CFLE Voices from the Field — Summer 2021

/ CLFE Network, Spring 2021

We invite practicing CFLEs who have not published in CFLE Network before to submit a 250- to 500-word response to the following writing prompt relevant to the theme of the Summer 2021 issue, Families and Health


Writing Prompt for Summer 2021—Families and Health

“Cultural competence refers to the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services,” according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) in “Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59” (2014;; p. xv). Research has identified multiple benefits for individuals and families that are associated with receiving culturally competent medical or mental/behavioral health care services, according to McCalman et al. (2017; “Organisational Systems’ Approaches to Improving Cultural Competence in Healthcare: A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literature”; and SAMSHA (2014; previously cited), respectively.

In general, across settings and studies, individuals and families who received culturally competent medical and mental/behavioral health care services reported comparatively greater trust in their service providers and greater satisfaction with the services, used the services more often and/or were more faithful to intervention regimens, and demonstrated better outcomes. However, as many individuals and families experience and research findings also indicate, culturally competent care is more often an ideal than a reality in settings providing services to diverse individuals and families.

To be effective, professionals who work with diverse individuals and families, must demonstrate cross-cultural competence, as advocated by Eleanor W. Lynch and Marci J. Hanson in Developing Cross-Cultural Competence: A Guide for Working With Children and Their Families (4th ed.; 2011; Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.). This includes CFLEs’ adapting services and setting goals/objectives, in consultation with individuals and family members, that both reflect and respect cultural values and practices and help move the individual or family member toward health care–related goals and objectives.

In about 250 to 500 words, please describe one or two adaptations you made that increased the cultural relevance of your services to individuals or families with whom you work and explain how you determined if the adaptations helped move the individual or family member toward the health care–related goals and objectives. Adaptations, for example, could include those made by CFLE home visitors providing Early Childhood Intervention services, CFLEs working with the teachers or parents of pre-K to 12 students with medical or mental/behavioral health issues, CFLEs supporting family groups whose membership includes a member who has an addiction or other mental illness, or CFLEs working with caregivers of children, adults, or elders with medical conditions.

If you would like to engage in ongoing conversations about providing culturally competent medical or mental/behavioral health care services with other CFLEs who share your interest, please contact Dawn Cassidy, Director of Family Life Education, by email ([email protected]) and suggest culturally competent health care as a topic for CFLE Conversations.

Please review Network author guidelines at

Notify Beth Morgan, Network Editor, by email ([email protected]) of your intent to submit a response by the June 1, 2021(Intent to Submit Deadline) and include one or two sentences about the content of your response.  Note: Your completed 250- to 500-word response is due by the submission deadline of June 15. You may also email Beth Morgan with questions or for more information.

Thank you.