From Cultural Competence and Multiculturalism to Confronting

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					From Cultural Competence and Multiculturalism to Confronting Organizational Racism
2009 AJFCA Annual Conference Chicago, Illinois

Paul Levine, CSW
Executive Vice President & CEO Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services

JBFCS Mission
The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services provides a comprehensive network of mental health and social services which promotes well-being, resilience and selfsufficiency for individuals and families at every stage of life. Leaders in the field of human services, we proudly serve people of all faiths, races and cultures. Compassionate Care. Professional Excellence. For All New Yorkers.

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JBFCS Services
•
– – – – –

Gateway Services
Outpatient Counseling - 19 Community Clinics Jewish Community Services Volunteer Services Center for Child Development and Learning Preventive Services (Child Welfare)

•
– – – – –

Intensive Services
Children’s Residential Treatment Services and Psychiatric Hospitals Adults with Mental Illness Domestic Violence Shelters and Services Mishkon - Residential services for profoundly developmentally disabled members of the Orthodox Community; Respite Care Services for families Day Treatment

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Client Demographics
• • • • • 50,000 New Yorkers per year 46,000 supported through “gateway services” each year 4,000 served via “intensive services” each year 1000 beds filled 365 days a year Of clients whose demographic information is collected: – 44% Caucasian – 37% Jewish – 21% African American – 25% Hispanic
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Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services
• Historically
– All white, male, Jewish leadership – All white professional staff – Significant number of non-white staff at the direct care level

• Underlying Precepts prior to 1990
– Clinical nature of the work was based on psychological needs and family dynamics – Socio-economic factors not of primary importance – JBFCS is equal opportunity employer (but…) – Race and ethnicity didn’t matter (“color blind” approach)

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Why the Need for Agency Change?
• The Wilder Case
– Decline in number of white children in residential care

• Public funding • Greater numbers of non-white clients and changing neighborhoods

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Early Thinking on Agency Change
• Many believed socio-economic conditions could not be ignored • Salient concepts drawn from the experience of Jewish organizations
– People can maintain their own identity while being part of a larger system, ie: pluralism

• Instinctively understood that clients of color would feel more comfortable with like staff • Issues needed to be addressed and organizational changes made
– Quality of care – Level playing field

• Social justice was not the explicit issue
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Business Model Approach
Business Model Approach focuses on how to make an organization thrive economically.

• Questions Asked
– – – – Who is our market / target population? What race / ethnicity did the professional staff reflect? Did staffing reflect the client population? How successful were we in engaging clients?

• Institutionally
– What were the opportunities for advancement within the agency? For Whom? – Recognized need for aggressive recruiting of diverse staff
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Commitment to Diversity
Diversity is the presences of human characteristics that make people different from one another. It is also defined as the unification of cultures, providing reasons why we are more alike than dissimilar. • Program and staff needed to reflect the faces of the communities they serve • Task force convened to: – Develop recommendations for increasing staff diversity – Examine how culturally competent services could be improved Cultural Competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, structures and policies that come together to work effectively in intercultural situations.

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JBFCS Commitment to Diversity
• Achievements:
– Appointed African American as Chief of Social Work – Increased representation of staff of color at entry professional levels
• MSW Stipend Program instituted • Hiring policies (HR)

– “Race, Ethnicity and Class Identity” trainings for staff
Sociological perspective of cultural competence became well established

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Commitment to Diversity
• Limitations
– Focused on numbers, rather than other measures of progress
– The focus on multiple aspects of diversity and focus on cultural competence relegated issues of race to less importance
• Ethnic Group Identity • Sexual Orientation • Gender

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Gradual Shift from Diversity to Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism - The view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, including the perceptions of “other” groups

• Culturally competent practice requires the understanding of the experience of second class status, harassment, and oppression experienced by minorities. • An increased awareness that both personal and culturally-derived biases can interfere with service quality
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Diversity to Multiculturalism, cont’d

• Promoted cultural sensitivity through – JBFCS Interdivisional case presentations – Program based workshops – In-service training

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Move toward a Trauma Focus
Trauma results from the reaction to an event that is outside the range of usual human experience and overwhelms ordinary human adaptations to daily life.

Trauma focus dominates agency practice and training
– – – – Cohen Chairs Trauma Focused Training JBFCS Interdivisionals Sanctuary Model

• What happened to Diversity?
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Post 9/11

Trauma and Multiculturalism
• Gradually trauma theory interfaced with multiculturalism
– Treatment approaches incorporating trauma training – Project Liberty (outpatient mental health services) – CATS (Child and Adolescent Trauma Services): • introduction of UCLA-RI trauma exposure inventory – Post 9/11 Infant Toddler Preschool Program – Life Skills/ Life Stories

Integrated race, culture and societal issues into clinical practice and training
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Introduction of Anti-Racism
Racism is the transformation to race prejudice through the exercise of power against a racial group defined as inferior by individuals and institutions with the support of the entire culture.

• Anti-racism Educational Process
– Nancy Boyd Franklin, PhD – AJ Franklin, PhD – Trainings for middle management in promoting open discussions about race with staff

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Confronting Organizational Racism
Organizational Racism is the unintentional manifestation of racism in organizations. • Need to understand the power relationships related to race - Race and access to opportunity and resources - Perceptions of being disadvantaged - Intentionality - Whites “versus” Jews

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Confronting Organizational Racism: Focus on Race within JBFCS
• Focus on service to clients
- Role of race in treatment - Sanctuary Model - LGBT awareness

• Level playing field for staff
Expand circle of influence and opportunity Open discussions of race in the workplace Bring diverse voices to decision-making Racial Affinity Groups established Struggled with distinction between personal bias and organizational racism - LGBT Task Force
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Organizational Racism
• Educational process – Kenneth Hardy, PhD appointed Cohen Chair – Affiliation with People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

• Director of Anti-Racism and Multicultural Consultation and Training appointed
• JBFCS Leadership Development Institute

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Reflections on JBFCS Move Toward Confronting Organizational Racism
Initially we didn’t know what we wanted to do other than increase the numbers of ethnic minorities on staff. • Resulted in not having:
a clear plan and operational goals a baseline of data racial/ethnic information on staff assignment to client Shared perceptions were lacking

• Moved too fast
- Program staff not included in formulating initiatives - A shared view needed to be nurtured • Seen as an executive directive

• Didn’t have complete support from top levels • Board of Directors not diverse
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Summary of Structures Put in Place
• • • • • • • • • • • • Key Executive Appointments Hiring Policy Stipend Program Trauma Focused Training Cohen Chairs / JBFCS Interdivisionals In-service Training Task Forces Racial Affinity Groups Affiliation with People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond Leadership Development Institute New Hiring Policies Evolving LGBT Steering Committee
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Questions for Agencies to Ask

• Who is your client population? • How do you perceive your service? • What is your staffing profile relative to client profile? • What are your goals? • What is the client treatment success rate?

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