On April 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released the new enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. These standards provide a framework to health care organizations for the delivery of culturally respectful and linguistically responsive care and services. In addition, these standards provide a platform for organizations in their efforts to improve and reduce health disparities.
For social workers the CLAS standards reinforces NASW’s policy to “promote cultural and linguistic competence in all areas of social work practice, research and education. Social workers must honor the ethical responsibility to be culturally competent practitioners, as the NASW Code of Ethics (NASW, 2008) instructs.”
For more information and to access the CLAS standards, visit www.ThinkCulturalHealth.hhs.gov and NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice http://socialworkers.org/practice/standards/NASWCulturalStandards.pdf
Author: Rita Webb, Senior Staff Associate