Resources Related to Cultural Competence



SAMHSA’s Resources Related to Cultural Competence

  • SAMHSA’s Collaborative for the Application of Prevention Technologies, or CAPT (see Resource List), is a national training and technical assistance system dedicated to strengthening prevention systems.The CAPT serves SAMHSA grantees in all 50 states and in nine jurisdictions, and provides services to 20 federally recognized Tribes and Tribal entities.
  • Included on the CAPT website are specific resources related to cultural competence.
  • For example, the CAPT webpage shows strategies to infuse cultural competence into each of the five Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) steps. Source:
    • Step 1 (Assessment of Needs and Capacity) – Strategies to infuse cultural competence into this step include using a culturally competent evaluator and ensuring that data are culturally responsive and appropriate.
    • Step 2 (Capacity Mobilizing and Building) – Strategies to infuse cultural competence into this step include developing policies (for recruitment, training, communication, etc.) to improve cultural competence, and identifying mutually acceptable goals and objectives.
    • Step 3 (Developing Strategic Plan) – Strategies to infuse cultural competence into this step include making sure the community is represented in the process, and (when selecting programs and strategies) considering fit with community culture, existing prevention efforts, and past history.
    • Step 4 (Implementation of Evidence-based Programs, Policies and Strategies) – Strategies to infuse cultural competence into this step include involving the community in the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
    • Step 5 (Evaluation) – Strategies to infuse cultural competence into this step include making sure that the community is included in the evaluation process, and ensuring that data collection tools reflect community culture.
  • The webpage also describes elements of a culturally competent prevention system. Source:
  • The elements are:
    • Valuing Diversity. The system, its institutions and staff must first value diversity and the key role diversity plays in strengthening accessible, efficient and cost-effective quality of care.
    • Awareness of the “Dynamic of Difference”. The system needs to be conscious of the inherent dynamic of interacting cultures.
    • Attitude. This involves knowledge, attitudes and beliefs—for example, cultural and color blindness in the sense that practitioners should and can treat everyone the same.
    • Ability to Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge. The system must sanction and in some cases mandate incorporation of cultural knowledge into the service delivery framework; knowledge must be available at every level within the system.
    • Practice. This involves making sure that practice skills—such as interviewing, diagnostic and assessment approaches—are culturally appropriate.
    • Adaptation to Diversity. Preventive interventions must be modified to meet the specific needs of the program participants; services should be delivered in a way that reflects the culture and tradition of those being served.
    • Cultural Self-Assessment. The system must be able to assess their cultural diversity capacity to determine what they need to do.

Additional Resources Related to Cultural Competence

  • CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (see Resource List), also provides detailed guidance on cultural competence. Specifically, CADCA’s National Community Anti-Drug Coalition Institute, which serves as a center for training, technical assistance, evaluation and capacity building for anti-drug coalitions throughout the U.S., developed a set of primers to help coalitions navigate the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). One of these relates to how to incorporate cultural competence into coalitions’ comprehensive plans. The primer can be found at:

Next: Substance Abuse Pevention Resource List

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