What makes our service culturally responsive?
1. We focus on the client
We treat every client as unique, and develop treatment plans around each client’s needs. We take into consideration shared understandings and experiences, but recognise the diversity within communities.
2. We have a multicultural outlook
DAMEC staff work with clients from all backgrounds, and our staff come from a range of cultural backgrounds themselves. We provide counselling and outreach services in key community languages. We undertake research and projects to ensure that DAMEC’s service, and also all drug and alcohol services in NSW, provide services that are suitable for those who need them.
3. We recognise the ways that culture informs gender, family and community structures
Community and family wellbeing is linked to each individual’s health and wellbeing. At DAMEC, family and community members can also receive support.
We seek to match clients of our counselling service with counsellors who they will feel the most comfortable working with. Our team use trauma-informed approaches, and are thoughtful about the impacts of migration, inter-generational change, refugee experiences can impact on a person’s health and wellbeing.
4. We address the adverse health impacts of discrimination
We recognise that feeling unwelcome, isolated and excluded from opportunities that others enjoy can impact upon a person’s health and wellbeing. We also recognise that some communities in Australia combat racial discrimination every day. Our service offers a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone. Our holistic approach recognises the importance of feeling safe, belonging and being proud in one’s identity. We address barriers to health service access by providing information in community languages, and we spend the time to explain treatments that might be unfamiliar.
5. What are we doing to enhance this model?
DAMEC has a range of strategies in place to continuously improve our model of culturally responsive AOD treatment. The following are some examples:
- We have a diverse workforce with a range of skills and professional qualifications
- We use professional interpreting services
- We provide translated information in key community languages
- We provide easily accessible information in a range of formats, e.g audio visual, community radio broadcasts, easy-to-read English texts.
- We conduct culturally competent assessment
- We are developing group programs
- We collect enhanced data on cultural backgrounds so that we can see what we are doing that works, and what we can improve into the future
- We evaluate our services.