CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people Learner Guide Table of Contents Table of Contents How to study this unit 3 What you will learn. 4 Element 1: Reflect on own perspectives. 5 Identifying and reflect on own social and cultural perspectives and biases. 5 Migration. 15 Key aspects, and the diversity, of Australia’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures. 20 Addressing cultural realities in order to facilitate full participation in service delivery by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and/or co-workers. 21 Multiculturalism.. 22 Cultural facts and figures. 23 Bias and discrimination. 24 Ethnocentrism.. 25 Acculturation. 26 Cultural carry-over 28 Legislation and cultural diversity. 29 Rights and responsibilities of workers, employers and clients, including appropriate action when rights are being infringed or responsibilities not being carried out 31 Contemporary frameworks and influences underpinning society. 37 Economics. 40 Working with an awareness of own limitations in self and social awareness. 41 Using reflection to support own ability to work inclusively and with understanding of others. 44 Identifying and acting on ways to improve own self and social awareness. 45 Element 2: Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits. 47 Valuing and respecting diversity and inclusiveness across all areas of work. 47 Creating an inclusive environment 47 Contributing to the development of work place and professional relationships based on appreciation of diversity and inclusiveness. 48 Using work practices that make environments safe for all 49 Element 3: Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations. 52 Showing respect for diversity in communication with all people. 52 Acknowledging different cultures and experiences. 53 Using verbal and non-verbal communication constructively to establish, develop and maintain effective relationships, mutual trust and confidence. 53 How to respect cultural diversity in all communication with clients, families, staff and others. 55 Communication strategies. 56 Where a language barrier exists, use effective strategies to communicate in the most efficient way possible. 56 Seeking assistance from interpreters or other persons according to communication needs. 59 Element 4: Promote understanding across diverse groups. 64 Identifying issues that may cause communication misunderstandings or other difficulties. 64 Prevention of conflict situations. 65 Where difficulties or misunderstandings occur, consider the impact of social and cultural diversity. 66 Meeting to resolve conflict 68 Addressing any difficulties with appropriate people and seek assistance when required. 69 Consultation. 70 Use of mediation. 72 Evaluation. 73 Bibliography. 74 How to study this unit You will find review learning activities at the end of each section. The learning activities in this resource are designed to assist you to learn and successfully complete assessment tasks. If you are unsure of any of the information or activities, ask your trainer or workplace supervisor for help. The participant will be required to demonstrate competence through the following means: Methods of assessment Observation in the work place Written assignments/projects Case study and scenario analysis Questioning Role play simulation Learning activities Class discussion and group role-plays Assessment tasks Asking for help If you have any difficulties with any part of this unit, contact your facilitator. It is important to ask for help if you need it. Discussing your work with your facilitator is considered an important part of the training process. Name of facilitator: Phone number: CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people Welcome to the unit CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people, which forms part of the 2015 Community services training package. This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work respectfully with people from diverse social and cultural groups and situations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. This unit applies to all workers. The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice. What you will learn ELEMENTPERFORMANCE CRITERIAElement 1: Reflect on own perspectivesIdentify and reflect on own social and cultural perspectives and biases Work with awareness of own limitations in self and social awarenessUse reflection to support own ability to work inclusively and with understanding of othersIdentify and act on ways to improve own self and social awarenessElement 2: Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefitsValue and respect diversity and inclusiveness across all areas of work Contribute to the development of work place and professional relationships based on appreciation of diversity and inclusivenessUse work practices that make environments safe for allElement 3: Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situationsShow respect for diversity in communication with all peopleUse verbal and non-verbal communication constructively to establish, develop and maintain effective relationships, mutual trust and confidenceWhere a language barrier exists, use effective strategies to communicate in the most efficient way possibleSeek assistance from interpreters or other persons according to communication needsElement 4: Promote understanding across diverse groupsIdentify issues that may cause communication misunderstandings or other difficulties Where difficulties or misunderstandings occur, consider the impact of social and cultural diversityMake an effort to sensitively resolve differences, taking account of diversity considerationsAddress any difficulties with appropriate people and seek assistance when required Element 1: Reflect on own perspectives Identifying and reflect on own social and cultural perspectives and biases Develop an awareness of cultural diversity Australia is a tolerant and inclusive society, a nation built by people from many different backgrounds. Cultural diversity has become a touchstone of its national identity. As Australia entered the 20th century, its population consisted of a relatively small number of Indigenous peoples and an overwhelming majority of Europeans, most of whose origins lay in the British Isles. In 2004, Australia’s population has grown to more than 20 million, it is home to people from more than 200 countries and it has an enviable international reputation for its diversity and tolerance. Underpinning modern Australian society is a commitment to cultural diversity. Australia accepts and respects the right of all Australians to express and share their individual cultural heritage within an overriding commitment to Australia’s democratic foundations and to English as the national language. This commitment comprises the following principles: Cultural respect, which gives all Australians-subject to the law-the right to express their own culture and beliefs and obliges them to accept the right of others to do the sameSocial equity, which entitles all Australians to equality of treatment and opportunity so that they can contribute to the life of the nation free from discrimination, including on the grounds of race, culture, religion, language, location, gender or place of birthProductive diversity, which maximises the significant cultural, social and economic dividends arising from its plurality. (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Australia Now) Although it might be human nature to notice what is different about people, it is important for us to also notice what is similar and familiar about people. If we can notice these similarities, it makes connecting and relating to people much easier and once we have started connecting we are more able to respect and understand the differences. An analogy would be a string of beads. All the beads come from different sources (such as wood, plastic, glass, paper), are different sizes and colours, have different patterns on them and have been through different journeys to get to the end point. Although the beads are different, the string that runs through them is the same. The difference between society and culture Society is one term you would be very familiar with but you may not find it easy to define. A simple definition of society is provided by Aspin (1996): ‘A group of people living and interacting together.’ Societies can be described by: Geographical boundariesPatterns of common behaviourRelationships between peopleAccepted rules and laws by which people live, and/orWays in which resources needed for survival are distributed. You can probably think about the society in which we live in these ways: Australia is an island (don’t forget Tasmania!); English is the most common language spoken; we have a variety of state and federal laws that cover most areas of our lives; and we have systems like taxation and social security as means of distributing resources. These major institutions influence the way our society operates. Often people who have grown up in a particular society are familiar with its laws, structures and ways of operating. Culture, however, is different from just living in a society. Australia is a multicultural society or country, which means there are many different cultures represented in the one country, each with the right to live in the way they feel is right, as long as it fits in with the laws of the country. In theory, this seems like a simple thing to do but in practice it raises many ethical issues for our society and in our relationships with diverse groups of people. What is Australian culture? There are many interpretations of Australian culture. Think about what makes Australian society different – what gives it the ‘colour and movement’ that makes it different from other societies? You may or may not find that this description of Non- Aboriginal Australian culture describes your experience of the culture. There is, in reality, a diversity of Australian cultural behaviours and attitudes, varying due to family backgrounds, religions, class, sex, sexuality and other personal characteristics. Assumptions about a person based on their culture can be incorrect, because being of a particular culture does not mean that you possess identical characteristics. According to Margaret Sargent (1994), factors which affect Australian culture include history, Aboriginal culture, contact with other cultures through immigration and technology, the physical environment, the media, dominant groups, economic base in capitalism, basic human needs and literature and the arts. Some influences, however, will be stronger than others and the resulting value system on which institutions are based will reflect these dominant influences. Australia is considered to be a multicultural society but the dominant influence on Australian society remains white Anglo- Saxon/Anglo-Celtic culture. Aboriginal culture in particular has not been reflected or represented in our major institutions. aboriginal culture has been ignored and in our history attempts have been made to deliberately destroy it. Cultural diversity Culturally diverse groups may include those based on: EthnicityRaceLanguageCultural norms and valuesReligionBeliefs and customsKinship, family structure and relationshipsPersonal history and experiences which may have been traumaticGender and gender relationshipsAgeDisabilitySexualitySpecial needs. Key areas of diversity and their characteristics Greetings Shaking hands is considered more and more normal in social circumstances in many countries, especially when meeting people from other cultures. Many people from Latin and Central European backgrounds will embrace their friends, and display more body contact. Same-sex greetings in the Middle East are also often more expressive than the stiff handshake. In some cultures, it is not appropriate for a man to shake a lady’s hand. All of this must be considered when working with people from other cultures. Do not make assumptions, if in doubt, ask respectfully. On the other hand, in many Asian cultures, for instance in India and Thailand, it is common for a person to greet another by briefly bowing the head whilst pressing the palms of the hands together at chest level. In Thailand this is called a Wai; in Hindi it is called Namaste. Etiquette Feet: It is common in many cultures, including in the Middle East and Asia, to take off ones shoes when entering a person’s house, or a place of worship. Follow the lead of your host if uncertain if this is the custom in a particular household (this applies to most social customs). In the Middle East it is regarded as ill-mannered to show the soles of one’s feet when sitting down. In Buddhist countries, especially Thailand and Laos, the soles of the feet, being the lowest part of the body, are regarded as dirty. Putting your feet up on furniture or pointing with the foot is regarded as very bad manners. Fingers: Pointing or beckoning with a finger is regarded as rude in many Asian and Middle-Eastern countries. Throughout the world, in all cultures, hand and finger gestures are used for derogatory purposes, for cursing or as a sign of dominance. Avoidance of all finger gestures is the best policy. Language: Be aware that although an overseas-trained doctor will speak good English, he or she may not have learnt Australian slang terms and idioms. Terms such as “sick as a dog”, “more than you can poke a stick at”, or “I’ve got the runs” and thousands of others are what make the language rich but might also cause someone to get hold of the wrong end of the stick! (“To get hold of the wrong end of the stick” means to misinterpret what you have said.) These are very general guidelines only. You must always be careful not to stereotype people. But keep some of these examples in mind and be prepared to be sensitive to cultural differences. If you are aware that different behaviours and social customs have different meanings in different cultures then you should always be open to learning what the specifics are when you need to adapt and exercise your cultural awareness. None of us likes to be regarded as cultural or national stereotypes. Dress and appearance Islam: For many Muslims, it is customary for women to cover their heads, as well as to dress modestly. How this custom is practiced and how strict or important it is considered to be varies. In some cases it is interpreted as a rule to cover the body completely, including the face and hands, in other cultures only a headscarf is worn. Some Muslim women do not wear head coverings. The Qur’an or Koran (Islamic Holy Book) also instructs Muslim men to dress modestly. Islam is a global religion. Muslims live across the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia, China, and in Eastern and Central Europe. Migration to Australia, the USA and Western Europe has led to sizeable Islamic communities in these regions. Judaism: The Kippah is a slightly-rounded brimless skullcap worn by many Jewish men while praying, eating, reciting blessings, or studying Jewish religious texts. In non-Orthodox Jewish communities, some women have also begun to wear kippot. Kippot range in size from a small round beanie that covers only the back of the head, to a large, snug cap that covers the whole crown. Tzitzit are special knotted “fringes” or “tassels” found on the four corners of the tallit or prayer shawl. The tallit is worn by Jewish men and some Jewish women during the prayer service. Customs vary in regards to when a Jew begins wearing a tallit. In the Sephardi community, boys wear a tallit from bar mitzvah age. In some Ashkenazi communities it is customary to wear one only after marriage. A tallit katan (small tallit) is a fringed garment worn under the clothing throughout the day. In some Orthodox circles, the fringes are allowed to hang freely outside the clothing. Tefillin known in English as phylacteries, are two square leather boxes containing biblical verses, attached to the forehead and wound around the left arm by leather straps. They are worn during weekday morning prayer by observant Jewish men and some Jewish women. A kittel a white knee- length over-garment, is worn by prayer leaders and some observant traditional Jews on the High Holidays. It is traditional for the head of the household to wear a kittel at the Passover seder, and some grooms wear one under the wedding canopy. Jewish males are buried in a tallit and sometimes also a kittel which are part of the tachrichim (burial garments). India: The coloured dot worn by some Hindu women (and occasionally men) in the middle of the forehead between the eyes is variously called a tilaka, bottu, bindi, bindya, or kumkum. It is a sign of religious faithfulness and reverence. Many women from India and Sri Lanka (especially Hindus and Sikhs) wear the sari. This long cloth (six or seven metres long) is wound and draped round the body, and is worn with a choli or blouse. India and Pakistan: Salwar kameez (shalwar qameez) is the national dress of Pakistan. Salwars are loose trousers designed in various styles. Originally, the Salwars were flared towards the bottom with embellishments or fancy cutwork. Today, there are many variations of the same. At times, the bottom of the Salwar is narrow and fitting. The Salwar kameez is important especially during the festivals celebrated in Pakistan, for men as well as women. Salwar kameez is also popular due to the comfort factor. The Salwar is tied at the waist with the help of a drawstring and more recently; elastic is also used for the same purpose. The fit is generally baggy or tapering. Narrow tight fitting Salwars are known as Churidars. These have become a rage in the recent years even in India. The Kameez is a large and loose fitting tunic worn with the baggy salwar. Men as well as women wear the same attire, with a difference in the colours used, fits, silhouettes and the kind of embellishments used. Interesting patterns woven with lace are used to add femininity to the Kameez. Women also use a Dupatta with the Salwar Kameez. Dupattas are long yards of cloth available along with the salwar kameez because their colour and pattern is coordinated as per the entire ensemble. Women also wear scarves or shawls with the salwar kameez that is used to wrap around the head and neck area. A variety of synthetic or cotton fabrics are used in the creation of the salwar kameez. Sikhs: The Sikh religion, originating in India but with adherents throughout the world, dictates that neither men nor women cut their hair, and that men wear it in a turban. This is linked to the Five Ks, or panj kakaar/kakke, are five articles of faith that all baptized Sikhs are required to wear at all times, as commanded by the tenth Sikh Guru, who so ordered on the day of Baisakhi Amrit Sanskar in 1699. The symbols are worn for identification and representation of the ideals of Sikhism, such as honesty, equality; fidelity, meditating on God, and never bowing to tyranny. The five symbols are: Kesh (uncut hair).Kanga (wooden comb) .Kaccha (specially designed underwear).Kara (iron bracelet).Kirpan (strapped sword). Diet and customs This is a general guide to some basic habits and rules. These are rules that guide general behaviour. That does not mean all people follow all the rules. Always ask some basic questions before a meal or social gathering such as “is there anything you don’t eat?” “Do you eat meat?” “Are you a vegetarian?” Always serve non-alcoholic drinks, as many people from all backgrounds abstain from alcohol. In some cultures, men and women socialise separately. The custom is more prevalent in the Middle East but there is no hard and fast rule, and, again, it is important to ask, “will your wife/husband be able to join us?” Some Muslim women will not go out in public unless accompanied by their husband or a male relative, and unrelated men should not call at the house when only women are at home. Again, this is something that can be ascertained tactfully and with sensitivity to cultural difference. Islam: The eating of pork and pork by-products is forbidden in the Islam faith, these include foods such as paté and sausages. Alcohol is also forbidden. Food is always eaten using the right hand only. Using the left hand for eating is regarded as unclean. Food should be prepared according to Halal rules, including the slaughter of animals for meat. The production of many commercially prepared foods and ingredients adhere to such rules and are considered acceptable by Muslims. Judaism: According to Jewish law and tradition, food (including the slaughtering of meat) should be prepared according to Kosher rules. Food that is non-Kosher includes pork and pig by-products, hare, shellfish and fish, which do not have both, fins and scales. In addition, meat and dairy products should not be eaten at the same time. Once again many commercially prepared food items and ingredients adhere to Jewish Kosher rules therefore is acceptable for Jewish consumption. Always check first if in doubt. Christianity: Religiously-observant Catholics will often not eat meat on Fridays and fast during lent, which lasts from Ash Wednesday until the eve of Easter Sunday. Hinduism and Sikhism: Hindus in general do not eat beef, the cow being regarded as a sacred animal. Other meats are fine, although many Hindus are vegetarian. Similarly, many Sikhs are also vegetarian. Avoidance of alcohol is common. Buddhism: A strict Buddhist will not eat meat or drink alcohol. However, not all Buddhists will be vegetarian or teetotal (abstain from alcohol). Religious days Islam Within Islam there are two groups, (Shi’a and Sunni), based on succession from the Prophet Mohammed. Both share the major festivals. All annual holidays are based on the Islamic calendar and are determined using lunar calculations; they therefore vary from year to year. There are five daily prayer times; upon rising, at noon, in mid-afternoon, after sunset and before going to sleep. Prayer is performed facing towards Mecca (in Australia this is northwest). Friday: is a day of special prayer. This is the day that many Muslims go to the Mosque for worship. Ramadan: Is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Islam uses a lunar calendar-that is, each month begins with the sighting of the new moon. Because the lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar used elsewhere, Islamic holidays “move” each year. As an example in 2009 Ramadan began at sundown on August 22. It commemorates the Holy Qur’an (Koran) being sent down from heaven. Fasting between sunrise and sunset is obligatory for all Muslims except children, women who are pregnant, the sick or those who are travelling. The evening meal is a festive occasion and the month ends with a three-day festival called Eid-al Fitr. Eid-al-Fitr: Literally the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” is celebrated at the end of Ramadan and is a time of major feasting, gift giving, family visits and celebration. Eid-el-Adha: Celebrated 70 days after Eid-al-Fitr. It is a festival commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to demonstrate loyalty. Al Hijra: Is the Islamic New Year and runs for 29 days. In 2009 it runs from Friday 18th December until Friday 15th January 2010. It is calculated from the date of the prophet Mohammed’s flight from Mecca to Medina. Ashura: commemorated by Shi’a Muslims on the ninth and tenth day of Muharram on the Islamic Calendar. This is also the day on which Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali, was martyred according to tradition in the Battle of Karbala. For Shi’a Muslims this is a day of mourning. Milad al-Nabi: is the birthday of Muhammad, celebrated by some Muslims on the 12th of the month of Rabi al-Awwal. Muslims observing it often recite poetry and the biography of Muhammad to commemorate this day. Its celebration is considered controversial as Muslims are divided over the authenticity of Mawlid as a holiday. Judaism: All holidays are based on the Hebrew calendar and are determined using lunar calculations; they therefore vary from year to year. All Jewish holidays are celebrated from sunset of the day before until sunset of the day of celebration. The Sabbath, lasting from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset, is the most important part of the week. As well as being a time of prayer, it is also a time to celebrate family values, and the evening meal on Friday is especially important. Purim: This religious holiday, celebrating victory over oppression, falls on the 14th night of the Jewish month of Adar, and is usually in March. It is a festive occasion. Passover/Pessach: is an eight-day celebration commemorating the exodus of the Jews from captivity in Egypt. It commences with the Seder, a symbolic meal using special foods and utensils. It usually falls in April. Shavuot: falls seven weeks after Passover. Tisha B’Av: the ninth day of the month of Av, is the culmination of three weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, and other events. