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Cultural Competence

Multicultural FamilyCultural Competence refers to the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. Because families of many different backgrounds, ethnicities, values, and beliefs receive early intervention supports and services in Virginia, practitioners must develop knowledge and skills to allow them to effectively collaborate with the families they meet.


You will find information and resources here to help you on your journey towards becoming more culturally competent. Visit the resource landing pad for information about evidence-based practices and topics; online, print, and video resources, and Virginia-specific guidance.

Click the links below to jump directly to the following sections of this page.
Landing Pad | Archived Webinars | Articles & Handouts | Online Learning | Websites & Programs


Landing Pads

Cultural Competence Landing Pad PDF | HTML

Dual Language Learners Landing Pad PDF | HTML

*for best viewing experience we recommend pdf version


Archived Webinars

Talks on Tuesdays

Cultural Goggles: “Everybody’s Got ‘Em”

VA’s Integrated Training Collaborative

Partnership for People with Disabilities

Presented by Cecily Rodriguez

This webinar provided an overview of cultural competence and information and statistics about cultural groups in VA. Effective communication was discussed as well as how to apply the knowledge learned in everyday practice. Click the link above to visit the 2014 Talks on Tuesdays Archive and scroll down until you find the webinar.



Articles & Handouts

A Guide for Advancing Family-Centered and Culturally and Linguistically Competent Care
(external website | pdf)

National Center for Cultural Competence
This guide reviews what is known about family-centered practices and cultural and linguistic competence. A framework and strategies are provided that service providers and organizations can use to integrate these concepts into their care.

Building Culturally and Linguistically Competence Services to Support Young Children, their Families, and School Readiness (external website | pdf)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The purpose of this tool kit is to provide guidance, tools, and resources that will assist communities in building culturally and linguistically competent services, supports, programs, and practices related to young children, their families.

California’s Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners: Research Overview Papers
Governer’s State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care (external website | pdf)
Written by experts in the field, this document includes 6 research overviews about early learning and young children who are dual language learners. Two papers that focus on topics of interest to early interventionists are:

  • Paper 1: Neuroscience Research: How Experience with One or More Languages Affects the Developing Brain (Author: Barbara Conboy)
  • Paper 6: Early Intervention and Young Dual Language Learners with Special Needs (Authors: Deborah Chen and Vera Gutiérrez-Clellen)

Cultural Competence Checklist: Personal Reflection (external website | pdf)
American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
This tool was developed to heighten service providers’ awareness of how they view clients/patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations.

DEC Position Statement: Responsiveness to ALL Children, Families, and Professionals: Integrating Cultural and Linguistic Diversity into Policy and Practice (external website | pdf)
Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

This position statement addresses implications for culturally and linguistically responsive practices.

Interpreter Evaluation Form (external website| pdf)
VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

This evaluation can be used by service providers working with language interpreters to determine the quality of interpretation services. It is best used by an interpreter peer or bilingual colleague who has been tested for proficiency in the target language.

Mothers and Infants Around the World: A Report of the Cross-Cultural Data Collection at Five Months
(external website)
Child and Family Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development
This research report describes the impact an infant has on a family, how culture
contributes to infancy, parenting and parent-child interaction, and cultural similarities and variability in mother and infant behavior across nine countries.

Multilingual Children: Beyond Myths and Toward Best Practices

(external website | pdf)

Social Policy Report

Society for Research in Child Development

This report provides in depth information about promoting multilingualism, supporting children and families in multilingual homes, and the relationship between multilingualism and child development.

Promoting Cultural Competence and Cultural Diversity: Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports to Children with Disabilities & Special Health Care Needs and their Families
(external website | pdf)
National Center for Cultural Competence
Service providers can use this self-assessment to examine their beliefs about the physical environment, communication, values and attitudes related to cultural competence and diversity. 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.

Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings (external website | pdf)
National Center for Cultural Competence

This self-assessment allows providers to reflect on their cultural and linguistic competence related to their physical environment, materials and resources; communication styles; and values and attitudes.

The Changing Face of the United States: The Influence of Culture on Early Child Development
(external website)

Beth Maschinot, PhD
Zero to Three

This free booklet provides information about the impact of culture on early language, cognitive, and socioemotional development.

Why Culture Matters
The Decision Tree
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
These resources provide information for cultural considerations in early intervention.



Online Learning

Evaluation & Assessment for Children in Bilingual Environments (external website)

Texas Early Childhood Intervention

This free 3-part webinar series features 1-hour recordings on assessment of bilingual children and addresses cultural considerations and differences vs. disorders in speech and language development.



Websites & Programs

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) (external website)
In collaboration with many colleagues representing diverse cultural and linguistic roots the CLAS Early Childhood Research Institute collects and describes early childhood/early intervention resources that have been developed across the U.S. for children with disabilities and their families and the service providers who work with them. Search the CLAS database for a rich variety of resources.

National Center for Cultural Competence (external website)
Visit this site for resources, publications, self-assessments, distance learning, family and youth perspectives, promising practices, and much more.

Office of Cultural & Linguistic Competence (external website)

VA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

Visit this site for resources related to developing cultural and linguistic competence, including a learning resource center with tools, information, presentations and other training opportunities.



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