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Six Domains of Culturally Competent Service Delivery

Summarized by Emilia C. Lopez, Ph.D., NASP IDEA Cadre Member, and based on Rogers et al., 1999*

I. Legal and Ethical Issues

  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and regulations, awareness of litigation, and understanding of ethics
  • Advocate for public policy and educational law

II. School Culture, Educational Policy, and Institutional Advocacy

  • Knowledge of aspects of organizational culture that promote achievement and mental health for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students
  • Ability to play a leadership role in the implementation of supportive interventions for CLD students and their families

III.   Psychoeducational Assessment

  • Knowledge of and skills in assessing CLD students, including consideration of variables such as environment, social issues, language development, second language acquisition, acculturation, educational history, quality of educational program, SES and racism
  • Understanding that normed tests may not be a valid measure for English Language Learners (ELLs) due to inappropriateness of norms, scores reflecting English proficiency, product as opposed to process orientation, fairness of content, and differences in educational background, acculturation, and economic situation

IV. Academic, Therapeutic, and Consultative Interventions

  • Skills in multicultural counseling and cross-cultural consultation
  • Knowledge of multicultural education, ELL programs, and school culture/culture of staff and students

V. Working with Interpreters

  • Knowledge of recommended systemic practices, including guidelines from professional organizations and national and state policies, and plans for hiring, training, and managing interpreters
  • Knowledge of recommended practices for interpreters translating for parent conferences, including using school personnel and community members as interpreters (never children or family members)

VI. Research           

  • Knowledge of research related to culture and language issues and ability to conduct research that is sensitive to cross-cultural issues
  • Awareness of Emic-Etic distinctions (Emic: behaviors or views that are common to an ethnic or minority group; Etic: aspects of human functioning that are more universal to peoples across cultures)

*Rogers, M. R., Ingraham, C. L., Bursztyn, A., Cajigas-Segredo, N., Esquivel, G., Hess, R. S., & Nahari, S. G., &

Lopez, E. C. (1999). Best practices in providing psychological services to racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse individuals in the schools. School Psychology International, 20, 243-264.