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year Yom Kippur: The Day of Atonement, falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah. These are the two most important days of the Jewish calendar. Christianity Sunday: is the main day of prayer and a time when practising Christians most commonly attend church. Christmas: celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The main celebration lasts three days beginning on December 24th, Christmas Eve, and lasting until Boxing Day on the 26th. Many countries in Europe celebrate this event mainly on Christmas Eve with a church mass around midnight and the exchange of presents on that evening. Catholics and Protestants from English-speaking backgrounds tend to exchange gifts and feast on the 25th. In Australia, Boxing Day is also an important day for sport, with the start of the England-Australia cricket Test series, and of the Sydney to Hobart sailing race. Epiphany: on January 6th commemorates the visitation by the three Magi (Wiseman) and also the baptism of Jesus. Easter: commemorates Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. It lasts over several days, preceded by Lent, traditionally observed as 40 days of fasting. Palm Sunday is celebrated the week before Easter, which ends with a celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. It is a lunar feast, and its date falls at a different time each year, in 2010 Easter Day falls on Sunday 4th April. As it falls at the time of Northern hemisphere spring, and has pagan echoes, it is also a time to exchange eggs and other animals (Easter bunny) made from chocolate, marzipan etc. Pentecost: the descent of the Holy Spirit on to the early disciples of Christ falls seven weeks after Easter. Eastern Orthodox Churches, (including the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches) which formally split with the Roman Catholic Church in the 11th century, have followers mainly in southern and Eastern Europe, including Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia. Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the Roman Catholic Church as early as the 5th Century A.D. They consist of four churches in the Middle East and South India including: The Armenian Apostolic Church in Soviet Armenia and Lebanon;The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt;The Ethiopian Orthodox Church; andThe Syrian Orthodox Churches which include the See of Antioch and the Syrian Thomas Christians of South India. Because the Eastern Orthodox churches follow the older Julian Calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar (as do the Western churches), all the festivals fall on different days from their Catholic or Protestant counterparts. Christmas in the Greek Orthodox Church falls on December 25th but other Orthodox churches celebrate on January 7th. Those who partake in Eastern Orthodox and Pentecostal celebrations begin proceedings January 7th also. . Buddhism There are two main types of Buddhism, Theravada (found mainly in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka) and Mahayana (mainly China, Tibet, Japan, Korea and Vietnam). Originating in India and based on the teachings of Siddharta Gautama, the first Buddha, the religions spread throughout Asia. There is no single Buddhist calendar and festivals are linked to the countries in which Buddhism is practiced. The main festivals that commemorate the Buddha are: Wesak/ Visakha Puja. Buddha’s Birthday or Buddha Day depends on when a full-moon day falls in the lunar month of Visakha. This is the holiest day of the Buddhist year and is a time for temple visits and pilgrimage. Dhamma Day: commemorates the Buddha’s first teaching and is held on a full moon day in the eighth lunar month (approximately July). Parinirvana Day: (February 15th) commemorates the death of the Buddha. Magha Puja Day or Sangha Day: commemorates an important event in the Buddha’s life and is celebrated on the full moon in the third lunar month (March). New Year: In Theravada countries (Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Cambodia) it is celebrated for three days from the first full moon in April. The Mahayana (Buddhists) New Year usually starts on the first full moon day in January but this varies from country to country. Hinduism: Originating in India, Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, among the Tamils of Sri Lanka and the majority of Balinese. Hinduism is often defined as a polytheistic religion in which many Gods are worshipped. The main ones are Brahma the creator, Vishnu (Krishna) the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Festival dates are based on a lunar cycle and vary from year to year. Maha Shiva Ratri: celebrated in February or March, a time of fasting and worship. Night of Shiva or “Great Night of Shiva” is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the waning moon) of the month of Maagha or Phalguna in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to the Lord Shiva, all day fasting and a night long vigil. Holi: A festival of spring, it falls on the full moon and celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month. It also celebrates the victory of good over evil. Holi is also known as Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. Rama Navami: For devotees of the Lord Rama. Janmashtami: A festival for the Lord Krishna. Navaratri: Literally meaning “nine nights” it is celebrated twice yearly (April/May and September/October) in honour of the Divine Mother Durga, a consort of Lord Shiva. Dussehra: The tenth day of Navaratri, is a day of enlightenment. Diwali: is the Festival of Light or Lights. They light Diyas—cotton-like string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with coconut oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual. The most important festival, celebrating good over evil and Lord Rama’s return from exile, a time for public celebration, lighting of lanterns and exchange of sweets. The five day festival of Diwali occurs on the new moon between October 13 and November 14 (Friday 5th November 2010). New Year: Owing to the vast cultural and ethnic diversity of India, New Year’s Day is celebrated at different times of the year in different places. Sikhism Sikhism originated in the Punjab area of India over 500 years ago. Sikhs believe in a single God, and follow the teachings of ten Gurus. Many holy days revolve around the anniversaries of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikh Calendar, formerly lunar, was modified in 1998 and is now based on the solar year. However, some dates may vary. Guru-based observances (birthdays, Guruships and deaths) are numerous and spread throughout the year. The most important of these, and other festivals, are: Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib: January 5th. Maghi: January 13th. The martyrdom of the 40 Immortals. Hola Mohalla: March 7th. Traditionally a day of pageantry and cultural display. New Year’s Day: March 14th. Vaisakh: The anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa movement, originally a devout, military movement; April 14th. Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib June 16th First Parkash (birthday) of Guru Granth Sahib: September 1st. Installation of Holy Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib: October 20th Diwali: (Indian Festival of Lights, but also Sikh observances on this day) see Hindu Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib: November 24th. Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib: November 26th Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib: January 5th. Maghi: January 13th. The martyrdom of the 40 Immortals. Hola Mohalla: March 7th. Traditionally a day of pageantry and cultural display. New Year’s Day: March 14th. Vaisakhi: The anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa movement, originally a devout, military movement; April 14th. Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib: June 16th. First Parkash (birthday) of Guru Granth Sahib: September 1st. Installation of Holy Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib: October 20th. Diwali: (Indian Festival of Lights, but also Sikh observances on this day) see Hindu Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib; November 24th. Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib; November 26th. Taoism / Daoism: Originating in China, the word “Tao” or “Dao” means path or way and refers to the power that flows through all things and embodies the harmony of opposites. Alongside Confucianism and Buddhism it was one of the three great religions of China. Nowadays Taiwan has the largest number of followers. Its influence on the West is found in Chinese and herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation, Tai Chi and the Martial Arts. The Taoist Yin Yang symbol represents the balance of opposites. Confucianism is more of an ethical system than a religion, and teaches respect for family, honour, loyalty and humaneness towards others. Chinese New Year is a lunar feast that usually falls in February. Each year is represented by a different animal, as found in Chinese astrology. Chinese New Year falls on 14th February 2010 which is the year of the Tiger. There are 12 signs in all; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Rituals, celebrations and spirituality We all have rituals in our life. A ritual is an established or prescribed way of doing certain things that are important to us. Rituals are predictable; they have a pattern. They are usually performed on a regular basis. Symbols of rituals and celebrations We all develop our own personal little rituals, such as the way we get ready for the day every morning. Familiar rituals can give great comfort. Social and religious rituals are particularly important because they are shared by a group of people and provide a sense of belonging and continuity. Religious rituals can be very powerful because they involve the person at different levels: sensually, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Rituals have an essential role to play in the quality of life of older people. They are particularly important for older people because they have bearing on all the senses. For example, a ritual may involve listening, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Thus, rituals will still be enjoyed by people with cognitive or sensory impairments. In addition to rituals, many people have spiritual needs that may be in the form of: Formal and informal religious observancesThe need for privacy and an appropriate environment to reflect and/or participate in spiritual activitiesCeremonial observances. When caring for older people it is important to take account of the spiritual needs of each individual. It is essential that we respect other people’s rituals, even when we do not understand them; they are no less important or less normal than our own. All rituals are the product of a place, environment, and historical events and circumstances, just as our own are. There are differences between rituals and routines: A routine is a specific way or order of performing a task/action; a regular course for performing certain acts.A ritual may be a routine with significant meaning attached to it; a solemn observance or act. Migration People who identify with a particular culture have a lot of things in common, eg food, traditional costumes, music and so on. However, there are also lots of ways in which people within one culture differ. Their differences may occur due to when they (or their ancestors) arrived in Australia, how long they have been living in Australia, their socio-economic background, their level of education, whether they live in a rural or urban area, the religion they identify with, and their different life experiences, which includes the experience of migration. If we are to develop our cultural awareness, where do we begin? An understanding of the migration process itself is a good beginning. This is because migration is a key influence on a person’s life. Some migrants undergo a relatively easy transition. However, there are many who experience at least some (if not many) challenges in adjusting to life in a new country. First we look at migration and at some potential reasons behind both the decision to migrate and factors leading to a forced migration. The term ‘migration’ comes from the verb ‘to migrate’, meaning to move from one country to another. People may migrate for many reasons, with each reason affecting each individual in a unique way. In this section, we will look at two broad categories of migrants: Those who migrate voluntarilyThose who are forced to leave their country of origin and seek refuge elsewhere. Voluntary migration Reasons for choosing to migrate voluntarily may include: Better access to education and health careGreater freedom of choiceSocial equalityDemocratic participationBetter quality of life and longer life expectancyClimateWork opportunitiesAdventure and/or new experiencesFamily reunion. Those who are forced to leave their country and seek refuge elsewhere are generally fleeing persecution, war and conflict. Effects of migration on Australia Part of the process of understanding the effects of migration on you, your clients and co-workers involves recognising how our own lives and the very society we live in have been affected by migration. The benefits of cultural diversity to the majority of Australians become obvious when we look at the way our country has been shaped by migration. Once we recognise these benefits, it is easy to value the unique input that different cultures have in our lives—the diversity of experience offered at our doorsteps. Australia is a nation of migrants. Indigenous Australians comprise 2.4%, that is, 5501,236 of the population (June 2006 census). While migration to Australia has had many positive effects on Australian society generally, it has led to the dispossession of Aboriginal people of their land and, in many parts of Australia, to the loss of language, traditional social structure, law, culture and religion. Voluntary migration: Effects on the individual It is important to recognise and understand some of the common effects of migration on the individual who has migrated because such experiences can have a lasting impact on the person. Understanding yourself and the people around you (such as your colleagues) can help with the forming of satisfying interpersonal relationships and thus make your time at work more fulfilling and enjoyable. Migrating to another country, while often exciting and offering the promise of a new and different life, can be an enormously stressful and difficult process. Some of the difficulties associated with the migration experience are listed below: Communication and language difficultiesDifficulties adjusting to different foodsDifficulties adjusting to the new culture and society: socialising, work practices, housing arrangementsFeelings of isolation and loss of family and friends who did not migrateFear of the unknownNostalgia for home and feelings of homesicknessFacing stereotyping and prejudice in the new country. Forced migration: Effects on the individual (refugee) While it is common to hear about ‘migrants and refugees’, it is important to recognise that the two terms refer to very different groups of people. While both groups have effectively moved from one country to another, the circumstances leading up to that move are markedly different for each group. Under existing Australian and international law, a refugee is defined as a person who has been forced to leave their country of origin due to the experience, or valid fear of, persecution on the grounds. These grounds may be: RaceReligionNationalityPolitical opinionMembership of a particular social group. The person must also feel unable to return to their country of origin due to the experienced or anticipated persecution. A refugee may: May have to leave their homelandIs rarely able to choose the country they will go toIs rarely able to prepare for the moveUsually has little understanding of the culture, language, job and study opportunities available in the country they will go toMay have to keep their plans to leave secretMay not be able to say goodbye to family or friendsMay have to leave members of their immediate family behindMay have to flee with no notice and only the clothes on their backHas little opportunity to prepare themselves for their new lifeCannot go home to visit or stay without risking their lives or well-beingOften cannot keep in contact with family and friends in the country of originMay have experienced severe trauma such as imprisonment in prisoner of war camps, detention centres, and/or refugee camps, torture and rape. In addition to the difficulties commonly faced by any person after moving to a new country, refugees may also experience a number of other concerns as a result of the circumstances leading to their flight. Some of the specific difficulties faced by adult refugees include: Lack of knowledge about the new culture and societyLack of knowledge about support servicesHousing and employment difficultiesFinancial hardshipDifficulties overcoming the impact of trauma, which can lead to depression and other mental health problemsSocial isolation and lonelinessConcern for family and friends left behind. Seeking refuge places great demands on coping skills, especially when a person has experienced trauma. Personal healing after highly traumatic experiences generally increases over time. However the ability to recover may depend on the number of traumatic events a person has experienced. The greater number of traumatic events experienced, the harder it is for a person to recover. Note that the specific difficulties facing adult refugees reflect the difficulties still faced by many Aboriginal Australians as a result of dispossession and loss of cultural identity. For refugees who arrive in Australia as elderly people, it is important to note that they have not had any opportunity to become familiar with Australian society and may have no social support network here. It is important to note that increased reminiscence with age can lead to distressing recall of traumatic events and that this group of people may experience depression and other mental health difficulties related to imprisonment and torture. For recently arrived refugees, traumatic experiences are likely to still be a vivid part of daily life. A brief history of Australia’s immigration 1788-1900 First Free Settlers (UK) with approx. 187,000 by 1851.1850’s Gold Rush Era – approx. 500,000 people including large numbers of Chinese immigrants.1880’s-1890’s – Significant anti-Chinese sentiment.1896 Intercolonial Conference leads to introduction of legislation restricting entry of non- Europeans. 1901-1945 First Census in 1901 records total population at 3.77 million (excluding indigenous people) with 875,576 (23%) overseas born. Of these, 79% were UK born.1901 – Immigration Restriction Act and Pacific Islander’s Labourer’s Act.1901-1940 – 850,000 people migrated to Australia. The 1933 census revealed approx. 27,000 born in Italy, 8,300 born in Greece, 3,330 born in Poland, 2,780 born in Malta.Emergence of rudimentary ethnic community organisations and institutions.1922 British Empire Settlement Act. 1945 – Present Post-war pressure to raise populations levels to combat the perceived threat of invasion.New federal immigration policy with an annual intake not exceeding 1% of the total population with priority groups being UK migrants.1947 Census shows 0.8% of Australia’s population were from source countries in the Asiatic region, and total overseas born was the smallest recorded at any Australian Census.1947 Census showed 90% of Australia’s population either immigrants or descendants from UK.1947 First Free and Assisted Passage Schemes, 23,000 British migrants arrive in Australia.1947 – Agreement with International Refugee Organisations (IRO) in 1949 with 75,000 displaced persons arriving in Australia. By 1952 entry granted to 180,000 European refugees.1952 Australian government concludes Assisted Passage Schemes with Malta, Netherlands, Italy, Former West Germany, Greece, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Turkey, Former Yugoslavia.1970’s – 1980’s Immigration policy changes from assimilation to integration and multiculturalism.1971 – 2.5 million overseas born (from a total of 13 million) with particularly large intakes from Italy and Greece. Rapid growth of ethnic community organisations.1973 – White Australia policy finally abandoned.1970’s and 1980’s increasing Asia and Middle Eastern migration. Since 1947, 5 million immigrants from more than 100 countries.1991 Census shows total population at 17 million, 22.3% born overseas.1994 Total population estimated at 18 million with approx. 