Culture & Diversity
What Is Youth Culture?
In addition to all of the other aspects of culture that define us, young people are also identified by their membership in “youth culture.” Youth culture is what makes young people different from adults. There are many different parts of youth culture. It is important to remember that all youth are different even though they may have some things in common. Adults often have a hard time relating to young people because they may not necessarily understand where young people are coming from. You can play a part in making your future successful by helping adults understand your individual culture and how best to help you. This is all part of helping us create an environment that is culturally and linguistically competent!
What Is Cultural And Linguistic Competence?
Culture refers to the beliefs, values, behaviors, language and history of a group of people. A person’s culture may determine the different approaches they adopt to meet their needs. Culture can affect the way people view mental health and mental illness. It can affect the way they seek help and it may affect the way they use and respond to treatment.
Cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) is one of the core values of systems of care. Cultural Competence is “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations” (Cross et al., 1989). Linguistic competence is “the capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, and individuals with disabilities” (Goode & Jones, 2004). http://www.tapartnership.org/COP/CLC/default.php
It is important to incorporate CLC into programs and organizations to be able to respond to the changing demographics of the United States, to eliminate disparities in the health status of people of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and to improve the overall quality of services and health outcomes (Georgetown National Center for Cultural Competence). http://nccc.georgetown.edu/foundations/need.html
How Can You Be Involved?
OnCare encourages participation by caregivers, young people, providers and community allies in all of its work groups. Those specifically related to CLC include:
- The Cultural and Linguistic Competence Workgroup focuses on increasing the level of cultural and linguistic competence among OnCare’s provider community.
- The Mental Health Needs of Refugee Children Learning Community is comprised of people from the mental health system, education system and community members interested in helping refugee children. The goal is to understand the most culturally appropriate way of offering services and supports to refugee children that may be experiencing trauma as a result of migration or events that took place in their home country.
- The Disproportionate Minority Representation Steering Committee is focused on reducing the disproportionate rate of placement of children of color in the foster care system. This is a partnership between OnCare and the Onondaga County Department of Social Services.
Resources For Youth
Cross, T, Bazron, B., Dennis, K. and Isaacs, M. (1989). Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Child Development Center, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health.
Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Outreach Program
The Refugee Youth Outreach Program provides recreation, tutoring, homework assistance, and other supports to refugee children. http://www.ccoc.us/services/index/refugee-youth-outreach-program
The goal of Dunbar Association is to provide programming to children ages 5-19 that will enhance and produce well rounded youth. The programming includes an afterschool program, a special needs program, summer camp and a teen program. http://www.dunbarassociation.org/youth-services
The Q Center
The Q Center is a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and their allies to gather, share, hang out, have fun, and build healthy relationships with supportive adults and peers. It is a great place to make new friends. The Q Center offers support groups, educational support, counseling services, social events, HIV/STD education and testing, opportunities for community involvement, and support for Gay-Straight Alliances and schools. http://www.aidscommunityresources.com/content.cfm/Services/youth-center
The Spanish Action League – La Liga
The mission of La Liga is to build on the rich cultural heritage of the Latino community by advancing its independence and growth through advocacy, counseling and education. The Our Future Program (Nuestro Futuro) is a free program that helps young students through tutoring, homework help, hands-on learning, cultural activities, and school mediation. Nuestro Futuro also helps students’ English proficiency. http://www.laligaupstateny.org/programs-youth.php
The Southwest Community Center
SWCC provides a network of human services to residents of the southwest inner-city of Syracuse through special events, outreach efforts, prevention, intervention, employment and educational services, support, peer and mentoring groups, and collaborative programs. http://www.smnfswcc.org/
Whole Me Inc.
Whole Me provides educational and social services designed to promote the success of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families and their communities. www.wholemeinc.org