U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care: A Monograph on Effective Services for Minority Children Who Are Severely Emotionally Disturbed

NCJ Number
T L Cross; B J Bazron; K W Dennis; M R Isaacs
Date Published
88 pages
This monograph on the needs of severely emotionally disturbed minority children was developed to assist States and communities in providing appropriate care, as outlined in the National Institute of Mental Health's Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP).
The CASSP seeks to assure that system service development occurs in a culturally appropriate way to meet the needs of racially diverse groups. The first part of the monograph provides a philosophical framework and practical ideas for improving service delivery to children who are severely emotionally disturbed. Consistent with the focus of the CASSP Minority Initiative, the monograph targets African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans. In reviewing background information for the monograph, certain issues emerged with consistent frequency. For example, there is a need to clarify policy, training, resource, practice, and research issues as they affect the provision of mental health services to minority children and their families. The cultural competence model explored in the monograph is defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in agencies or among professionals and enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence is viewed as a goal toward which agencies and professionals can strive. A continuum for responding to cultural differences is identified that incorporates cultural destructiveness, incapacity, blindness, precompetence, competence, and proficiency. Service delivery models that emphasize cultural values and helping systems are examined in relation to the needs of minority clients. 170 references.