4 million born overseas.1996 Rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. Anti- Aboriginal and migrant backlash. Election of conservative Howard Government.1999 Referendum on question of whether or not Australia should become a republic defeated.2001 Toughening stance on Asylum Seekers. Tampa incident. So called “Pacific Island” solution for the processing of asylum seekers off shore. (Community Profiles 1991) Key aspects, and the diversity, of Australia’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures Identifying the potential impact of cultural factors on service delivery to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients When working with Indigenous people it is important to remember that there are cultural differences that impact on relationships in the workforce. All people behave differently at work. Some might be more boisterous and others quieter. Indigenous people, when they are the minority, can display behaviour that is very careful not to give offence to anyone, and sometimes quite shy. To overcome this, it would be helpful for coworkers to continue as normal and once the indigenous worker feels comfortable, then they may become more outgoing. Difficulties may arise in the workplace when there is a death in the indigenous community. Protocols will demand that the worker attend the funeral and the bereavement business that will follow. In some cases there will be weeks of what Aboriginal people call “Sorry Business”, and the community as a whole will take part. When a non-indigenous person’s workplace is an indigenous client’s home then there are certain cultural barriers that exist. On the first visit or interview, do not be offended if you are not invited into the house, wait patiently outside, do not ask intimidating questions, be friendly and keep an open mind. Do not pry into rooms or open doors or cupboards. Make no comments on furniture or fittings but you can compliment any indigenous artwork like paintings. In most indigenous home there will be artifacts on display. There are taboos associated with some indigenous artifacts eg. Women must never touch a didgeridoo – not even to move or clean. If you are in doubt about anything, ask your client or one of their family members. Family and kinship systems play an integral part in Aboriginal society. Responsibility for raising children is often shared amongst family members as aunts and uncles are often regarded as mothers and fathers, and cousins treated the same as brothers and sisters. Aboriginal households can hold as many as 20 people. Consensus rather than one leader make decisions. Aboriginal families will have a spokesperson that will relay decisions. To identify this person in the family, it is just a matter of identifying who everyone listens to, or it may be the person who contacts you. You can also ask who speaks for that family. Indigenous people are sensitive to a person’s feelings and can tell when you are handing them a line. Always be aware of your body language when talking to an indigenous person, as that will give them more information about you than the words you are saying to them. Gender Issues Generally, the basic rule is that women tend to women’s business and men to men’s business. Unless a female worker is specifically invited by the male client to attend to their business they should not be involved and only then if they have a specific role to play in the situation. The same applies to male workers who should not be involved in women’s business unless invited to assist by a female client. Men’s and women’s business There are distinctly separate divisions between what constitutes women’s issues and men’s. Everything to do with human reproduction from menstruation to childbirth and breastfeeding belongs in the women’s domain. Men have no business interfering, advising or otherwise meddling in traditional female areas of knowledge and expertise. Men provide for the family and the community, resolve conflicts, care for the land and have sole dominion over male anatomy and physiology. “Shame” Shame is an expression sometimes used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when they feel they cannot do a required task, or they are expressing their right not to do it. It can be seen as an obstacle in getting help when the client refuses to access services because of the cultural barriers. A client may refuse to speak to a worker and use the term “shame job” to explain their cultural distance. Shame can result from being in situations where every response is the wrong one because of unfamiliarity with the situation. If the person believes that they should not be in the situation they find themselves in or the community does not support it, for example, being in a hospital, shame may be incurred. If expectations of the individual are contrary to Indigenous beliefs, fear of shame in front of an individual’s people may prevent acceptance. Addressing cultural realities in order to facilitate full participation in service delivery by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and/or co-workers There are several strategies and policies that have been developed and implemented that increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in health care delivery. This workbook will discuss policies such as the ‘National Rural Health Alliance’ and the organisation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Services, who are responsible for the making of many policies. Also for discussion are several examples of organisations and programs that are based on culturally appropriate practices, encompassing effective partnerships and encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self- determination and community control, as this ensures improved health outcomes for their people and communities. The National Rural Health Alliance ‘Healthy Horizons’ (1999-2003) was a joint development of the National Rural Health Policy and the National Health Alliance and its objective was to provide a framework for improving the health of rural, regional and remote Australians. One of the goals of the National Rural Health Alliance was to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in rural, regional and remote Australia. In brief, one of the areas the National Rural Health Alliance highlighted was that services based on the beliefs, values and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are now contributing to improvements in the health of these communities. Health care services which have their basis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and are planned, managed and staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are better able to contribute to improvements in infant health care, reduction in communicable diseases, caring for elders and community health. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are now involved in the development of future funding arrangements, negotiations with services to ensure culturally responsive care and the preparation of detailed evaluation strategies for all service components. Recently partnerships have been established between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service (formerly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission). The spirit of working together and planning new services are expected to be successful in improving health and wellbeing. Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2004-2009 This document was prepared by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Working Party comprising the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. It has been developed as a guiding principle in policy construction and service to strengthen relationships between the health care system and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This was developed to provide guidelines to address the overall health status of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is some 20 years for males and 19 years for females below that of other Australians. This document provides very interesting reading about the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and can be found online. The exact location changes frequently, so try browsing http://health.gov.au/ or using a searching engine. It is strongly recommended that you read the full document. In particular, read the section marked ‘2.3 Principles’. The Framework also embraces the notion of ‘cultural competence’ which encompasses behaviours, attitudes and policies that enable organisations at national, state and local level, professional bodies and individuals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. A number of health services have taken up this challenge by allocating funding to address specific issues. These have included extra training programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in nursing and medicine. A number of major hospitals and health services have set up Aboriginal Liaison Units within their organisations to work closely with staff and Aboriginal Health and Torres Strait Islander patients/clients and their families. The Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) The Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) were established by the Department of Health and Ageing to improve the physical, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. More information about this office can be found from the Department of Health and Ageing website. Multiculturalism Dominant and non-dominant cultures Over 20% of the current Australian population were born overseas. It is important to remember that in 1788, 100% of the people who lived in Australia were indigenous people. Indigenous people now make up around 1.8% of the population. It is easy to see from these statistics that a very large proportion of Australians come from a migrant heritage. A multicultural society is one that not only recognises but actively encourages people from a variety of backgrounds to retain their language and culture. Since the 1970s government policies in Australia have reflected multiculturalism with the setting up of ethnic councils and services like the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS TV and radio). This was a complete reversal of previous government policies which favoured assimilation and integration. The earlier policies of assimilation were based on the idea that people coming to Australia and indigenous Australians should conform totally to the dominant beliefs and customs, while integration was thought of as a melting pot idea where different characteristics of each culture mixed together over generations to form a unified group. However, culture is not just related to immigration. It embraces the knowledge, values and beliefs of a society. The process of transmitting this is called socialisation. Cultural cohesion, therefore, involves acceptance of diversity and difference across a range of factors: ethnic background, sexual preference and disability. If you accept that diversity and difference exist then you would challenge the idea that society should be based on a rigid set of norms and beliefs about the way people should be. Very often people feel unable to challenge these ideas and feel that they must follow the rules and values of the dominant groups in their communities. These dominant values and beliefs are often referred to as mainstream. This term gives a clear picture of a main flow, as against the smaller ones, like a river and streams. Social institutions are often slow to adapt to difference and may continue to promote mainstream values and beliefs that may not currently be a true reflection of the needs of many groups in society. Discrimination can occur when a dominant group has the power to impose its views on others who behave differently from mainstream thinking. It is important, as a worker, to understand your feelings about difference and about how you might respond to people who are different from yourself or from the mainstream. To do this you must develop self-awareness and self-reflection skills. The following activity is designed to get you thinking about your personal reactions to difference. Some of the situations may be more challenging to you than others depending on your personal experiences and circumstances. Cultural facts and figures We often make assumptions about people’s cultures based on first impressions. It is therefore important for us to have a clear understanding of the cultural make-up of our communities and societies. In order to do this you must undertake some research. This process will help you to have a clearer picture of the cultural make-up of your community and give you more information about the kinds of cultures of which you might need to have an awareness. The best way to start to understand the cultural make-up of our society and our communities is by analysing demographic information. Demographic information is gathered from research conducted by government bodies, organisations and individuals. The range of information can be overwhelming and is published in a variety of books, journals, government papers and on the Internet. You can obtain information on almost any aspect of Australian society. The most common source of statistical information about Australia can be obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS was formed in 1956 to provide uniform statistics across all the states of Australia. The Bureau conducts a full Census of Population and Housing every six years and you will find examples of statistics compiled by the ABS in every sociology textbook. Libraries will have copies of the ABS Year Book which provides a wealth of up-to-date information on aspects of Australian society. Bias and discrimination What is discrimination? Discrimination toward or against a person or group is the prejudicial treatment of them based on certain characteristics. It can be positive behaviour directed towards a certain group, or negative behaviour directed against a certain group. Every person in the work place needs to work to eliminate any bias or discrimination against a group or individual. By learning more about your clients or co-workers you can often overcome issues that might arise through personal biases. Some discriminatory behaviour in the workplace can be racist jokes or cartoons, not giving people information in a format that they understand and segregation or stereotyping. What is normal? The term ‘normal’ can end up causing many problems. Normal is a value-laden, excluding concept that often prevents acknowledgement of the diversity of people, their life experiences and situations. You should avoid using the term ‘normal’, as it is incorrect and can be offensive. Strategies to eliminate bias and discrimination In order to ensure that diversity is recognised and appropriately accommodated, staff should be informed about the requirements of people in their communities and their target market. They should be encouraged to conduct their own research. In each community there will be cultural groups and sub-groups. Staff should learn to identify these groups and some of the characteristics (without stereotyping or generalising) of these groups. Find out from the various members of these groups what their interests, preferences and cultural traditions are These could relate to diet, fashion (clothing, eg Burka or other significant clothing requirements), holidays, celebrations, religious rites or observances, customs with regard to illness, death and dying, disabilities, communication processes etc. People with whom staff could consult include: Local government and other community bodies to determine where various populations congregate and the observed needs and characteristics of these groupsCurrent customers/ clients — to identify their needs, wants and expectations and cultural requirementsPotential customers/ clients (target markets) — to find out their forecast needs, wantsAnd expectationsDieticians, nutritionists and religious advisers, to determine food/ dietary requirementsFamilies of clients/ customers — for information about health, special needs or culturalNeedsReligious, cultural or spiritual advisers — this could relate directly to clients/ customers inCare or to cultural attributes of the community in which you workThe internet — to gather information about various culturesCultural, business and spiritual elders, leaders and advisers in the community When providing training or information sessions for workers, the need to comply with legislation must be emphasised. So too must the ethical and moral obligation that workers have to accommodate client needs. Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is a phenomenon that occurs in all cultures. It refers to people’s tendency to judge other people’s behaviour or actions according to the standards of their own culture. It results in people believing their own culture’s way of life is the ‘right’ way. An example of this is to describe Americans as driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road instead of ‘left-hand’ or ‘opposite’ side. Such generalisations, often made without a conscious awareness that we’ve used our culture as a universal yardstick, can be very inaccurate and cause us to misjudge others and make false assumptions about other people’s cultures and customs. For example: An Australian sees an Asian person sniffing loudly. Australians think everyone should use a handkerchief or tissue to blow one’s nose and consider sniffing to be rudeAn Asian person sees an Australian blowing his nose on a handkerchief or tissue. Asians view handkerchiefs and tissues as unhygienic and are often repulsed by blowing one’s nose. The view that one way is ‘right’ and therefore the other is ‘wrong’ could lead to false assumptions about the other person’s culture. The following points can assist you to be more culturally sensitive: Acknowledge the differences in social customs, family life, definitions of normal practice or dietary habitsBe aware of your own practices and avoid using them as a means by which to judge othersBe willing to learn by asking questions and seeking clarification when you encounter unfamiliar ideas or behaviour. Risk of prejudice and stereotyping There are risks associated with making judgements about individuals on the basis of their appearance or background and the need to recognise that prejudgements may lead to incorrect assessments. Of utmost importance is the need to treat people as individuals. No matter what a person’s cultural background is, they are first and foremost an individual, with unique likes, dislikes, needs and preferences. This attitude certainly encourages us to read and learn more about other cultures, but at the same time to always consider the needs of the individual, without pre-judging or applying a stereotypical picture of what a person from a particular background should be like. Acculturation When a person moves from one culture to another, they may experience not only the natural cultural change but also change in personal culture through a process called acculturation ─ also called assimilation or integration. Acculturation is an adjustment and adaptation process. Someone moving into a different culture may gradually integrate the value system of the new host culture into their personal practice, and begin to behave in ways similar to the host culture rather than to their original culture. There are times when a second-generation resident who is born and educated in Australia or another Western culture may choose to identify more with their parents’ heritage than with the country of their birth. This ethnic identity is found in the example of a young man born in Australia of immigrant Italian parents who, despite being wholly educated in this country, prefers to identify as Italian rather than Australian. A person’s level of acculturation needs to be understood if you are to provide appropriate service. The example below shows the level of acculturation of a 20-year-old Chinese woman who has recently migrated to Australia and has adjusted to Australian culture quickly. She has embraced Australian cultural behaviours, and prefers to be treated as other Australians are. Example of acculturation level Culture shock Another issue associated with cultural diversity is the issue of cultural shock. When a person arrives in a new country, they may experience a range of emotional reactions such as confusion, uncertainty, anger, anxiety and depression. Often, new immigrants will not understand the new culture and the associated new and different experiences, and they may have trouble with communication. Adler’s ‘Cultural Shock Model’ Adler theorised that people often go through a series of stages when they adjust to a new culture. Each of the phases represents a stage of acceptance that an individual may experience. Each individual will proceed through the various stages at different rates, with some people failing to move through some of the stages at all. Adler describes these phases as: Phase 1: Honeymoon During this phase, the individual thinks that everything is beautiful and that everybody is nice. They are accepting of the differences in cultures and may even see them as exotic to a certain degree. Phase 2: Disintegration During this phase, people are likely to internalise their anger. They may feel their home culture is superior to their new country of residence, and subsequently may withdraw from their new culture. Phase 3: Reintegration During this phase, people are likely to externalise their feelings of anger. People tend to stereotype members of the “new” culture. There may be a lack of feeling or a sense of belonging. Phase 4: Independence During this phase, there is a sense of belonging more to the new culture than the culture of origin. The person actually feels that they belong to the