The role of culture in the community

Culture can play a large role in determining when we seek advice, what parenting techniques we use and what our expectations are for children’s development. It is important to be aware of this as you think about the knowledge of the parents you encounter in your work. Just because they make different decisions than you would doesn’t mean that they are lacking knowledge – they may be making the right decisions for their child, their family, and their culture.

For this assignment, imagine the FSI family is of a different culture than your own. You are preparing to meet with them to discuss goals and objectives. You will be meeting with the family to review protective factors as well ask being aware of their risk factors.

– Describe how will you prepare yourself to be more sensitive to the FSI family’s cultural background and frame of reference? (remember that they are different from your cultural background and you need to become familiar with theirs).

– Share how will you present new information, resources and services to the family in a way that is respectful of and connects with their traditions and culture?


school Cultural school Case Management school case worker school childhood development school Personal Beliefs
A family recently served through the Family Services Initiative (FSI) felt they had nowhere to turn. A grandmother and her two teenage grandchildren were being kicked out of the home they shared with their uncle, thus making them homeless. There was a real threat that they would be on the streets with nowhere to turn. At that point, a Child Protective Investigator became involved and contacted 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. for help.

With support from FSI funds, the family was immediately placed in a motel close the children’s school – one that had been vetted through FSI and assigned to a PEHMS Navigator. The Navigator used funds through FSI and Central Florida Behavioral Health Network (CFBHN) to cover the rental fee for the 5 weeks they stayed in the motel, while also collaborating with a local real estate agent to secure permanent affordable housing close to the children’s school.

The family was registered to obtain “Relative Caregiver Funds” through the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to activate benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Until those benefits kicked in, the Navigator provided funds for the family to purchase food.

Once affordable permanent housing was located for the family, the Navigator covered the rental deposit for the apartment, and also connected the family with Hands Across the Bay to assist with the utility deposits. In addition, the Navigator was able to work with the real estate agent to ensure that the family was placed in an apartment next to a grandmother raising her own grandchildren, thus strengthening both families’ support systems. Finally, the family was connected to Kinship Care to provide long-term guidance and support.

A little over $2,700 of FSI funds were accessed to support this family through their transition from the brink of homelessness to a stable, affordable environment. Had they not been given this hand up, the children, given their age, would likely have been separated and placed in group foster homes. This would’ve resulted in an estimated $50,000 in costs to the community, not to mention the long-term trauma inflicted upon the family.

By accessing FSI approved vendors, there was also a realized cost-savings of more than $4,500…the amount it would’ve cost the family for temporary housing, food, transportation and more, as they traveled from agency to agency completing the necessary paperwork for services. And by connecting the family with existing, longer term support services, such as Kinship Care and Hands Across the Bay, an additional $5,000 was saved.

This was a family on the brink of crisis and splitting up. But they are together, and they are stronger because of the Family Services Initiative. And there are many more like them…


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