Culturally Competent Family Preservation Services: An Approach for First-Generation Hispanic Families in an International Border Community
Sandau-Beckler, Patricia A.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families v.1 n.4, 1993, 313-323 pages
Presents the structure of the Family Preservation Approach, explains the tenets of cultural competence, and provides a detailed case study of a Hispanic family in a Texas border town. The Family Preservation Approach to case management applies the following values: self-determination, empowerment, respect, acceptance, teamwork, uniqueness and cultural diversity, hopefulness, and commitment. Cultural competence requires five steps: (1) an awareness of the importance of culture on family preservation counseling; (2) an awareness of one's own culture as it impacts practice; (3) understanding the complexity and diversity of culture; (4) planning for the on-going development of cross-cultural knowledge; and (5) modification of practice behavior. The case study follows the N. family, living in El Paso, Texas, after the 10-year-old daughter arrives at school with bruises on her arms. After a home visit, Child Protective Services determined that the mother beat the child with a belt and the two other children in the home also suffered physical and emotional abuse. Pre-engagement sensitivity included assignment of a Spanish-speaking Family Preservation (FP) counselor so that interviews were conducted in the native language. Throughout the entire case management cycle - engagement, assessment, intervention planning, and evaluation - the FP included a respectful knowledge of the cultural values balanced with individual needs. Although this example uses a Hispanic family, the concepts are universal and can be applied to any immigrant family in crisis.
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