new culture and the cultural differences are accepted and enjoyed. Cultural carry-over People often ‘carry’ hard-to-identify beliefs from one culture to another. Examples include: Fear of government departments, or anyone in positions of authorityMay have fled war, famine or repressive regimesMay have been victims of tortureMay be dealing with loss or griefMay be dealing with uncertainty (e.g.: the whereabouts of family members). Effective communication will respect and accommodate cultural sensitivities, values and practices. The following is a list of suggestions in communicating in a culturally appropriate manner: Take time to check your client/customer understands you. Don’t use technical words or jargon. Vary the complexity of your language to match the language abilities of your client/customerThe longer you spend in a caring communication relationship the more likely you are to achieve clear communication. Effective communication is the most important part of the relationship, not an add-onRecognise and value diversity in clients/customers. Develop strategies for dealing with diversity appropriatelyBe open to understanding diversity, whether it is cultural, ethnic or ideological, or whether it is about lifestyle, sexuality, political views or socio-economic status. Be prepared to evaluate and challenge your own reactions, to explore and discount previously held assumptions that are based on naive stereotypical ideasPay attention to ways in which you might express unintentional racism through the way you respond. Question rather than assumeAll clients/customers have the same rights: to prompt service and to a safe environment in which their needs can be heard, discussed and worked on. If this is difficult to provide because of cultural or other factors, seek assistance from other workers who may be more experienced in the area. It is the service provider’s responsibility to gain an understanding of the client’s situation and background in order to provide appropriate services.Consult with migrant support organisations and ethno-specific support agencies as well as workers experienced in working with clients/customers from particular ethnic backgrounds, in order to gain understanding of issues that might be pertinent to the client.Assessment and planning should be holistic. Take into account all of these factors in choosing appropriate processes to identify and evaluate the needs of your client/customer. If there are language barriers (i.e.: English is not the first language), an interpreter may be needed.Likewise, written documents should be presented to the client in a form that is readily understandable, regardless of language or literacy. Legislation and cultural diversity The aim of the government is to ensure that every employer, employee and client can live and work safely in a socially diverse environment, free from discrimination. This means that everyone, regardless of race, religious belief, age, gender and so on, is given the same opportunities and advantages. You need to be aware of and comply with your legislative obligations when working with clients and colleagues and when recruiting, employing and training new staff. Family law People coming from different cultures and from different countries need to learn about the Australian family law system. This can take time and may require agency support, assistance, consultation and mediation. Work Health and Safety Bill 2011: Work health and safety is the responsibility of everyone. Your employer has a duty of care for occupational health and safety to provide a safe working environment for workers and clients. All employers are required to consult with staff on any issues which may affect their health and safety. Under the Work Health and Safety Bill 2011, each state and territory regulates its own health and safety legislation. There should only be very slight variations to that legislation between the states and territories. All states and territories and the Commonwealth have worked together to develop and implement model Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation as the most effective way to achieve harmonisation of WHS laws in Australia. By reducing costs and eliminating unnecessary administrative processes, harmonisation is designed to make it easier for workers and for employers who conduct business across multiple states. Disability Discrimination Act 1992: The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 prohibits discrimination against people with a disability in a range of areas including transport, education, employment, accommodation and public premises. While the Building Code of Australia contains specific provisions for access to and around new and existing buildings for people with a disability, the Disability Discrimination Act does not provide any technical details on how to provide that access. Mental Health legislation: The Mental Health Act states that interference with the rights, privacy, dignity and self-respect of people with mental illness must be kept to the minimum necessary in the circumstances. The Act also establishes the procedures for beginning involuntary treatment, by making involuntary treatment orders and through independent review. The current legislation in the states and territories is: New South Wales : Mental Health Act 2010Victoria: Mental Health Act 1986Queensland: Mental Health Act 2000 – subordinate legislation: Mental Health Regulation 2002Western Australia : Mental Health Act 1996Tasmania: Mental Health Act 1996Australian Capital Territory: Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994Northern Territory: Mental Health and Related Services Act 1998. The Sex Discrimination Act (1984) The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth) (SDA) means it is against the law to: Discriminate against you because of your sex, marital status, or pregnancy;Sexually harass you; orDismiss you from your job because of your family responsibilities. You can complain to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, if you experience treatment that you think may be unlawful under the Act. Your complaint will be referred to the President of the Commission for inquiry or attempted conciliation. The Commission also carries out research and education in relation to sex discrimination, and can examine laws to make sure they are consistent with the Act. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 The Racial Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, immigration (or that of a relative or associate). Racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, goods and services, accommodation and land, sport and local government. For the purposes, “race” includes colour, nationality or national origin, descent, ancestry, and ethnic origin or ethnicity. The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race. Racial and religious vilification is also unlawful. The most serious forms of racial and religious vilification are a criminal offence. Equal Opportunity 2010 (VIC): Equal Opportunity legislation dictates regulations regarding equal treatment of staff and users of the service without discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, ethnic origin, pregnancy, marital status, age or religion. There are specific provisions that forbid sexual harassment. Harassment may not always be physical. Your organisation will have policies that reflect the requirements of the Act. Equal Employment Officers are trained to ensure that there is no discrimination or harassment in the workplace and that people who want to make a complaint are informed of the procedures to do so. Make yourself familiar with Equal Opportunity procedures that apply in your workplace and who the EEO contact person is. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1996 (Commonwealth. No. 126, 1986): Allows The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission HREOC to investigate complaints under acts such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Sex Discrimination Act 1992, and the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, as well as dealing with infringements of human rights. It states that people have a right to respect and dignity, assistance to become as self-reliant as possible, education, training and work, family and social life and protection from discrimination. www.hreoc.gov.au/about the commission. Freedom of Information Act 1982: The Freedom of Information Act 1982 creates a general right of access to information in documentary form in the possession of Ministers and agencies limited only by exceptions and exemptions necessary for the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons in respect of whom information is collected and held by agencies. International treaties and conventions Australia is a party to the following major international human rights instruments, some with reservations: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), 1965Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), 1984 And to the following International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions – Rights of Association (Agriculture)Forced Labour Convention 1930Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to OrganiseRight to Organise & Collective BargainingEqual RemunerationAbolition of Forced LabourDiscrimination (Employment & Occupation)Worker’s Representatives Convention. Rights and responsibilities of workers, employers and clients, including appropriate action when rights are being infringed or responsibilities not being carried out Understanding rights of clients You have a very important role to play for your client. They will depend upon you to help them to understand their rights and any constraints that may exist. One of the biggest constraints to meeting individual rights is that of limited resources. When trying to fulfil rights, lack of money or funding, is often an issue. As a result, it is very difficult to balance available money against rights. It is important for your client to understand that often their rights are being addressed in the best way possible within the available funds. There is not always a clear cut solution to all issues. Each individual has different needs and wants where their rights are concerned and place different levels of importance on issues. Remember that some of these may be related to specific cultural needs and beliefs, so it is important you seek clarifications on any specific needs of your clients. Individual needs and wants: We are individuals and all have different needs and wants. It is important to understand the difference between needs and wants to help prioritise issues. This will also help you to understand how other organisations and bodies work out what issues they consider to be of greatest importance, especially with regard to funding allocation. Needs are generally the essential items that we must have in order to live a basically satisfying life. These are often called basic needs and include things like food, clothing, shelter, health care, freedom and respect. Needs may vary between individuals due to differences in individual abilities. Example: Some people may need the assistance offered by wearing glasses, others may need the support of a walking stick. For these people, these aids are needs in order for them to live a normal life. Wants, on the other hand, are the things that the individual desires to improve the quality of their life. Example: A person may need to wear glasses to live a normal life, while wanting designer frames for their glasses. While the lenses are a need, the designer frame is a want. Identifying needs: It is important that you can help your clients to identify their own needs. They need to understand the difference between wants and needs so that they can stand up for their rights on important issues. When determining if the item or issue is a need or a want, you need to question: If it is essentialHow your client’s life will change with this decisionIf it is a realistic request. Empowerment and disempowerment Change in attitude towards ageing and affirmation of the rights of older people is necessary for empowerment of people as they age to become the norm. Empowerment links to inequality, because inequality tends to become more pronounced at both ends of the life course. The negative impact of inequality is a barrier to reducing absolute poverty and hinders the fulfilment of a variety of human rights, including the capacity to be heard. Empowerment also determines ability to extend opportunity and to enhance capabilities. Disempowerment is closely connected to the denial of human rights, which is linked to loss of autonomy. The diminishing capacity to take decisions for ones elf, either because of infirmity or because younger generations may assume that older people are incapable of taking decisions, is one of the defining features of (very) old age and is a key concern for older people’s human rights. Dealing with the autonomy question is therefore critical to any discussion of how to empower older people and ensure that even the oldest old and the most frail are empowered. Research suggests that the biggest threat to an older person’s autonomy (regardless of income levels) may come from family members who begin to make decisions on behalf of the older person and thereby disempower them. Client responsibilities The concept of rights cannot be viewed in isolation from the concept of responsibilities. While clients have a right to expect organisations to uphold all their rights, they also have responsibilities to fulfill as a client of a CSI agency. These include: Letting the service know if they will not be available to attend an appointmentRespecting the rights of staff, management, volunteers and other clientsTaking responsibility for the decisions that they makeFollowing through on tasks that have been agreed toRespecting and abiding by the rules of the service (as long as they are reasonable and have been agreed to in the first place). The more we encourage clients to fulfill their responsibilities, the more we are fostering independence, which should be part of our ultimate goal in providing assistance. For example, if you are working with a young person in supported accommodation and they are continually breaking the rules, coming home after curfew, not paying agreed rent, being rude and disrespectful to staff and other residents and you do nothing about it, then what are you teaching them? By having clear rights and responsibilities (and clear sanctions for not fulfilling responsibilities) the young person may learn that responsibilities are part of life and there are consequences when we don’t fulfill them (such as being evicted). A hard lesson in life learnt early on may lead to improved life skills and a step towards independence. When considering the concepts of rights and responsibilities it can be useful to add the notion of roles. A role describes what we do in a particular situation. Consider the different things that you do throughout the day or week—be a part of a family, go to work, be a tenant or homeowner, spend time with friends, go shopping and so on. You have a role to play in each situation. We have a right to do each of these things and we also have responsibilities while doing them. (For example, all women have the right to be a mother (role) but they have a responsibility to make sure that their children’s physical, social and emotional needs are met.) Everyone has responsibilities of some kind. They may be the same as those of others or different, depending on the situation you are in and the role you play Identifying when rights are infringed or not being met Identifying issues It is important for staff to work with clients to identify when their clients rights have been infringed or are not being met. How do we do this? By working effectively, by working professionally, by exercising the skills of effective communication. We propose skills – including negotiation and mediation. These approaches are part of the community worker’s toolkit – they give us a framework to identify and work through issues as they arise. Embedded in the framework is the concept of continuous evaluation – what is working; what isn’t; what could we do better; are both parties still committed to the plan; is the plan still relevant for the client? In this way, we evaluate what we are doing on an ongoing basis, making adjustments and identifying issues through the ongoing process of working consciously together. Indicators of distress In describing the identifying signs consistent with financial, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect we could write a book (or many books). This field is a specialisation in its own right – the subject of study, research, experience. For those who would like to read further in this area, there are many books with reference to crisis intervention strategies. Check your local library or bookshops for more information. The following should be considered a starting point in identifying indicators of distress. Use core communication skills Make sure you practise (and practise well) the following generic skills: AttentivenessAccurate listening and respondingCongruenceBasic skills in analysing and synthesising. Listen to your client Listen with your ears, your eyes, your heart. Look for congruence between what the client is thinking, feeling and doing. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the client saying? Why are they here? Why are they here, right now? Why have they come to this agency? What do they want of me/this agency? What is the client not saying? Have I found out the relevant background information? Find out more through open-ended questions Open-ended questions start with ‘What’ or ‘How’, or ask for more detail. They are designed to find out more about feelings, thoughts and actions. Look for indicators of stress Gilliland and James (2005) note specific indicators common to specific distress states, eg: child abuse – indicators being early arrival and late departure from school, inappropriate or persistent sexual play, age inappropriate understanding of sexuality, etc. Find out more about specific indicators of stress. Some general indicators of distress or crisis include: A state of disequilibrium (or ‘out of balance’)Not thinking straightBeing unable to see a clear path through the problemFocusing repetitively on one small aspect of the problemConfusion and helplessnessAnxietyBeing overwhelmedRegressing. Human crisis is rarely simple. It can be helpful to have a relatively uncomplicated ‘map’ for working with crisis. Trust your intuition If you have indications of abuse or neglect, talk to the appropriate person (in most instances, this will be your supervisor). What support is required? The support you are required to give to a client in identifying their rights will depend on the situation and the individual client. You may become aware that their rights are being violated because they told you. This situation would indicate that the client has a level of understanding about their rights and may only need assistance in deciding what they would like to do about it. If you witness a situation where a client’s rights are being violated you may need to tell them If you witness a situation where a client’s rights are being violated you may need to tell the client what you saw and how you felt their rights were being violated. How the client responds to the information you give them will dictate what steps you would need to take. Say, for example you witness a worker taking away a client’s communication device, because the client kept repeating a request for a drink. This action would leave the client without any means to communicate. You would need to get the client’s device back before you could work with the client to identify what they would like to do about the situation. As a disability/aged care worker you may be involved in a team meeting where decisions about rosters and duties of the team are being discussed. The decisions could impact on the rights of clients. For example: a client in a community house likes to have a bath after work before the other two clients arrive home. The client gets home just before 4 pm. This gives the client about half an hour to have a bath before the other clients arrive home. The client needs assistance from the worker to be able to bathe. At the team meeting it has been decided to change the start time for the afternoon shift from 4 pm to 4.30 pm. This decision will impact on the client. As a worker you could bring up the issue in the meeting or discuss the issue with the client and find out what they would like to do about the decision. Elder abuse Definition of elder abuse: Intentional or un-intentional action/s that cause/s harm to an older person that occurs within a relationship of trust. At first, you might not recognise or take seriously signs of elder abuse. They may appear to be symptoms of dementia or signs of the elderly person’s frailty — or caregivers may explain them to you that way. