint describes a framework and multistep process to reduce D&D in your community or state. The steps are (1) readiness, (2) community engagement, (3) identification, (4) assessment, (5) intervention, (6) evaluation/continuous quality improvement, (7) replication, and (8) sustainability.

Cover Image A Guide for Father Involvement in Systems of Care (PDF)

Technical Assistance Partnership (2013)

Shares information about the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, and it identifies potential consequences if they are not involved. Offers strategies for systems and families, especially those who are involved in systems of care, to help fathers become more involved. It was updated to include new resources and information about fathers involved in substance abuse, fathers who have been or are incarcerated, and gay fathers and fathers of LGBT children.

Standing Up for Cultural and Linguistic Competence!

Technical Assistance Partnership (2012)

This video highlights individuals, from the past and present, who stood up for their heritage, ethnicity, sexual orientation, identity, civil rights and ideology. While some of these pioneers may be gone, their messages of hope, resilience, determination, and justice remain. Their refusal to accept mistreatment of themselves, their people and others has helped forge the human rights advances we have today.

Cover Image Cultural and Linguistic Competence Icebreakers, Exercises, Videos and Movies (PDF)

Technical Assistance Partnership (2012)

This resource provides icebreakers, exercises, videos and movies that can be used when working with communities to facilitate interaction and active participation on relevant topics that are meant to promote learning as you train in cultural and linguistic competence.

Cover Image A System of Care Team Guide to Implementing Cultural and Linguistic Competence (PDF)

Technical Assistance Partnership (2010)

Guide intended to help communities operationalize cultural and linguistic competence, which includes specific sections on CLC Coordinator recruitment, the CLC budget, CLC committee, CLC plan, and practical examples for how SOC team members can partner with CLC Coordinators to infuse cultural and linguistic competence into their work.

Tools and Resources for System of Care Communities
The following resources are available to help system of care communities implement and improve cultural and linguistic competence:

  • Cultural and Linguistic Competence Checklist for Communities
  • A Cultural Competency Toolkit: Ten Grant Sites Share Lessons Learned
  • Sample Cultural and Linguistic Competence Budget
  • Sample Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee Description
  • Sample Cultural and Linguistic Competence Plan
  • Sample Job Description for Cultural and Linguistic Competence Coordinators