Service providers working with diverse populations need to understand their clients’ cultural values in order to effectively provide services and appropriately address any misunderstandings or issues that may arise.
The products offered on this page and through the Resource Center are intended to address the cultural nuances associated with various populations in an effort to support service providers in building effective relationships and providing culturally competent services. Any references to religion or religious beliefs provided by the authors of these products are there to assist the reader in understanding the basis for associated cultural practices. Such references are in no way intended to reflect endorsement or promotion of any religion or religious practice by Resource Center.
Federally funded grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department." Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this program.
Relationship education must be integrated into services in culturally appropriate ways because culture
- affects how individuals and families pass values, behaviors, and attitudes from one generation to the next;
- shapes how people view the world and their relationships; and
- influences how individuals behave within their romantic relationships.
When a service provider sets aside preconceived ideas and seeks to learn more about a family’s cultural values and collective experiences, the family will be more receptive to the program’s message, an effective client-provider partnership based on mutual respect can be established, and the family’s likelihood of success in reaching their goal of self-sufficiency will be higher.
We offer several free Resource Center products and publications that are designed for service providers looking to learn more about cultural competency:
Considering Culture When Integrating Healthy Marriage Education Skills (PDF, 347 KB) is a tip sheet that provides information on culturally appropriate ways to integrate healthy marriage and relationship education concepts and skills into services.
Working with Couples and Families in the Orthodox Jewish Community (PDF, 1.53 MB) is a research brief that provides an overview of the religious and cultural practices in the Orthodox Jewish community and discusses how to make relationship education programs appropriate to the cultural sensitivities of young Jewish adults and families.
Working with Muslim Couples and Families (PDF,1003 KB) is a research brief that provides an overview of the history of Muslims in the United States and discusses cultural and religious nuances to keep in mind when working with Muslim families.
Expand an item below to view resources that will be helpful for service providers seeking to increase and develop their capacity to work with African American, American Indian, and/or Latino individuals, couples, and families.