What does it mean to be Culturally Competent ?
Different things to different people ?
Culturally competent practice acknowledges and aims to understand the meaning of cultural identity within each individual’s and family’s lives.
As a result this requires that all organisations and professionals within them develop cultural knowledge and that the design and provision of services respond to culturally specific needs.
There is a changing demography across most towns and cities across the UK.
This can present challenges to professionals when working with children and families.
Working Together to Safeguard Children provides the statutory framework for protecting children.
We must also remember that families from black and ethic minorities also under report cases of abuse, and ask ourselves why?
Locally the partnership is currently scoping the possibilities for training, alongside colleagues from other external agencies.
As a result it hoped that staff can begin to feel more confident in their own abilities.
Knowledge and understanding of culture and faith is critical to effective assessments of harm through neglect and/or abuse.
However, “culture and faith should not be used as an excuse to abuse and must never take precedence over children’s rights”
The Pan Sussex Child Protection Procedures are also clear about “Significant Harm”
And how cultural belief or background may impact upon this.
If in doubt, ask for advice – don’t let a culture of saying nothing develop.