Using simulation training to improve culturally responsive child welfare practice

Robin Leake, Kathleen Holt, Cathryn Potter, Debora M. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Child welfare professionals need to understand the complexities of the factors that influence parenting, values, and worldviews. Being able to work across cultures is critical to assessing safety, obtaining effective services, and creating permanent healthy families for children of color. The purpose of the project was to grapple with the challenge of increasing culturally responsive practice in a context of safety and permanency that is defined by American political and cultural values. The response to this challenge was a competency-based training program designed to enhance the effectiveness of child welfare practice with Latino families. A key feature of the training was a simulation to raise awareness and learning readiness through an experiential approach to learning. The simulation is the first component of a multi-faceted training curriculum aimed at the integration of culturally responsive practices in child welfare practice. The training series was part of a 3-year demonstration project funded by the Children's Bureau (Washington, DC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-346
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Child welfare
  • Cultural responsiveness
  • Culture
  • Keywords simulation
  • Training


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