Factors Impacting Voluntary Child Welfare Workers' Perceptions of Organizational Cultural Competence
Schudrich, Wendy Zeitlin
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While cultural competence is important for all clients, it is particularly relevant to the field of child welfare as disproportionality and disparities have been a long-standing problem. Efforts to remediate these have been addressed from the standpoint of both policy and practice; however, the problem continues to persist. The current research sought to identify individual and agency-specific factors that impact child welfare workers' perceptions of organizational cultural competence in voluntary agencies in New York State. Individual factors examined included gender, salary, level of education, race/ethnicity, job site, and title. Organizational factors considered as contributing to perceptions of organizational cultural competence included workers' satisfaction with communication within their agencies, perceived respect in the workplace, perceptions of the organizational climate with regard to innovativeness, and perceptions of the agency's readiness for change. Data for this study were obtained from an on-going study of voluntary child welfare workers in New York State. Data were analyzed by exploring bivariate relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Independent variables that had significant relationships with the dependent variable were considered for inclusion in the final structural equation model (SEM) to examine what individual and agency-specific factors influence perceptions of organizational cultural competence. Implications for social work policy, practice, and education are discussed.