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them on the caregiver’s say-so. Common signs of abuse include distress, weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, an unkempt appearance, fear, lethargy and financial difficulties. Types of abuse Neglect: Neglect is a failure to provide the basic physical and emotional necessities of life. It can be wilful denial of medication, dental or medical care, therapeutic devices or other physical assistance to a person who requires it because of age, health or disability. It can also be a failure to provide adequate shelter, clothing, food, protection and supervision, or to place persons at undue risk through unsafe environments or practices and thereby exposing those people to risk of physical, mental or emotional harm. Neglect includes the failure to provide the nurturance or stimulation needed for the social, intellectual and emotional growth or well-being, of an adult or child. Physical abuse: Physical abuse is assault, non-accidental injury, discomfort, or physical harm to a person by any other person. It includes, but is not limited to, inflicting pain or any unpleasant sensation, causing harm or injuries by excessive discipline, beating or shaking, bruising, electric shock, lacerations or welts, burns, fractures or dislocation, female genital mutilation and attempted suffocation or strangulation. Restraints or restrictive practices: Restraining or isolating an adult for reasons other than medical necessity or to prevent self-harm is considered abusive. This may include the use of chemical (e.g. medication) or physical means or the denial of basic human rights or choices such as religious freedom, freedom of association, access to property or resources or freedom of movement. These practices are not considered to be abuse if they are applied under a restricted practice authorisation. Sexual assault: Includes any sexual contact between an adult and child 16 years of age and younger or any sexual activity with an adult who lacks the capacity to give or withhold consent, or is threatened, coerced or forced to engage in sexual behaviour. It includes non-consensual sexual contact, language or exploitative behaviour and can take the form of rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment or sexual interference in any form. Psychological or emotional abuse: Psychological or emotional abuse includes verbal assaults, threats of maltreatment, harassment, humiliation or intimidation, or failure to interact with a person or to acknowledge that person’s existence. This may also include denying cultural or religious needs and preferences. Also included are the inflictions of psychological or emotional suffering or fear, including actions that lead to fear of violence, to isolation or deprivation, feelings of shame, loss of dignity, humiliation, intimidation or powerlessness. Financial abuse: The illegal or improper use of the person’s property, resources, finances and other assets without their informed consent or where consent is obtained by fraud. Recognising signs of abuse Staff and management play an important role in protecting clients from further harm by recognising the indicators of abuse and responding to them. The presence of one or more indicators does not mean that abuse has occurred but does require staff to be vigilant on the client’s behalf. Indicators of abuse are not always obvious, and while clients or others may suspect that abuse has occurred there might not be any evidence to confirm the suspicion. Indicators are variable, and people who are familiar with clients and have a strong positive relationship with them are best placed to recognise behavioural changes that may suggest a client is being abused. Reporting abuse All staff has a duty to report abuse, assault or neglect immediately in accordance with their organisation’s documented proceduresAll incidents and allegations of abuse are to be documented and reported to a managerAny concerned person can make a report or an allegation without fear of reprisalServices must respond promptly and appropriately to allegations in accordance with documented proceduresWhere the person provides consent, the relevant person responsible/ guardian/ support person is informed of the allegation of abusePrivacy and confidentiality must be assured Access to information, legal support, advocacy and counselling are to be provided. Risk factors Sometimes there is conflict within families in regard to what is best for the older person. At times one family member will be expected to do all the caring and may eventually not be able to cope. This may result in the person giving care lashing out in frustration. Often family members, who do not have extended periods of time with the person being cared for, do not realise how exhausting it can be. Possible signs that may indicate abuse are physical injuries that appear on a regular basis with no satisfactory explanation for their appearance being forthcoming. Also a person being cared for may express concern in regard to their money or possessions being stolen. Possible signs Physical injuries appearing without a satisfactory explanationWeight lossWithdrawal or depressionBecome fearful and distressedRejects physical contact especially in regard to personal careDoes not have money to pay billsItems are disappearing from homeMoney is not being spent to benefit the older personAppears to be afraid of another person. Reporting abuse People working in the community who suspect abuse from a family member will need to be able to report this to their supervisor who will then investigate the matter. Visiting a family member who is suspected of abuse requires great skill and it is good to express empathy with the family member and acknowledge what a difficult job they are doing at the outset. Very often, a visit from a supervisor to the family will be revealing, in that family members who are having difficulty coping, sometimes of their own volition, will admit that they sometimes take their frustrations out on the person they are caring for. This is a cry for help and should be treated as such. In some cases extra services may be required, or the person being cared for may require full- time care in a residential facility. If abuse is definitely suspected then referral must be made to an appropriate agency – this could be police or an advocacy service – each case will be individual. Also the wishes of the person being abused must be observed as sometimes a person will choose to stay in an abusive relationship rather than look at an alternative. The rights of the person suspected of the abuse must also be maintained. If you are working in a day centre or residential facility, procedures must be in place that allow for confidential reporting and protection of the person reporting the possible abuse. All evidence relating to the suspected abuse must be documented and the severity of the abuse should be determined. Policies and procedures should be in place that will support an investigation and a course of action should the abuse be confirmed. Contemporary frameworks and influences underpinning society There are many frameworks within contemporary society, which influence how people ‘place’ themselves within that society, i.e. How individuals frame their identity. We will briefly introduce some of these frameworks and influences, specifically: The process/concept of globalisationCultureInstitutionsFamiliesPowerGender roles. Globalisation Globalisation describes the process of cultures, economies and societies around the world becoming increasingly integrated. It is both a concept and a process. It has been fed by media interaction, expanded relationships between countries, reduction in the time required for travel between countries, changes in trade relations, networking between organisations working for the same special needs groups, individuals living and working in more than one country, and the list goes on. Change has outcomes and consequences, and while some are advantageous, others are not. Disadvantages of globalisation include a magnification of inequalities between nations, which in turn creates cycles of poverty and social disruption. Culture Culture describes how people live, how they identify themselves to the rest of society or the community in which they live. Culture can be characterised by the beliefs, values, behaviours and symbols of meaning that are accepted as the norm by a group of individuals. Culture includes the way that people communicate, dress, behave, express feelings, work, spend leisure time, prepare food and eat it, entertain, celebrate special occasions and educate their children. One of the main ways that we view culture is from the perspective of race and ethnicity. Australia is a multi-cultural nation and has laws and policies which protect the cultural rights of individuals. Social deviance This term has been introduced in sociology to describe behaviour that differs from the norm in society. Norms are accepted behaviours in societies and communities and can be so entrenched that different behaviours may be disapproved of. While some deviant behaviour is only different rather than against the law, societies and communities may have agreed consequences. Identity theories Identity theories describe each person as having a set of characters (identities) they use to define themselves, dependant on the social context that the person may be in. An individual can classify or categorise his or her self in relation to social categories they are presented with. Whenever someone is a part of a group they may take on (or reject) aspects of group behaviour, forming a particular social identity. … Identity is about sameness and difference, about the personal and the social, about what you have in common with some people and what differentiates you from others. (Weeks, J 1990, ‘The value of difference’ in J. Rutherford (ed) Identity: Community culture and difference, Lawrence and Wishart, London, p. 89.) Anthony Giddens, in his book, the constitution of society, states that: Social identities… are associated with normative rights, obligations and sanctions which, within specific collectivities, form roles. The use of standardised markers, especially to do with the bodily attributes of age and gender, is fundamental in all societies, notwithstanding large cross-cultural variations which can be noted. (Giddens, A 1984, the constitution of society. Outline of the theory of structuration, Polity, Cambridge, pp. 282-283.) Further to this, individuals are classified into places within society, ie. particular roles, eg: male, female, mother, father, teacher, student. Their behaviours, then, are expected to conform to the standards society expects of people who hold such roles. Institutions The Macquarie Concise Dictionary, 4th Edition, defines institution from a sociological perspective as: An organised pattern of group behaviour, well-established and accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, such as slavery. Individual social structures form parts of society, and need other parts (structures) to ensure society work as a whole. Major social structures, or institutions, include: The aged care systemEducational institutionsThe health systemThe labour marketThe legal systemThe mediaPolitical systemsReligious systems. Power Groups and individuals use power to influence other groups and individuals. Power can manifest as coercion and degrees of force. Frequently the most powerful are also the most wealthy and educated and those from the dominant cultural group. Gender roles especially in relation to the workforce There have been changes in recent decades that have shown changes in gender roles in the workplace, such as an increase in males working in community services and opportunities for women to work in occupations that have been traditionally male dominated, such as some trades. In saying this, there are still distinct differences in gender roles in the workforce. The Global Gender Gap Report 2009, published by the World Economic Forum and available online, states that Australia is lagging behind countries such as South Africa, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in gender equality. On the measure of wage equality, A great deal of community work involves knowledge and information about the local community. With this in place, you will have the ‘tools’ necessary to begin to establish community needs. When you first start work in a community services organisation, you will need to familiarise yourself with the ‘catchment’ area serviced by your organisation. This is usually in the form of a map or list of districts within a region. With this in place, you will have the ‘tools’ necessary to begin to establish community needs of: Community Health Centres which covers a collection of Local Council areas or a Regional districtDivisions of General Practice set up to provide support and a network of services to General Practitioners may cover particular zones of a capital city or a Regional District of the rural sector, eg: Fremantle Division of General PracticeLocal councils or shires may have a range of organisations set up to provide specific services for particular groups in their areaGovernment and non-government organisations that provide support for certain services such as Mental health, Aged care, Children’s services or Disability Support Services. You will also need to find out what the social demographics of your community are. ‘Social demographic’ is a term used to describe the population groups who live in a community. This might include descriptions such as: age, gender, ethnicity, Aboriginality, socio-economic status and so on. Many organisations will already have this information listed for you to look at, in order to build a picture or profile of your community. It may also be essential information the organisation uses to plan its services, or to apply for funding for the services it provides in response to community needs. Information about your community is therefore important both for you and your organisation. This collection of information or data assists you as a worker in familiarising yourself with your community. Your organisation gathers information about its community to develop a community profile to assist with planning, and the identification of needs and priorities, so that effective decisions can be made by agencies and services in responding to community needs. It is also essential that new residents, people who already live in the community and visitors have access to this information in order to use the services and facilities that are available to them. This applies to all kinds of communities, not just neighbourhood communities. Community service agencies may be involved in a range of activities when responding to community needs and service provision. These may include: Research: action-oriented or customised projects to identify service effectiveness or gaps in services, including options to develop information, and responses to community needsFacilitation: needs assessment forums to assist with service planning and evaluation of community networksImplementation of public policy: such as provision of aged care, child and youth services, or health services.Advocacy: lobbying for agencies or groups on matters relating to community needs, service delivery and policies affecting the local community.Communication and publicity support: production of reports, submissions for funding, brochures about organizations’ or agencies’ work.Information support services: information and contacts including data banks, collections of resource materials, statistical information for use in submissions and lobbying, publications about needs and services, and newsletters. Websites are also becoming an important publicity strategy for many organisations, and for people using computers to access information about organisations, communities and services. Further, it is also important to look at what sort of information is needed and where it can be obtained. When gathering information you will need to consider: How relevant is the information to the community and its purpose?What is needed and why?How to find the information. In gathering this information you will find the following sources useful: Local government organisations or council offices or community development departments, Economic development organisationsLibraries – Public, TAFE and UniversityPeak community bodies or agencies, such as Youth and Community Services, Council on the Ageing, Child Care Associations, Community and Public Health Associations etcMembers of ParliamentThe Social Health Atlas of AustraliaVarious electronic websites or electronic networksAustralian Bureau of Statistics. Economics Economics is a relatively recent discipline area. It is generally considered to have started with Adam Smith’s work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The Wealth of Nations describes economic concepts of the Industrial Revolution. Although written long ago, many concepts are still relevant today. Economics is generally broken into two areas: Macroeconomics: covers economy-wide phenomena, including inflation, unemployment and economic growth.Microeconomics: covers how households (consumers) and companies (producers) make decisions and how they interact in markets. Central to economic theory is how consumers and producers buy and sell in the market. A market can be small (eg: selling ice-cream in summer) or large (eg: the Australian economy as a whole). Within a market, consumers demand goods and services and producers supply goods and services. If all other things are equal, the lower the price, the more is demanded (because it is cheaper) and the higher the price, the more is supplied (because you can make more profit). This is the law of demand and the law of supply. Where the price reaches a point where the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied, the ‘equilibrium point’ has been reached. While there are no ‘perfect’ markets, Australia is an example of a market economy, where buyers and sellers determine price and quantity of goods and services. Socialism and communism are planned economies, e.g.: the former Soviet Union and Cuba. A planned economy involves the government planning supply (outputs), e.g.: the set volume of ice-cream to be supplied, regardless of how hot the summer will be. China is an example of a planned economy that has been opened up in order to progress towards becoming a market economy. Working with an awareness of own limitations in self and social awareness According to Tervalon and Murray-Garcia, cultural self-awareness requires a life-long commitment to self-evaluation and critique . Before entering into a client-support worker relationship, the individual must become aware of her/his cultural and historical background. By recognising the different influences from his/her cultural background, the individual will be able to recognise the different influences in the client’s background and will be more likely to engage in a sensitive, therapeutic relationship. Since our perceptions are shaped by our view of the world, the support worker needs to examine and understand how she/he sees the world. One’s worldview is learned through socialisation, from childhood to adulthood, and constantly reinforced by the culture in which we live. It is the taken-for- granted view of “the way things are” and most of the time unquestioned and invisible. “To understand worldviews, therefore, we must examine the beliefs/belief systems and the social values that they contain.” (LeBaron, 2003). An example of a belief system was Social Darwinism which held that life is a struggle for survival and dominance, and the most competent and hard- working individuals will be most successful, while the incompetent and inferior will be the least successful. What is your worldview? One Western worldview is “I am the captain of my soul,” which is in contrast to the worldview of “God will provide” which other cultures hold. When one is blind to his own culture, he will not be able to see the differences in values between cultures. This could lead to cultural destructiveness, cultural imposition and cultural pain. This stems from cultural ignorance of one’s own and other’s cultural identities, due to intentional or unintentional isolation or separation. This leads to dehumanising others with different values than one’s own. The greater the difference, the more negative the evaluation of the other culture. Appreciating your own multiple identities We all live within and identify with multiple identities. Most of us can claim different identities related to gender, age, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, profession, national origin, educational level, etc. When working with clients from other cultures, the support worker should examine differences and similarities between herself/himself and the client. The support worker takes into account “issues related to diversity, marginalisation, and vulnerability due to culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation. By recognising one’s multiple identities, one is less likely to stereotype others based on minimal information about another person’s historical, social, and cultural backgrounds. Recognising limits of your competence According to Leininger, having prior knowledge and experience with interaction with different cultures is not sufficient when taking care of clients from different cultures. Reflective experience needs to be grounded in ethnographically derived holding knowledge, not just on hunches and personal generalisations. The caregiver has the ethical obligation to seek research-based knowledge, training, and education in the care of clients of which she is not familiar ). Support workers should base their practice on evidence or research-based knowledge in order to prevent stereotyping and generalisations. “All Arab-Americans are Muslims” is a generalisation that is not based on fact. “Mono is a disease of college students” is a generalisation based on the fact that the highest rate of the disease occur among University and Secondary students, but to say that only college students get mononucleosis is inaccurate. Having personal experience as a member of an ethnic group does not confer expertise on the person without theoretical and research-based background to validate their knowledge. Expertise in one cultural group does not confer expertise on another group. Having knowledge and experience in working with Greek clients, does not qualify one to work competently with Italian clients. The professional nurses should seek additional education, training and supervision when taking care of clients from unfamiliar cultures. To practice without background knowledge is unprofessional, unsafe, and unethical). Cultural competency is a continuous process of life-long learning and desire).It is not accomplished with a one-time session in cultural diversity. It is not accomplished by cultural awareness and cultural knowledge without the desire for face-to-face encounters with others who are culturally different. Our goal is not attaining merely “cultural competence”. The task of self-awareness is not just putting aside and controlling one’s own cultural background from influencing the client-caregiver relationship. It is a process where the caregiver is cognisant of how their self contributes to the experience of themselves and their client, and a process in which the support worker/caregiver and the client are enriched by including each other’s worldviews in the interaction. It is a site for negotiation and co-creation of new meanings and relationships). “Cultural competence begins with an honest desire not to allow biases to keep us from treating every individual with respect. It requires an honest assessment of our positive and negative assumptions about others. “This is not easy – no one wants to admit that they suffer from cultural ignorance, or in the worst case, harbor negative