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

4d42da9435093.preview-620

In search of the great New Mexico chile pepper

Latina ListaAugust 27, 2015
rwb-donkeysplit

Three Connecticut Latino Incumbents Fight Democratic Party Machine

Latina ListaAugust 26, 2015
150824-bined_6

Border economic officials: ROOT CAUSE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS POVERTY, INSECURITY AND LACK OF OPPORTUNITY

Latina ListaAugust 25, 2015
CMeP8WMWcAA-glg

Visualizing Illinois’ Cook County Jail’s population

Latina ListaAugust 24, 2015
google-inc-starts-work-on-fiber-optic-network-in-san-antonio-texas

San Antonio says ‘Bienvenidos’ to Google Fiber

Latina ListaAugust 20, 2015
The new 5-story condiminium being built on 18th St. and San Carlos St. in the Mission Wednesday August 13, 2015. Photo by Martin Bustamante

In a city where rising rents increasingly displace low-income residents, one San Francisco block’s rapid change triggers fear and hope

Latina ListaAugust 19, 2015
150817-psja_cslap

Rio Grande Valley alumni mentor students on going to college

Latina ListaAugust 18, 2015
be-the-match-2

Bone marrow donor program seeks Hispanics to help save lives of Hispanics

Latina ListaAugust 17, 2015
B9317064792Z.1_20150423151607_000_GQGAJCEVA.1-0

A Delaware Hispanic Heroine

Latina ListaAugust 13, 2015