What happens when we aren’t culturally competent?
There are many repercussions when organizations and practitioners are not culturally competent. These considerations are just some things to think about:
Specific groups of people remain underserved.
This may be because services are inaccessible. For example, the organization is in a working class community, but only has office hours from 9-5pm making it unlikely that people will be able to attend as there are no after work hours.
Specific groups don’t stay in treatment.
Individuals may not feel understood and the way they explain their problems may not be seen as valid. Or perhaps, they do not want, “talk therapy,” as it is not valued in their community and a problem solving approach would be better received.
Minority groups are over-represented in punitive systems.
Due to a lack of understanding and cultural bias, minority groups are more likely to be viewed as deficient and are overrepresented in the child welfare, juvenile justice and special education systems.
Minority groups are under-represented in mental health systems.
As a result of cultural bias, ethnic minority groups are often referred to punitive systems like Juvenile Justice, as opposed to those that help by focusing on treatment and recovery.