Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services for Latino Populations | Staff Training and Development

Staff Training and Development



Staff training and development in the areas of cultural competence and Latino mental health should be implemented at all levels and across disciplines, for leadership and governing entities, as well as for management and support staff. The strengths brought by cultural competence should serve to enhance total system performance rather than detract or formulate separate agendas.


Implementation Guidelines

  1. Specific requirements should be established for the credentialing of Latino Mental Health Specialists. Recommendations are as follows:

    • Master’s or commensurate degree level for clinical licensure in a behavioral health field;

    • Minimum of one year of service specializing in serving Latinos;

    • Demonstration of cultural competence, for example:

       (a) Consensual validation of professional expertise and competence in Latino mental health by a panel of experts

       (b) Evidence of contribution of new knowledge in Latino mental health

    • Fluency in Spanish and English in providing clinical services
  2. The Health Plan’s clinical workforce should include and make special effort to recruit and retain at least a representative percentage of Latino mental health professionals.
  3. Career ladders for the development and advancement of Latino staff should be established for clinical and administrative supervisory and senior positions.
  4. Differential pay rates should be developed and implemented for specialized skills in cultural and linguistic competence in general, and for Latino Mental Health Specialists in particular.
  5. There should be regularly required cultural competence training for general staff (see section on Cultural Competence Planning)
  6. Specific continuing education requirements and performance based standards should be established for the development, maintenance, and continuance of clinical competence as a Latino or other minority mental health specialist.
  7. The Cultural Competence Plan should develop performance evaluations and promotion opportunities which remove the glass ceiling for Latino and other staff and managers and which reward cultural competence among all staff.
  8. All staff should demonstrate a minimum of five hours annually to cultural competence awareness training.

Recommended Performance Indicators

  1. Establishment and evaluation of a credentialing process for Latino Mental Health Specialists
  2. Recruitment, retention, and career development plan for Latino and other culturally competent mental health professionals
  3. Use of language fluency examinations to determine the level of competence of clinicians to provide comprehensive clinical and preventive care.


Recommended Outcomes

  1. Percent of Latinos served in their preferred language
    Benchmark: 100%
  2. Percent of Latinos served by, or under the supervision of, Latino Mental Health Specialists
    Benchmark: 100%
  3. Proportionality of Latino staffing to the needs of the Latino population
    Benchmark: 1:1 match between need (not strict percent of population) and staffing
  4. Percent of staff receiving five hours of training annually in cultural competence awareness
    Benchmark: 100%