stereotypes and prejudices. Learning to evaluate our own level of cultural competency must be part of our ongoing effort to provide better health care. Using reflection to support own ability to work inclusively and with understanding of others Our work with colleagues and clients from other cultures can be very interesting. It can also be very challenging on occasion when their beliefs and attitudes are very different from your own. Individual differences and beliefs affect everything we do and say. We may not even be aware of these differences. Often we base our expectations of others on our own experiences. If you have not had experience with people outside your own culture, you may find your expectations of how others should act are misguided. Think about some of the attitudes, ideas and beliefs that people from other cultures have that are different to yours. You may have developed a set of attitudes about the behaviour and rights of people from other countries; in this case, your frame of reference could well influence the way you work with others. When you work in the service industry, you need to be aware of your values. A cultural frame of reference is the way people from the same cultural group see their world; it is their world view. An essential part of the functioning of a team is being aware of cultural practices and/or differences and using effective communication techniques to further understanding. To effectively contribute to best practice in an organisation workers need to consider that values are beliefs and attitudes they may have about: How things should be in the worldHow people should act in certain circumstancesHow the important aspects of life are handled, e.g. Money, family, relationships, power, male and female roles. These beliefs and attitudes are extremely important and personal. Values are formed and absorbed by people as they develop through childhood. Customary ways of behaving and responding to situations can vary considerably from one society to another. You should not see these customs as right or wrong; you should learn to understand the reasons behind them. Such customs or patterns of behaviour are very important, especially in the aged community or in migrants who may find comfort in continuing practices remembered from their country of origin. You should always: Be respectful of cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs. E.g removing shoes before entering a homeShow consideration, e.g. Think of the needs of others from their point of viewBe polite, e.g. Use the preferred title and the appropriate tone of voice, listen to others address each otherShow genuine interestRespect a person’s right to privacy and confidentiality. When addressing a person from another culture, you may need to consider: Different ways of speaking or titles that may be preferredMale and female roles clearly defined along cultural boundariesDifferent speech patterns / languageCodes of behaviourClothingGender-specific tasks to completeNon-verbal communication and body language e.g. eye contact, use of touching etc.Use of physical space. If in doubt, ask someone; otherwise you may cause offence without being aware of the fact. There are most likely workplace guidelines for you to follow in your work in cross-cultural situations. You can refer to your supervisor if there are any problems arising for you from your clients’ or co- workers’ customs and spiritual beliefs which you feel you cannot deal with. Identifying and acting on ways to improve own self and social awareness It is important to realise that culture is learnt and not inherited. Our role models, our political system, religion and educational systems all shape our culture. Culture is dynamic and its influence on our lives is never ending. Often, we are not even aware of our culture’s impact. It isn’t until we encounter someone from a different culture that we start to become culturally aware. There are many advantages to embracing diversity. In a general, community sense, most people would agree that Australia has become richer in many ways as a result of immigration. Simply going to local food markets or going out to dinner will show the culinary influences of different cultures. Business is also taking diversity seriously. There are many practical benefits: Enhanced working relationships between peopleLess conflict and increased productivityAn increased ability to be flexible and creativeA greater ability to deal effectively with an organisation’s clients–given that the general community is diverse. The amount of time and resources which are allocated to resolving conflicts, grievances, sick days and stress leave, re-training, replacements and even compensation payments are significant costs in many workplaces. Cultural diversity workplace training is becoming very common in the business world as it becomes clear that we are living in an increasingly interdependent world. These skills help businesses operating in the environment in becoming ‘globally competent’. In a community services setting, cultural diverse practices: Are a part of our core value baseAre one of the standards our individual and organisational performance is measured againstCan have direct implications for ongoing funding. There are also intrinsic rewards, both personal and organisational. A team which is culturally aware is much more likely to be harmonious and productive and feel good about themselves and their role. They are more likely to have positive experiences with their clients and have a more informed, skilful and compassionate team. The costs of not working effectively with culturally diverse people It follows that some direct disadvantages would be: Your organisation not meeting its ethical, mission and funding requirementsAn increased likelihood of staff conflicts, stress leave, grievances, etcBeing less responsive to your client group, given that it is likely to be diverseA team which is less flexible and creativeBreaching your duty of care to clients and workers. Element 2: Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits Valuing and respecting diversity and inclusiveness across all areas of work What is diversity? Diversity is about individual acceptance and respect. It is about embracing the unique qualities of each person. By promoting diversity, we create an environment where everybody can achieve their fullest potential. People can be different in many ways. Diversity covers: gender, age, language, race, values, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, religion, appearance, generation, dress, educational background, job role, viewpoint, socioeconomic status, marital status, political views, social, community and family responsibilities, experiences and other personal traits. The principles of diversity are to: Treat each individual with a high level of respect and dignityProvide a psychologically safe and healthy environmentMake decisions genuinely based on equity and fairnessValue and promote the diversity of peopleAdminister appropriate action to eliminate prejudice and discrimination. It is particularly crucial to promote diversity in the community services sector, as many clients within this sector have been subjected to major forms of discrimination and prejudice. Creating an environment where they can feel secure being themselves, is an important step towards providing an effective and meaningful service. A diverse community services team can relate to its clients better. A deep understanding of the needs of each individual and the community as a whole, underpins effective communication and relationships with clients. In addition to this, maintaining a diverse and accepting work team helps in generating new and innovative ideas and effective ways of doing things. This is a crucial component of continuous improvement. Creating an inclusive environment Diversity policies help to create organisational meritocracies, in which people are recognised and promoted based on performance. Most organisations have policies which promote cultural competence, inclusion and anti-discrimination. These are based on Australia’s equal opportunity legislation. Many organisations also have a dedicated equal opportunity officer to help develop, extend and implement these policies. These policies ensure that formal processes in the workplace conform to accepted equal opportunity practices, but they also clarify the behaviours expected of people in the organisation. Formal policies ensure inclusive attitudes and behaviours are displayed by staff and encourage staff to avoid stereotypes and generalisations. In addition, a culture of communication within an organisation helps to promote diversity. Communication helps people to understand each other’s differences, which makes for an accepting workplace, where staff and clients can be themselves. If communication is free-flowing, it is also easier to understand and challenge any discriminatory behaviours and attitudes that may occur. Contributing to the development of work place and professional relationships based on appreciation of diversity and inclusiveness Part of a support workers role is to develop good working relationships with their clients. If a support worker has an understanding of the cultural backgrounds of their clients they are more likely to be successful. Think about how you have developed other relationships over the years. You enjoy or at least tolerate the relationships you have developed, not because the other person necessarily agreed with you on every matter or had the same cultural background, but because you found a common ground somewhere. You can use the same principles when developing workplace relationships. Understand that although there are differences between people, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and courtesy regardless of race, colour, religious belief, sexual preference or culture. The Commonwealth Government stresses the need for hostels, nursing homes and other aged care facilities to also provide a home like environment that respects spiritual values, customs and beliefs, providing residents with the opportunity to display personal effects and maintain a sense of privacy. Cross-cultural relationships Building relationships based on cultural diversity requires understanding and respect for cultural differences at individual and organisational levels. Cultural bias is often learnt through socialisation, and being unaware of personal bias may lead to discrimination, misunderstandings and conflicts that will affect work relationships and service delivery. The similarities and differences that exist between you, co-workers and clients may have an impact on your work. Culture plays an important part in shaping a person’s behaviour, thought patterns and relationships with others. Cultural values, norms and beliefs provide a framework for people to make assumptions about and respond to their circumstances. Culture also strongly influences perceptions and expectations. Cultural perceptions and expectations will directly impact on the way you work with each client and co-workers; failure to recognise cultural differences may cause potentially serious problems when you are dealing with others in the workplace. Every society or culture has its own expectations of the role of service providers and clients. This influences: The way a client relates to the service providerThe way workers relate to clients and co-workersExpected professional behaviourThe way in which a service is being providedThe people who may be involved in the process. Areas where cultural expectations could affect relationships with clients and co-workers include: Family involvement: Western society focuses on individualism and therefore any involvement of family members requires approval by the client. However, in cultures that encourage interdependency, the client and/or their family may have an expectation that family members are included in the processBody language: There can be significant differences between cultures in how people interpret facial expressions or what they consider to be an appropriate degree of personal space or eye contactGender preferences: Some cultures may have particular rules regarding appropriate interactions between males and females. It is therefore important to consider the issue of gender preferences when planning service delivery. It is very important that community services workers learn to be innovative and flexible when working with people from other cultural and linguistic backgrounds. For example, any service delivery may need to be developed and reviewed in collaboration with the client’s community as well as the client. Cross-cultural interaction and communication is a major factor in the quality of your working relationships. Establishing effective working relationships tends to bridge cultural gaps and contribute to successful cross-cultural relationships. Other important factors include: Understanding different cultural expectations regarding the roles of clients and co-workers, e.g. expecting workers to give direct instructions rather than allowing self-directionRecognition of different expectations regarding involvement of family members in the provision of client services. In some cultures, family members are expected to be involved in the processUnderstanding differences in help-seeking behaviour among various cultural groups and respecting a client’s choice of when to seek help and from whom. In working with involuntary clients, workers should be aware of the need to reinforce terms of service delivery, taking in the potential for power struggles in relation to decision-making. You also need self-awareness of your own cultural beliefs, biases and assumptions: avoid allowing such assumptions to affect interaction with clients and CALD co-workers. A lack of self-awareness is often the source of cultural bias and ethnocentrism, and may result in stigma, stereotyping and discrimination, all of which are likely to have a detrimental effect on working relationships. Using work practices that make environments safe for all Culturally appropriate work practices contribute to the creation of a psychologically and culturally safe environment for clients, consumers/customers and co-workers. Cultural diversity may test your empathy and understanding in the workplace. By developing your skills and abilities to work effectively with people who are different to yourself, you will gain an appreciation of the benefits such a diverse workforce and consumer base can bring to both your organisation in particular and your life in general. Whatever the work environment, it is essential that it is totally non-threatening, inclusive and motivational. One of the biggest challenges with traditional team-building exercises is that the focus is often on the needs, talents and abilities, of a core group, within a team. When working to appreciate differences you need to look at the person and not their cultural differences with yourself. When working with a very diverse group of people, it is critical that the director involves everyone, in a way that is individually important to them, and their existence on the earth. This ensures that each person can, and does contribute. Each person adds value to their team in some way. The process and methodology must show the value of individuals in the group. Processes need to show at least some of the knowledge, skills and abilities of each individual. Shared knowledge on cultures within the team enhances the function and understanding between team members. Find out what each person is good at and celebrate this, use these attributes when delivering care services. Remember everyone brings value, and it is vital that we all need to respect and value each other. Teams that understand, that we complement each other, will be far more secure. The more diverse the team members, the more chances to win – through greater knowledge, skills, wisdom and understanding a happy work environment can be achieved. Ways to involve people. Some of the ways to involve the team are through: Workplace knowledge.Find out who has an area of expertise, get them to share some of their knowledge.Workshops about sharing.Background.Have a sharing session.Acknowledge that all people have different backgrounds.Artistic ability.Staff or clients with special talents can be encouraged to share their talent across the centre .Have special nights to share knowledge.Language and greetings.Ask staff from different backgrounds to share language and cultural greetings, songs, counting etc.Staff can move to different rooms to share language and culture.Proverbs.These stories are fascinating and each culture will have different stories.Listen and appreciate.Body language.Be aware of cultural differences.Consider hand shaking – should you, or shouldn’t you.Think about how you stand or sit.Cultural knowledge.Each culture is different – share.Have sessions to listen and share.Beliefs.Find out about the beliefs of your colleagues.Ask them about their beliefs – listen and never denigrate these beliefs.Religion.Find out about the religion.Ask your co-workers about how you can support them.Music.Ask colleagues to share their music.Traditions.Each culture has different traditions even around a similar holiday.Find out the difference.Other relevant skills and talentsFind out about co-workers, you never know until you give them the opportunity. Element 3: Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations Showing respect for diversity in communication with all people All communication and interactions with clients and colleagues should demonstrate a respect for cultural diversity. Workplaces, and in particular those where clients and/or colleagues are from different cultural backgrounds, need to operate within the boundaries of mutual respect and tolerance of diversity. This means accepting that while we may not fully understand another’s point of view or why they act certain ways because of their cultural background, we respect their right to that view or action so long as it doesn’t harm another. We live in a multicultural society. Understanding and appreciating differences promotes tolerance and kinship. It is important for you and your client to develop a relationship based on mutual respect. What does respect mean? Quality of life may be reduced in an older person as they may have reduced physical abilities, be ill or isolated from family and friends, be grieving over the loss of loved ones or suffer from loss of status as they aged. Males, in particular, who might have held an important job, often find retirement and old age difficult. All these changes may lead an aged person to place more importance on their cultural customs and rituals. They often have more time to spend on spiritual and family matters and these areas can become even more important in later years. With retirement, many older people also take on extra responsibility for home matters and childcare. This greater emphasis on family and home may lead to a new found joy in participating in cultural and community aspects of life. You will need to respect a client’s interests and attention to these areas. You will need to be understanding if your daily tasks in relation to the client are affected by these beliefs and practices. Sometimes other factors such as poor financial status, or living in a culture other than your own, can cause discomfort. When these aspects of life are causing stress, it is often comforting to turn to customs and beliefs that have stood the test of time. You need to be aware of this and respect the values, customs and beliefs that may not always seem so important to you. Acknowledging different cultures and experiences You can acknowledge different cultures and experiences in a number of ways. Listen to your client They may wish to talk about their childhood or early adult experiences. Perhaps they migrated to Australia under stressful circumstances. They may also wish to keep some aspects of their cultural experiences private. This means you will have to be sensitive to issues of privacy. Observe your client Observe your client, as actions may speak louder than words. You can often show respect for the customs of others in small ways that are pleasing. Here’s an example, Janet visits her Asian clients regularly, and she notes they leave their shoes at the door so Janet quickly slips her shoes off too. Although nothing is said, Janet can see the couple appreciate her gesture. They smile and nod. They present her with a special pair of house slippers to use. They both speak very little English, but as they bow and offer the shoes, Janet can feel the warmth in their smiles. Janet is sure she will enjoy her time in their home. Show interest Showing interest, without prying, is also an ideal way to learn about beliefs, customs and rituals your client might have. Customary ways of behaving and responding to situations are usually taken for granted until we come into contact with people from other cultures. When we see others behaving or reacting differently, we realise that not all societies have the same customs. It is only then that we begin to think about why we act the way we do. We should not see these customs in the light of right or wrong. We should learn to understand the reasons for these customers. These customs or patterns of behaviour are very important, especially in our aged community or in migrants who may find comfort in continuing practices remembered from their country of origin. Everyone has the right to have their values, customs and beliefs respected and this often becomes more important as a person ages. Using verbal and non-verbal communication constructively to establish, develop and maintain effective relationships, mutual trust and confidence Being able to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues will make your work easier and more enjoyable. Now let’s look more closely at all the elements of the communication process. An understanding of the factors involved in communicating provides a good base for improving communication between people who do not speak the same language. As noted previously, while language is important to communication, especially for complex messages, it is possible to communicate without the use of speech. As the graph below indicates, actual words make up only a small proportion of the process. Three elements of face-to-face communication As the chart above illustrates, the communication process is 90% made up of non-verbal information. That is, language-specific words account for only 10% of communication. The rest of the communication process is made up of tone and body language. Tone: the way we speak Body language: our mannerisms and demeanour Fast or slowGentle or aggressivePauses.Facial expressionsGaze—looking at the other person or away from them; paying attention or notGestures—arm and hand movementsPosture—leaning forward or back; relaxed or stiffDistance from the other person—too close or too far The essential nature of communication Communication is essential in any workplace. Without communication it is not possible to know a client’s wants or needs or how best to offer care. However communicating effectively with people with whom you do not share a language can be very challenging. Language is a very important component of the communication process, but not speaking the same language as another person does not mean that we cannot communicate with them. There are many other factors that play a part in how we communicate. In fact, these other factors can be even more powerful than words. The way we go about communicating with another person—even when we do not speak the same language—can have an enormous impact on the way we make that person feel and the way they will respond to us. How to respect cultural diversity in all communication with clients, families, staff and others Why don’t they speak English? A question on many English-speaking peoples’ minds is: ‘Why don’t they speak English?’ The following section answers this common question and aims to promote an appreciation and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. Learning a new language as an adult is not an easy task. Many factors can make it particularly difficult and, in some cases, almost impossible. We look at some of those factors below: Some languages are more similar to English than others. The more similar the first language, the easier it is to learn EnglishLanguages such as Italian and German share an alphabet and script with English. There are even strong similarities between certain wordsJapanese and English have nothing in common. Each language uses a different script—alphabet and characters—and utilises totally differing sounds and words. It is much harder to learn English from Japanese than it is from German or ItalianEnglish proficiency does not reflect on certain groups’ will to learn, but rather on the complexity of the task. A person’s level of literacy in their first language may have a strong impact on their ability to learn another language as an adult. This is particularly relevant to learning to read and write as well as to speak a new language. For migrants who came to Australia in the 1950s and 1960s, there were not many opportunities for them to attend English classes. Where English classes were available, they were often inadequate and grouped people from many different language backgrounds and varying levels of formal education altogether. English classes were often unable to meet learners’ needs. For many migrants the workplace did not offer the opportunity to learn or practise English skills. Consider that: English is not essential for many semi-skilled jobsMany migrants worked in jobs that did not involve much talkingThe English used at work often related only to the job and the workers did not have much practice with conversational English. Outside working hours, most people spend their time with family and friends and these were usually people of the same background and speaking the same native language. Many migrants left behind close family and friends and a familiar cultural environment. Therefore, as a group they often re- created a cultural environment where they could feel more at home, speaking the same language. Once retired, many migrants mix mostly with family and friends with whom they can share memories and cultural experiences in their own language. Much of the English learnt at work is often lost after retirement when retirees stop spending as much time around English-speaking people. By the time they are in their 70s and 80s, most of the post World War II migrants would have been retired for at least 10–15 years. Once retired, they are likely to have been speaking almost exclusively in their native language. Some migrants have said that they shielded themselves from the wider English-speaking community due to feelings of rejection, especially as prejudice against them was not uncommon. English proficiency among older women migrants is often even lower than that of migrant men. Many women stay (or stayed) at home to raise children and look after the house which meant that they had very little opportunity to learn English. Older people generally tend to go back to speaking their native language—even when they are quite proficient in English—because they find the native language easier to use. Some older people develop memory difficulties (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and the first language that they lose is the one that they had acquired last, i.e. English. Further, a number of older migrants come to Australia late in life to join their children and grandchildren. These older people often have very limited exposure to the wider community and probably will not learn any English at all. Younger migrants vary in their English-language abilities. Some will already have proficiency in English while others will come with very little English. With couples, sometimes one will speak more English than the other. Communication strategies If you are from an English-speaking background, here are a few strategies to adopt when working with people who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Consider your choice of language. Some idioms or slang language may not be understood by people from another linguistic background (or people within the same linguistic group but from a different generation)The ‘rules’ relating to non-verbal communication are generally understood within a certain culture but vary from culture to culture and from generation to generation. These rules are particularly relevant in the areas of touching and the use of personal space. Take the time to understand these for the different cultures you are working withIf colleagues do not share English as their first language, make sure you give adequate time in communication and obtain feedback to clarify understandingAvoid inappropriate or gratuitous references to a person’s culture, etc. For example, ‘The new person who will be starting work next week is a woman by the name of Mary Connolly. She’s Anglo-Indian.’ If it is not necessary to identify a person’s cultural identity, simply use the term ‘Australian’. By mentioning people’s ethnic group, race, culture or religion, we are communicating that they are ‘different’—from the ‘norm’. If it is necessary to identify a person’s cultural identity, use terms such as ‘New Zealand-born’ or ‘Arabic-speaking’. Where a language barrier exists, use effective strategies to communicate in the most efficient way possible Communicating with people where language barriers exist What is the definition of a language barrier? Language barrier is a figurative phrase used primarily to indicate the difficulties faced when people who have no language in common attempt to communicate with each other. When people think of language barriers they immediately think of people from a non-English speaking background however here are many causes of language barriers. Some other barriers you may encounter in the workplace are hearing impairment or deafness, physical difficulties with speech, inadequate knowledge of correct cultural protocols and gestures and/ or non-verbal responses having different meanings What are you trying to say? Communication always has a purpose. Language is used to express our emotions and attitudes, to give our ideas and opinions, to complain, to gain acceptance or approval, to get information, to entertain, to build relationships, to give advice, to fill in time, to instruct, to ask for help ─ the list goes on. All humanity uses this communication function for this fundamental purpose. We are all tribal and use our language amongst our tribe and other tribes who can understand us. In working with CALD clients and co-workers you may need to use a range of specific strategies to support communication and resolve verbal communication problems. Strategies to support verbal communication Do not make assumptions about a person’s language proficiency. There is great variation in English proficiency within the migrant population.Active listening will help you detect the person’s speaking style and clarify the meaning or issues associated with accentsAlways seek clarification for statements made by CALD consumers or co-workers that seem irrelevant or unclearBe aware of people who may transfer communication routines from their first language to English. This may cause confusionBe sensitive about the effects of cultural differences on communication patterns, meaning of words and concepts. People’s messages may be destroyed when they transfer the idea from one to anotherWorkers should not over-emphasise the language barrier; treat it in the same way as all other communication barriersSpeaking in a loud tone or slowly pacing your speech will not help your clients understand English better. Often, it will result in a negative effect or interpretation. (Modified Pauwels 1995) Polite forms of language In English when we ask people to do something, we don’t usually use the direct imperative form (an order). For example: Close the window! If we ask someone to close a window, we might say: Would you mind closing the window?Could you please close the window? Can we close the window? Do you mind if I close the window?Close the window please.Sorry to interrupt you, but can you please close the window? We usually soften the language or use idioms. This makes the request more indirect. How would you ask someone to close a window in your language? Do you use a more direct form of language? Sometimes people with limited English language skills may translate a request or an expression literally from their native language. This might appear as a direct or imperative form. Questions: People ask different sorts of questions in different cultures. What may seem polite in one culture may be impolite in another culture. Some Australians may think it’s impolite to discuss money, age, religion, politics, their weight etc. Sometimes new immigrants may ask questions about things that local people take for granted. This might cause discomfort and may lead to misunderstanding. Compliments: We give and receive compliments differently in different cultures. In some cultures a student would deny a teacher’s compliment by looking down to show modesty. The teacher, however, expects the student to be pleased and show this by smiling and saying ‘thank you’. Social customs: Social customs (the way people behave in social situations) may seem unusual in a new country. In Australia, if someone invites you to a party and asks you to bring a plate, this means bring some food to share. If an invitation says BYO, this usually means bring your own alcohol — beer or wine. If you are at a pub (hotel) with friends and someone says, ‘It’s your shout’, this means it’s your turn to buy the drinks for everyone. Responding to good and bad news: Misunderstandings sometimes happen when people respond to good or bad news by using inappropriate responses or body language. Space: Personal space is the distance that feels comfortable between people when they meet and talk. The distance varies depending on the relationship between people, how well they know each other. It also varies from culture to culture. Concept of time How people think about and use time might depend to some extent on how their culture values time. These differences may cause some misunderstanding. In some countries (eg Italy and in many Arab countries), it is normal for people to be half an hour late for a meeting. In some other countries (e.g., USA or Britain), you can only be late for about five to 10 minutes. In Japan, being late may be perceived as insulting. In English, there are sayings such as, ‘He who hesitates is lost’; ‘Time is money’; ‘saving time’, ‘losing time’ etc. On the other hand, in Chines and Middle Eastern cultures, there are sayings such as, ‘Think three times before you act’. If we are aware of how people perceive time differently, we can avoid misunderstanding them. There are two main ways that people think about time: Monochronic: People who think about time in a monochronic way work out an order for doing things, deal with one thing at a time, make a sort of mental list and think that it’s important to be punctual (on time).Polychronic: People from some cultures think about time in a polychronic way. They do many things at once, change their plans often and think that people are more important than punctuality. Remember though that while most people in a culture might be polychronic or monochronic, individuals within a culture can have a different notions about time. MONOCHRONIC POLYCHRONIC Time as a fixed entity. Time is flexible. Time is linear. Necessary to complete one task so you can move on (forwards) to the next step. Focus on planning Appointments and schedules are very important. Lateness is accepted only if it’s for a short time. Future-oriented Time is cyclical. May begin on other tasks before completing the first. Planning is not emphasised. Appointments and schedules tend to flexible. People might be late to meetings. Tends to live more in the present Views the present and past as more important than the future (not so future-oriented). Seeking assistance from interpreters or other persons according to communication needs You may be working with clients and may need to seek assistance from interpreters or other people. This section will be quite relevant to you. If you do not work with clients, this section may not be directly relevant to your work. However, it would still be useful for you to work through it. You may, in the future, be in a role that requires interaction with clients and some of them would be from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We will identify the circumstances and ways in which we can overcome communication difficulties across cultural and linguistic bounds. The following are some simple strategies for effective cross-cultural communication: Speak slowly and clearly.Use short and simple sentences.Maintain normal volume.Use different words to express the same idea.Prioritise and sequence your instructions.Avoid jargon.Respond to expressed emotions.Be aware that residents from some cultural backgrounds may avoid disagreement at the expense of being honest.Allow time for questions and clarification.Use communication aids when necessary. Communication aids and other strategies to assist communication between people who do not speak the same language are invaluable in any setting. Use the following strategies to ensure that clients can communicate in their own language as much as possible: Learn a few words in the languages of the clients with whom you are working.Use communication charts and other aids.Ask relatives and friends for help when necessary and appropriate.Use signage. Other strategies to improve communication may require specific training and authorisation. Your manager (or their delegate) is responsible for co-ordinating communication aids such as: Requesting professional interpretersOrganising bilingual doctors and care staffUsing telephone interpreter services. It is important that all staff be aware of the appropriate uses and restrictions regarding communication aid strategies so that the highest standard of care is maintained at all times. Inappropriate use of certain communication aids could cause more harm than good. Communicating with assistance from a bilingual person Being bilingual or multi-lingual does not mean that one is able to interpret. Professional interpreting is a specialised skill requiring extensive training. Interpreters are not only highly trained professionals, they also specialise in specific fields, such as law or medicine. A professional interpreter must be used in the following ways. Medical consultationsTreatment needs/optionsTest resultsCare plansLegal advice / decision-makingFinancial arrangementsPower of attorneyWillsConfidential informationAny private/confidential information When you must use an interpreter Why do we need interpreters? There is a legal obligation that interpreters are used in situations relating to medical, legal and confidential matters (as shown above). Professional interpreters can be bound by client confidentiality to protect the client’s rights and interests. There can be serious consequences for the client if professional interpreters are not used in these situationsA bilingual person may not be able to adequately explain the information being presented, or represent/advocate for the client’s needs or wishesIf the bilingual person is a relative or friend of the client, then the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality regarding sensitive information will not be protected. This does not mean that bilingual staff should never be used to assist communication. They can be a great resource to your work, but it is vital to remember that bilingual relatives, friends and colleagues should only be asked to assist with communicating simple, practical messages. Bilingual staff can also be a great help with recreational activities such as bilingual bingo. Remember that bilingual staff have their own busy workload and that assisting communication between others is additional work for them. If ever you feel a client requires an interpreter, refer the matter on to a supervisor. How to communicate effectively with the assistance of a bilingual person or interpreter Make sure the person you ask to help speaks the same language/dialect as the client!Check that the bilingual person can spare the time to help you or book a professional interpreter.Explain the questions you wish to ask the client and what assistance you’d like from the interpreter.Approach the client together.Always address the client directly.Let the bilingual person ask the client if they mind the bilingual person helping you to communicate.Speak to the client—NOT the bilingual person.Use short, simple sentencesSpeak slightly more slowly than usualUse a normal volume.Pause after each sentence to allow the bilingual person to repeat what you have said.Allow time for questions and clarification.Don’t use jargon, slang or jokes—they will not translate effectively.Check regularly to ensure the client understands.Ask the client if they have any questions for you.Thank the bilingual person in front of the client.When you have moved away from the client ask the bilingual person if they would like to debrief or if they have any comments/suggestions. This will allow you to discuss any concerns. Please note: It is important that the final step (step 14) never takes place in front of the client because this will allow the bilingual person to express things they may not wish to say in front of the client. The client will feel excluded and embarrassed if the conversation continues without including them. Cultural interpreters Cultural interpreters can be used as well as, or instead of language interpreters. Their role has similarities to that of language interpreters in that they do not get involved as advocates or counsellors in any way, but simply help the communication process between client and service provider. Where language interpreters purely interpret spoken or written communications between people, cultural interpreters work with both parties to facilitate a deeper understanding of the values, beliefs and practices of both cultures so that the resulting communication has a higher chance of a successful outcome. Using a telephone interpreter service Telephone interpreting can be done with both parties at one location or at different locations. Special requirements can be catered for by booking in advance. When you and the client are in the same location: Ring the telephone interpreter service and the operator will connect you to an interpreter in the language you require. You may need to provide a Client Agency ID NumberWhere possible, use a telephone with a speaker or a hands-free telephone will be useful as it facilitates the communication process without the constant need to exchange the one handset of an ordinary phone. This type of telephone can be taken to a client’s home and plugged into his/her telephone outlet, although an ordinary telephone is able to be used if a hands-free is not availableIntroduce yourself to the interpreter and brief them on the topic of the session in the same way you would with a face-to-face interpreterSit facing the client. Be aware of facial expressions and body languageSpeak in the first person at all timesBe sure the interpreter can hear clearlyKeep the amount of information to be interpreted at any one time short, with one idea per sentenceInclude a pause after each sentence, so the participants do not talk over each other or cut each other off When you and the client are in different locations: Call the Interpreter Service, ask the officer to contact an interpreter, who will then call the client in the same way outlined aboveRemember to tell the client that he/she can also contact you through the Interpreter Service.Once you know the protocol for using interpreters, use them whenever they are needed to help overcome one of the barriers to communication between yourself and your clients. Which interpreter? Read the following case study and answer the questions that follow. Who might you first approach as an interpreter? Explain the reason for this choice. Element 4: Promote understanding across diverse groups Identifying issues that may cause communication misunderstandings or other difficulties Communication misunderstandings In all work environments there are times when communication becomes difficult. All sorts of issues can affect us in the workplace. At any time a worker may be required to work with people who are from a different cultural background or speak a different language. In multicultural societies, there is the potential for misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. There is not a lot that you can do about some issues that are outside your control. A community services organisation, however, can work towards having a professional approach to its work by having: Philosophies, aims and objectives that guide work practiceA code of conductJob descriptionsIntake criteriaPolicies that guide staff selection, supervision and accountabilityPolicies around confidentiality and duty of care, andPolicies around critical incidents that occur in the workplace (such as violence, suicide, child protection matters, criminality, etc) These kinds of guidelines help workers to determine what their roles and responsibilities are in relation to particular incidents. It is important to understand what your organisation’s philosophies, aims and objectives are, as well as what is expected of you in a professional capacity. Having a clear idea of all this helps you to develop strategies that might assist your consumer. Given you have all this at your fingertips, there is still the possibility of conflict occurring in the workplace. Sometimes conflict arises because someone does not understand another’s values, beliefs and customs. Issues that may cause conflict Different verbal communication styles: Across cultures, some words and phrases are used in different ways. For example, ‘yes’ can vary from ‘maybe I’ll consider it’ to ’definitely yes’. This can affect a worker’s perception of the client’s consent to a course of action. When they say ‘yes’ or tacitly agree to a worker’s suggestion, it may not really mean that they do agree with the worker but rather that they do not want to offend the worker by disagreeing with them. Different attitudes toward conflict: Some cultures view conflict as a positive thing, whilst others try to avoid it. For example, many Eastern countries deal with their conflict quietly. A written exchange might be the favoured means to resolve the conflict. Different approaches to completing tasks: People from different cultures tend to complete tasks differently. Some may be task-orientated, whilst others are relationship-orientated. For example, Asian cultures tend to attach more value to developing relationships at the beginning of a shared project and more emphasis on task completion towards the end, as compared with Europeans. Conversely, Europeans tend to focus immediately on the task at hand and let relationships develop as they work on that task. The fact that one group chooses task over relationship does not mean that they place different values on relationships or that they are less committed, rather that they just pursue different goals during the process. Different decision-making styles: Decision-making roles vary widely from culture to culture. Some cultures delegate, while other cultures place higher value on holding decision-making responsibilities. When decisions are made in a group, some cultures may prefer majority rule, while others view consensus as the preferred mode for reaching a decision. Australian Aboriginal people reach decisions of importance to their clan only after discussing them with others in the clan, particularly elders. Different attitudes toward disclosure: When you deal with a conflict, ensure that you are aware of how people may differ in expressing their emotions. Some questions that may need to be asked, such as ‘What was the conflict about?’ may seem intrusive and personal. The best way to work with different cultures is to be aware that cultural diversity exists and to talk about the differences. You need to remember two things concerning cultural diversity: It can be difficult to address cultural differences without resorting to stereotypes. Stereotypes should not exist, as no person is exactly like another person and no individual is a clone of another member of a group.As diversity in an organisation grows, so does the complexity of communication and the necessity to make greater effort in developing improved communication skills. Diversity can create opportunities for character development by teaching tolerance and respect and encouraging concern for equity for people from culturally diverse backgrounds. (Smith, Miller, Archer & Hague, 2002) Prevention of conflict situations Knowing the potential consequences of culturally biased assumptions and displays, it is important that you look for strategies to eliminate and prevent such problems. Intervention is required at both the service level and the individual level. Interventions at service level Ensure your agency is culturally inclusive and provides a welcoming physical environment in which people of diverse cultures would feel welcomeEnsure you have posters and wall decorations that depict the diversity of Australia’s population, e.g. Aboriginal dot paintings, pictures of children with a range of skin colours and facial features sharing fun activities, pictures of young people or people with a disability participating in community lifePlay areas should include a range of toys and activities that reflect the diversity of age and cultural background of the children of clients, e.g. black dolls as well as white dolls, puzzles, and picture books that depict people of CALD backgroundsProvide regular training for staff, to develop knowledge of cross-cultural practice and cultural sensitivityWhen your client group includes CALD clients or clients with a disability, it is important to ensure that your service consults with peak bodies or client advocacy groups, to ensure the service you are delivering is culturally appropriate and well targetedEmploy bilingual staff or ethnic-specific workers to provide bilingual/bicultural services and also improve knowledge of cross-cultural practiceRemove any signage or wall decorations which might be considered offensive. An example could be a calendar which depicts scantily clad men or women ─ this may offendCreate an open and transparent environment where staff and clients are fully informed of their rights to lodge a grievance or raise a concern with the service provider, and are provided with support if and when that occurs. Where difficulties or misunderstandings occur, consider the impact of social and cultural diversity This case study looks at resolving a misunderstanding between health care workers. It highlights cultural differences in both non-verbal communication and the social codes of conduct. Think about how you might deal with the above case study by following the points listed below. Identify the misunderstanding.Try to understand the possible reasons/causes of the challenging situation by consultation with the person/s themselves, relatives, co-workers, supervisor, doctor and/or looking at resources for information and possible explanations.Develop and implement strategies to try to improve the situation.Observe and describe the outcome of your strategies—ie the success or failure of the strategies.Share your expertise with your colleagues to prevent the same problem happening again (e.g. inform your supervisor, other colleagues). Case study… continued Making an effort to sensitively resolve differences, taking account of diversity considerations Culturally diverse approaches to dealing with conflict None of us deal with conflict in the same way. There are, however, cultural norms around managing conflict in work environments. These are some of the ways that we deal with conflict in the workplace: Confrontation DiscussionProfessional networking meetings (formal and informal).SocialisingUnionsIndustrial actionGrievance proceduresArbitration, mediation and negotiationAvoidanceMoving jobs , These change with cultural and personality difference. There are also many other ways to approach conflict. Some of these are: Discussions with familiesAllowing space and timeConsultation with elders in a communityAvoidanceBelieving that relationships are more important than the issuesOpen discussionTalking circles to explore the issuesSharing storiesExpressing issues openly—difference of opinion is a part of lifeFamily interventionReligious ritualsInvolving a religious person, and/orTheatre, song, dance, drama. As with all cross-cultural work, it is important for you to consult and get advice from leaders of that community. Find the variety of ways in which conflict is dealt with in their culture, and get advice on how you can increase your skills in working through the problem successfully. Different interactions require different responses The relationship/s between the people involved in the situation help determine the way we should respond to it. For example: The different levels of power held by different staff members and between staff and clients, especially if the client is frail. If a person in power is instigating the challenging situation it will be harder for the other person to stand up for themselves.Different cultures accord different levels of power to different people because of gender, occupation, age, etc. The consequences of offensive actions will also differ depending on who the actor is. For example, there are specific laws concerning appropriate behaviour in the workplace. Now, let’s look at the basic steps involved in addressing cross-cultural conflict. The steps outlined below are based on the principle that while we can’t change people’s attitudes, we can often change their actions. Meeting to resolve conflict It is worth taking the time to prepare for arbitration to resolve the conflict. It saves time and usually achieves better outcomes. Defining expectations: When meeting to resolve conflict, ask each party to clearly define their expectations of the session and outline the agency’s expectations of the situation. Spelling-out disagreements: Have each party spell out their disagreements with one another and state their needs in terms of specific behaviours and situations. Understanding cultural values Help each party understand the cultural values of the other. For example, discuss differences in communication styles. This could help each to see the other’s behaviour as less threatening and less of a personal affront. Recognise your own reactions and preferences. You may have a preference for one person’s style or one group’s position over another. Dealing with your own reaction, feelings, and cultural responses before you get involved in attempting a resolution will help you remain more objective and useful in the negotiation. Identifying methods for resolving conflict Find out how conflicts are resolved in the cultures of the parties involved. For example, knowing that a mediator is customary can help you choose an appropriate strategy. If necessary, seek help from someone familiar with practices and norms of other cultures. Achieving an outcome Leave room for all parties to achieve something positive from the process. In conflict situations there should be no winners or losers but rather greater clarity. Responding to cross-cultural conflict Step 1: Keep your cool—try not to respond emotionally. Step 2: Tell the instigator promptly, clearly and calmly that you find their actions upsetting. The important thing to remember here is that the person understands you find their actions, not them offensive. A good response would be: ‘Please do not say that to me, I find it offensive and upsetting’. This response is clear, direct, and does not attack the person. It addresses the action. If your response is directed to the person, they are likely to get defensive, a situation not likely to work in your favour. Step 3: If the person apologises, accept their apology. Step 4: If they don’t apologise, let it go once. Step 5: If the offensive behaviour happens again, action needs to be taken. Step 6: The action taken will depend on the parties involved. Step 7: will change depending on who is involved in the conflict situation. We will now look at responses for the range of possible parties in the health care setting. Addressing any difficulties with appropriate people and seek assistance when required You may find that careful planning and thinking about a situation will assist you to find solutions too many of the difficulties and issues you come up against. Sometimes though it is helpful to have a third party involved when addressing difficulties as they may be more objective or have extra knowledge that can assist. Your supervisor may be one person available to assist you work through an issue. Your supervisor needs to be informed when a conflict of interest or opinions causes problems in the workplace and may need to act as a mediator in work conflict situations. Working with culturally diverse communities If the issue of cross cultural conflict is to be acknowledged and addressed it becomes essential to include a multicultural perspective in program development. Therefore, data collection, analysis, networking and evaluation of programs need to follow this theme. Data collection and analysis Reasons for collecting and analysing data: To identify current service usageTo analyse socio-demographic data so that your service can update its knowledge about size, characteristics or changes in populationTo measure service accessibilityTo facilitate service planning and delivery models, thus ensuring the service is equitably provided to all the residents in the catchment areaTo comply with funding agreements, national standardsTo inform the service’s evaluation processTo identify usage rates, and plan services and activities for the groups who are not using the service. Key components of data collection Questions must have a purpose, and be unambiguous.Use of standardised questions to facilitate profile comparisons. Examine Australian Bureau of Statistics questions and apply these for a consistent approach to data collection.Ask only questions which are useful to the service.Develop the questions in a way that they facilitate analysis.Confidentiality and privacy must be protected. Consultation The term “consultation’ means providing information whilst seeking participant’s views and feedback as a way of generating new ideas and opportunities for participants. If you are serious about consumer participation in service design and delivery, then you need to consult with consumers and other key stakeholders on a regular basis. In addition, government agencies providing financial resources for services and programs are requiring more active participation by consumers of services. Encouraging participation provides users with an opportunity to “shape” the type of services they require, and how they are delivered. It is therefore an opportunity for the service provider to enhance the service outcomes for those clients. Advantages and disadvantages of different sources of consultation When seeking advice, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each source of consultation. In situations when you require immediate cultural advice to help guide urgent decision- making, you could turn to family members or bilingual professionals within your service if available. However, children are not recommended as interpreters. The following outlines some potential advantages and disadvantages of the different consultation sources: ORGANISATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICEADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGESAre professionally trained. Have great experience and knowledge in service area. Could provide service match with client’s needs. Provide direct services to clients and advice. No payment or extra cost is required.May not have a bilingual professional from client’s background. May have a waiting period. Only provide temporary assistance with no ongoing support. BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL WORKER WITHIN WORKPLACEADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGESNo payment or extra costs required. Is professionally trained. Provides access to timely assistance. May have great experience and knowledge in service area.Is subject to availability, i.e. May have other work commitments. Is an ad hoc arrangement, with lack of continuity of service. May not be trained in service area, e.g. Administrative officer. In small communities, the worker might know the client; this affects confidentiality and impartiality. MULTICULTURAL ORGANISATION ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGESProvides cultural information. Could provide support and follow-up service. May be able to refer you to other services or people. Most workers are professionally trained.May not have access to professionally trained worker from client’s background. May not have service area knowledge or experience. May have a waiting period. ETHNO-SPECIFIC SERVICE ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGESProvides specific cultural information. Able to provide follow-up support service. Could provide assistance in general welfare or settlement area. Could help you to link with other support services or people.May not have knowledge or experience in service area. May not be professionally trained. May ‘side’ with client because of other agenda. May not be able to keep confidentiality. FAMILY MEMBERS ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGESProvide access to timely assistance. Could provide cultural advice relevant to client’s current situation.May provide a subjective opinion due to emotional involvement. Have no service area training or knowledge. May be affected by own agenda. Support networks Networking involves establishing contacts and working relationships with people and organisations connected to your field of work. The purposes of networking is to : Share informationImprove the coordination of services and programs across a sectorAvoid duplication of programs and servicesAid in identifying opportunities to collaborate in the development of new services and programs andProvide support and feedback to colleagues. There are many national and state organisational representatives you can consult when you are looking to review and modify existing work practices. Examples of representative national organisations include: The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) http://www.fecca.org.au/default.cfmRefugee Council of Australia (RCA) http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Council (NEMBC) http://www.nembc.org.au/Association of NESB Women of Australia (ANESBWA)Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools’ Associations (AFESA) http://www.communitylanguagesaustralia.org.au/Association of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) http://www.ausit.org/eng/showpage.php3?id=646Co-As-It (Italian Welfare) http://www.coasit.asn.au/Australian─Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) http://www.agws.com.au/Australian Federation of Islamic Councils http://www.afic.com.au/Muslim Women’s Association http://www.mwa.org.au/Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) in your regionAustralian Council for Women (ACW)Home and Community Care program (HACC) http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/Publishing.nsf/Content/hacc-index.htmCommunity Refugee Support Service (CRSS). These are just some of the national support services you can network with to obtain advice and information on different cultural groups. Use of mediation Mediation means to have a middle person acting in the role as a go-between or facilitator. The role of mediator is to provide both parties with opportunities to put forward their views and assist in analysing the problem and looking for solutions. Mediation with clients or their family If you have conflict with a client or a client’s family members, you could approach your team leader to act as a mediator or you may seek external mediators from multicultural organisations (with the client’s or their family member’s consent). Mediation with co-workers When you have conflict with co-workers, you could use the conflict resolution process or the grievance procedure used in your workplace. Both of these processes would involve a mediator. The mediator could be: A senior from your discipline area, if you and the co-worker are from the same disciplineA team leader or other senior staff memberAn independent person from human resources management. Evaluation Evaluation: Is a process of working out whether a program meets its outcomes and is effectiveCan be either formative or summative. Formative evaluation is ongoing, done to improve or change a program while it is running. Summative evaluation focuses on the outcomes or outputStarts in the program planning phase, continues during the program, and concludes after the program has finished. In a sense, the conclusion of the evaluation process is the write up of program recommendations – and the preparation for the next program. It is a cyclical process.Keeps program designers focussed on the task as well as providing valuable information about the program. Based on this information, we can make decisions about different aspects of the program.What went well?What could we do better? How?What resources do we need to make these changes?Also provides us with an accountability measure whilst providing opportunity for consumer input. It is important to remember that evaluation is a collaborative process.Must include members of the community that is being served by the program that is being evaluated. Bibliography Bereson, I. & Matheson, A. (1993) Australian Perspectives: Racism. Hawker Brownlow Education. Vic. Pauwels A (1995) Cross-cultural Communication in the Health Sciences: Communicating with migrant patients, Macmillan, South Melbourne Pride JB (1985) Cross-cultural Encounters: Communication and miss- communication, River Seine Publications, Melbourne Reynolds S (2004) Guide to Cross-cultural Communication, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ Wajnryb R (1991) Other Voices: A cross-cultural communication workbook, Thomas Nelson, South Melbourne Cava, Robert (1991) Dealing with difficult people Bereson, I. & Matheson, A. (1993) Australian Perspectives: Racism. Hawker Brownlow Education. Vic. Richard D. Bucher R D  Diversity Consciousness Prentice Hall – this book has excellent teaching/learning activities e.g. journal reflections, on line activities, class activities etc Harvey,C. & Allard,M. (2002) Understanding and Managing Diversity: Prentice Hall. New Jersey Bulbeck, C. 1993 Social Sciences in Australia: An introduction. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Group (Australia) Inc. N.S.W Sarkissian, W & Walsh, K.1994. Community Participation in practice: Casebook, Institute for science and Technology Policy. Murdock University. Western Australia Jouridine, L 2002, Working Effectively with Multi-Ethnic and Multicultural Communities. Texas Pederson, P 1994, Handbook for developing multicultural awareness (2nd ed.). Alexandria: ACA.
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