ASCI’s kinship care model is culturally competent, which helps us better understand the families we serve. It means communicating and interacting efficiently with families of diverse backgrounds and being aware of cultural differences, while also respecting families and trusting them to know what’s best for themselves. We strive to empower our families.
Cultural competency also involves both understanding a child’s and birth family’s origin culture and considering the culture of the prospective kinship caregiver and/or permanency home for that child.
ASCI furthers achieves cultural competency by employing strategic hiring and training practices to promote a culturally aware, sensitive and responsive staff and organizational culture.
Additionally, the agency prioritizes the best interests of our families when choosing the most suitable caseworkers. For example, if a caseworker is eventually promoted, but the families they served are already comfortable with this now-supervisor, we may have them continue to help those families as it is in their best interest. It doesn’t matter what your role is; we do what is best for families.
As part of ASCI’s family conferencing practices (Family Group Decision-Making), culture is addressed on a whole different level. Facilitators (who are strategically trained and assigned) ask specific questions related to family dynamics and are prepared to help guide families through solving their issues, but on the families’ terms and with their leadership. We even leave it up to families to decide what food is brought to their meetings, where the meetings are held, etc.
Aside from service delivery, we also provide interpreters when available and support groups and community resources that address the specific needs of various groups.
The bottom line is—whether it’s through service delivery, family conferencing, in-home services, support services, community programs or any of ASCI’s other offerings—the agency is committed to creating the safest, most comfortable and most culturally responsive environment for the families and communities we serve. Across race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual preference … ASCI serves each child and family based on their individual needs.