Local Stories

A Move to Mandate Cultural Competency Making Its Way Through Connecticut’s Legislature

A Move to Mandate Cultural Competency Making Its Way Through Connecticut’s Legislature

By Wayne Jebian
CTLatinoNews.com

CTLatinoNews_600_300

With increasing attention in the Capitol being placed on mental health services, and agencies such as the Department of Children and Families pushing for cultural sensitivity among their workers, lawmakers agreed that understanding specific details of intercultural relations is becoming more important than ever.

“We want to make sure that folks don’t fall through the cracks, and we also want to make sure that folks are not misdiagnosed either,” Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport) said.

Ayala is the co-sponsor of a bill mandating courses in cultural competency for social workers, professional counselors, alcohol and drug counselors, as well as marital and family therapists. It passed unanimously in the state Senate and will soon appear in front of the Connecticut House of Representatives.

The bill requires requires mental health and social services professionals to complete an hour of training per year as continuing professional development. The ongoing training is meant to update their cultural competency skills and knowledge above and beyond what is required to obtain the degrees and licenses necessary to practice in their respective fields.

Senator Ayala credited Jose Ortiz, president and CEO of the Hispanic Health Council, with the creation of the new law. In recent years, Ortiz succeeded in persuading the General Assembly to require cultural competency training for medical doctors and psychiatrists.

Oriz posed the question, “Look, if the doc has to do it, what about social workers, what about professional counselors, what about marriage and family therapists? What about alcohol and drug counselors?”

“Cultural competence really transcends sensitivity,” said Ortiz, explaining that it was about specific knowledge and learning how to read certain signals. Both Ortiz and Ayala described issues of body language and eye contact as areas that could be misinterpreted by caregivers and social workers, leading to…

Finish reading A Move to Mandate Cultural Competency Making Its Way Through Connecticut's Legislature

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Local Stories

More in Local Stories

b464499b9c4ca622f57ef4805ae466ec

Dancer Unites Flamenco and Doctors without Borders

Latina ListaJuly 30, 2015
hat tossing ceremony at graduation

Oklahoma Graduation Rates Drop in All Student Groups

Latina ListaJuly 29, 2015
crowd

Forum Takes On Homophobia Among Latinos

Latina ListaJuly 28, 2015
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Arizona’s Gila River leader says lack of broadband is harming tribal, rural areas

Latina ListaJuly 27, 2015
Cover-Ice-4

Deportation Protest Calls for National Reform

Latina ListaJuly 23, 2015
mexican-selling-donald-trump-pinatas-0622-4

Trump to visit Laredo on Thursday

Latina ListaJuly 22, 2015
stack of books on the dark wood background. toning. selective focus on the middle book

Opinion: Latinos Are The New Majority in CA, But Not In Our Textbooks

Latina ListaJuly 21, 2015
Flag of Puerto Rico, national country symbol illustration finance economy dollar

Puerto Ricans in Connecticut Sound Off on Island’s Crisis

Latina ListaJuly 20, 2015
6a00d8341c90b153ef019aff34e1b0970d

Oklahoma senator’s amendment would track homeless students

Latina ListaJuly 16, 2015