Transcultural Engagement Model (TEM)
One of the reasons why Unity Care stands apart from other providers is our employees’ cultural proficiency, which gives our staff the unique ability to better serve ethnically and diverse communities of color. Unity Care has developed a Transcultural Engagement Model, which is a main training component for our employees. The model incorporates many cultural perspectives, appreciates differences, values the unique contributions of diverse groups, and promotes learning from many orientations. Employees and children and families are always encouraged to freely express their cultural identity while at the same time participating in and contributing to the population at large.
Unity Care trains employees to understand and embrace the principles gleaned from African American, Latino, and Native American cultures which come from ancient traditions that emphasized humanity’s common bonds and counsel us to look out for one another. Unity Care believes that our community’s future economic well-being is tied to our ability to effectively and efficiently engage our communities of color and leverage the unique common good and potential that thrives in our culturally diverse communities. The understanding of how to engage through the cultural lens has been a cornerstone to our success in many different ways.
Transcultural competence goes beyond merely appreciating the cultural values and norms of one’s clients. It embraces five interrelated but distinct dimensions of diversity: 1) recognizing the importance of culture at all levels of practice (i.e., macro, mezzo, and micro); 2) applying principles of cultural competence in practice; 3) understanding dynamics of power, privilege and oppression; 4) maintaining an awareness of one’s own cultural perspectives, values, and beliefs; and, 5) demonstrating respect in interactions with client systems (SJSU / School of Social Work, 2007). The practitioner (Unity Care theraptists, counselors, clinicians, support staff, etc.), thus, is able to create a space in the relationship with the youth and family that allows for their way of seeing and understanding experience.
“1-Child 1-Plan” is a framework that Unity Care utilizes to promote effective and efficient teamwork that facilitates one service delivery plan for youth and or a family referred to our care. 1 Child 1 Plan is the collective and ongoing movement of youth who have complex emotional and behavioral needs toward more permanent and positive connection or reconnection with their families, schools and communities. In order to achieve successful outcomes for our youth and families, we integrate efforts by streamlining services across various parties involved with the youth and/or families such as: residential staff, mental health staff, community staff, families, placing agencies, schools, community stakeholders, and the children and youth themselves.
How Do We Coordinate One Plan?