Wraparound Planning:

Training and Presentation
Materials

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Read materials from John VanDenBerg's training sessions and presentations on wraparound planning.

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WHAT IS FAMILY CULTURE?

Websters defines culture as "A particular form of civilization, especially the beliefs, customs, arts, and institutions as a society at a given time." Family culture is the unique way that a family forms itself in terms of rules, roles, habits, activities, beliefs, and other areas. The racial or ethnic culture in which a family lives may strongly influence family culture. Other families are no longer tied to cultural norms of their ethnic or racial group. Every family is different, every family has its’ own culture.

What is Cultural Competence in the area of Family Culture?

As helping professionals, we are frequently asked to assist families. Often, because we do not learn the unique culture of a family, our interventions effectively ignore how this family operates. We then are sometimes puzzled why the family does not respond to services, or why their "buy-in" or cooperation is low. Culture is about differences – legitimate, important differences. Cultural competence in the area of family culture occurs when we not only discover what the individual family culture of a family is, but we appreciate the cultural differences of the family.

What are the Primary Areas of Family Culture?

If we are to be family culture competent, we need to find out how a family operates. Among others, we look at the following areas of focus:

  • What parents like most about their children (looking for parent preferences and differences)
  • We ask what their goals are – what life would look like if things were better.
  • We ask parents what their goals for their children are.
  • We find out about what they see as their biggest accomplishments.
  • We find out what makes them happy.
  • We ask what their favorite memories of their families are.
  • We find out how the parent is a parent – what they see their best qualities as.
  • We find out if the family has special rules
  • We discover who their friends are, who they call when they need help or want to talk, and who they consider to be supportive.
  • We find out how the family has fun, what they prefer to do.
  • We ask about traditions or cultural events that they participate in, and how they do this.
  • We find out about special values or beliefs that they learned from their parents or others
  • We ask about their connections to the faith community or if and how they worship

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Last changed: January 03, 2008