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Minorities -- Oregon -- Portland, Policy research


At the request of the Coalition of Communities of Color, the Center to Advance Racial Equity (CARE) was asked to assist in the development of a Protocol for Culturally Responsive Organizations (also called the Protocol) that it would use to improve the quality of services available to communities of color in mainstream health and human services. To achieve this, we have researched the literature available that provides evidence of the effectiveness of various interventions. Priority has been given to the literatures on culturally-responsive service delivery (which has been thin) and culturally-competent services (which while abundantly written about, relatively little exists that has provided convincing evidence of its effectiveness). Research has been primarily conducted in the field of health services, with fewer articles that are research based from the fields of child welfare, parent skills training and a few in other places.

The research studies have primarily determined success in cultural responsiveness in two areas: improvement of health conditions or presenting problems, and client satisfaction with services. Fewer still have confirmed successful outcomes in a pre- and post-intervention situation, with the majority looking retrospectively on the ways in which service users value the interventions. The “thinness” of this overall literature of evidence has led us to review at considerable depth the existing protocols, standards, and guides that have been developed for this work and for related work in the national arena and state level. These supplemental resources have helped us in the development of the reference grid for the protocol.

Within this document are definitions of cultural responsiveness and cultural competence, the literature review itself, a summary of the ways the emerging substance for the Protocol aligns with the research literature, and the two most relevant sets of standards: the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care, 2013 (also called CLAS) and the Culturally Responsive Framework, 2009 (also called CALD or 'cultural and linguistic diversity.'

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