SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Calls for cultural sensitivity in the design and implementation of human services programs have become a standard response to the increasing diversity among the families and communities being served. In this article, we take a critical look at the construct, using data from a multi-year evaluation of a statewide family support program. We examine how selected, locally implemented programs operationalize the state program's cultural sensitivity standard, using both etic and emic approaches; that is, we apply extant cultural competence definitions to assess program cultural sensitivity and document how the program staff articulated their approach to the cultural sensitivity. Findings suggest that programs focus more directly on the immediate cultural relevance of their services, rather than on developing more generalized competencies among their staff. Further, findings indicate that program-to-community alignment may well be a more useful representation of how programs address cultural issues. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.