Promoting Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competency
Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports to
Children and their Families
This checklist is intended to heighten the awareness and sensitivity of personnel
to the importance of cultural diversity and cultural competence in human service
settings. It provides concrete examples of the kinds of values and practices
that foster such an environment.
Directions: Select A, B, or C for each numbered item listed.
A = Things I do frequently
B = Things I do occasionally
C = Things I do rarely or never
Physical Environment, Materials, and Resources
1. I display pictures, posters and other materials that reflect the cultures
and ethnic backgrounds of children and families served by my program or agency.
2. I insure that magazines, brochures, and other printed materials in reception
areas are of interest to and reflect the different cultures of children and
families served by my program or agency.
3. When using videos, films or other media resources for health education,
treatment or other interventions, I insure that they reflect the cultures
of children and families served by my program or agency.
4. When using food during an assessment, I insure that meals provided include
foods that are unique to the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of children and
families served by my program or agency.
5. I insure that toys and other play accessories in reception areas and those,
which are used during assessment, are representative of the various cultural
and ethnic groups within the local community and the society in general.
_____ 6. For children who speak languages or dialects other than English,
I attempt to learn and use key words in their language so that I am better able
to communicate with them during assessment, treatment or other interventions.
7. I attempt to determine any familial colloquialisms used by children and
families that may impact on assessment, treatment or other interventions.
8. I use visual aids, gestures, and physical prompts in my interactions with
children who have limited English proficiency.
9. I use bilingual staff or trained/certified interpreters for assessment,
treatment and other interventions with children who have limited English Proficiency.
10. I use bilingual staff or trained/certified interpreters during assessments,
treatment sessions, meetings, and for or other events for families who would
require this level of assistance.
When interacting with parents who have limited English proficiency I always
keep in mind that:
limitations in English proficiency are in no way a reflection of level of
limited ability to speak the language of the dominant culture has no bearing
on ability to communicate effectively in their language of origin.
a person may or may not be literate in their language of origin or English.
12. When possible, I insure that all notices and communiqués to parents are
written in their language of origin.
13. I understand that it may be necessary to use alternatives to written communications
for some families, as word of mouth may be a preferred method of receiving
Values and Attitudes
14. I avoid imposing values that may conflict or be inconsistent with those
of cultures or ethnic groups other than my own.
15. In group therapy or treatment situations, I discourage children from using
racial and ethnic slurs by helping them understand that certain words can
16. I screen books, movies, and other media resources for negative cultural,
ethnic, or racial stereotypes before sharing them with children and their
parents served by my program or agency.
17. I intervene in an appropriate manner when I observe other staff or parents
within my program or agency engaging in behaviors that show cultural insensitivity,
bias or prejudice.
_____ 18. I understand and accept that family is defined differently by different
cultures (e.g. extended family members, fictive kin, godparents).
19. I recognize and accept that individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds
may desire varying degrees of acculturation into the dominant culture.
20. I accept and respect that male-female roles in families may vary significantly
among different cultures (e.g. who makes major decisions for the family, play
and social interactions expected of male and female children).
21. I understand that age and life cycle factors must be considered in interactions
with individuals and families (e.g. high value placed on the decisions of
elders or the role of the eldest male in families).
22. Even though my professional or moral viewpoints may differ, I accept the
family/parents as the ultimate decision makers for services and supports for
23. I recognize that the meaning or value of medical treatment and health
education may vary greatly among cultures.
24. I recognize and understand that beliefs and concepts of emotional well-being
vary significantly from culture to culture.
25. I understand that beliefs about mental illness and emotional disability
are culturally-based. I accept that responses to these conditions and related
treatment/interventions are heavily influenced by culture.
_____ 26. I accept that religion and other beliefs may influence
how families respond to illnesses, disease, disability and death.
_____ 27. I recognize and accept that folk and religious beliefs may influence
a family's reaction and approach to a child born with a disability or later
diagnosed with a physical/emotional disability or special health care needs.
28. I understand that traditional approaches to disciplining children are
influenced by culture.
29. I understand that families from different cultures will have different
expectations of their children for acquiring toileting, dressing, feeding,
and other self-help skills.
30. I accept and respect that customs and beliefs about food, its value, preparation,
and use are different from culture to culture.
31. Before visiting or providing services in the home setting, I seek information
on acceptable behaviors, courtesies, customs and expectations that are unique
to families of specific cultures and ethnic groups served by my program or
32. I seek information from family members or other key community informants
that will assist in service adaptation to respond to the needs and preferences
of culturally and ethnically diverse children and families served by my program
33. I advocate for the review of my program's or agency's mission statement,
goals, policies, and procedures to insure that they incorporate principles
and practices that promote cultural diversity and cultural competence.
There is no answer key with correct responses.
However, if you frequently responded "C", you may not necessarily
demonstrate values and engage in practices that promote a culturally diverse
and culturally competent service delivery system for children with disabilities
or special health care needs and their families.
Tawara D. Goode, - Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development-University
Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research &
Adapted from - Promoting Cultural Competence and Cultural Diversity in
Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings - June 1989. Revised 1993,
1996, 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Reprinted with permission from: Georgetown University
Center for Child and Human Development