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Child Welfare. 2003 Mar-Apr;82(2):103-24.

Beyond the rhetoric: strategies for implementing culturally effective practice with children, families, and communities.

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  • 1Department of Social Work, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Culturally effective practice remains elusive within child welfare agencies. Recognizing the hierarchical nature of becoming culturally competent, this article presents specific strategies that enhance cultural effectiveness at the individual, interprofessional, middle management, and upper management levels. The approaches evolve from a five-stage model of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Becoming culturally competent requires a clear assessment of where the individual practitioner and agency are on the change continuum. The article also explores barriers to culturally competent practice, with a focus on multilevel strategies that work within child welfare agencies.

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