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CCBHCs and Cultural Competence

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CCBHCs must show cultural competence, especially when treating people with limited English proficiency (LEP), military service members, and veterans.

CCBHCs provide services to the general public and therefore need to respect and respond to the cultural, linguistic, and other social and environmental needs of the individual.

Learn more about ensuring culturally competent services for:

Requirements From the Criteria

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed criteria for CCBHC certification. Access the complete CCBHC certification criteria – 2016 (PDF | 755 KB).

The criteria present the following requirements related to cultural competency:

Cultural and Linguistic Competence Defined

  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate services are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse consumers (Office of Minority Health [2014]) (Criteria Definitions).

General Requirements of Cultural Competence

  • 1.a.1. The needs assessment includes “cultural, linguistic and treatment needs.” A separate fact sheet addresses linguistic competence (Meaningful Access & Consumers with Limited English Proficiency [LEP]).
  • 4.d.8. “The CCBHC uses culturally and linguistically appropriate screening tools, and tools/approaches that accommodate disabilities..., when appropriate.”
  • 4.e.8. Among other things, treatment planning components that states might consider requiring as part of certification include: “accommodations to ensure cultural and linguistically competent services.”
  • 4.k.6. The criteria require that care for veterans be provided with cultural competence. A separate fact sheet addresses this requirement.

Cultural Competence: Training and Care

  • 1.c.1. Among other things, the CCBHC training plan and training must address cultural competence. This training occurs at orientation and thereafter at reasonable intervals as may be required by the state or accrediting agencies. “Cultural competency training addresses diversity within the organization’s service population and, to the extent active duty military or veterans are being served, must include information related to military culture. Examples of cultural competency training and materials include, but are not limited to, those available through the website of the US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), the SAMHSA website through the website of the DHHS, Office of Minority Health, or through the website of the DHHS, Health Resources and Services Administration.”
  • 4.b.2. “Person-centered and family-centered care includes care which recognizes the particular cultural and other needs of the individual. This includes, but is not limited to, services for consumers who are American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN), for whom access to traditional approaches or medicines may be part of CCBHC services. For consumers who are AI/AN, these services may be provided either directly or by formal arrangement with tribal providers.”

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