National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Supporting Staff Development

Mother and child playing on the floorMental health consultants can build the capacity of staff to be responsive to culturally and linguistically diverse expectant families, infants, toddlers, and their families through the consultation process as well as staff development activities. In many ways, these strategies reflect the learning and experience of the consultant in their own preparation and support. ECE staff should be encouraged to gain self-awareness and understanding of his or her own culture and perspective, respect diversity and find effective ways to engage with diverse children and families, and engage in reflective practices to focus on culture’s influence on their work as ECE providers.

Some use the term “cultural reciprocity” to describe the efforts of staff to understand a family’s cultural beliefs and to use this understanding as a way to promote the healthy development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in their care (ZERO TO THREE, 2003).  The key question for consultants is: What reflective and learning opportunities can support increased cultural and linguistic sensitivity or competence for staff?

The activity that follows lists examples of staff development strategies for consideration.




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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation