National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Element 1: Respect and Trust (continued)

These types of actions just explored are common and best-practice yet there are more complex considerations around respecting families to explore.

One consideration is acknowledging, understanding and embracing diversity in culture; both our own and others. Culture involves more than language, race, or ethnicity. Culture encompasses a person’s belief systems, traditions, views and attitudes.

Learning about and actively working to understand a family’s culture indicates that their perspectives are acknowledged, understood, and valued. It also provides important information that can influence the process of forming partnerships and a family’s active participation in the consultation process. Exploring a family’s culture can help you:

"Each baby is born into a unique family that has its own culture and history, its own strengths and its own way of coping with stress and adversity."

Parlakian & Seibel, 2002

  • Understand more clearly the family’s needs. A family's background, including their traditions, beliefs, primary language and religious beliefs, influence how parents perceive their child’s mental health concerns, their responsibility in partnering, and the services that they will support.
  • Work together to obtain the best strategies for the child. Strategies that the family is part of creating and implementing upon can lead to greater family involvement, more favorable outcomes, more rewarding interpersonal experience and increased family satisfaction.




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