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

fot_gal2

Mexico’s organized crime targets higher education

Latina ListaApril 22, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.44.10 PM

San Antonio site of first rollout of bilingual mobile app to boost voting

Latina ListaApril 21, 2015
UYA

Astros Urban Youth graduate Pablo Salazar lands college baseball scholarship

Latina ListaApril 20, 2015
Arizona Activists Hold Vigil To Protest New Immigration Law At White House

Court affirms ruling that Maricopa deputies used race in traffic stops

Latina ListaApril 16, 2015
16-el-pasado-cast-lyr150328-498-ctodd-rosenberg-j-20150329

World’s first mariachi opera

Latina ListaApril 15, 2015
mzm.movckwox

AARP Recognizes CT’s Latino Demographic

Latina ListaApril 14, 2015
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Growers Move to Gut California’s Farm Labor Law

Latina ListaApril 13, 2015
Cesar-Chavez-March-2012

The legacy of César E. Chávez continues

Latina ListaApril 10, 2015
garcia-040815-06.JPG

Emanuel ‘humbled’ by second term win and Garcia declares “we worked together”

Latina ListaApril 9, 2015