Unraveling the layers of cultural competence: Exploring the meaning of meta-cultural competence in the therapeutic community

Alissa Mallow, Diann Cameron-Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


Social work practice has become more complex and complicated, as social workers wade through the burgeoning call for empirical evidence, the demand to deliver services in shorter periods and with restricted resources. In substance abuse treatment organizations, implementing evidence-based, culturally competent treatment initiatives can seem counter-intuitive to program staff and are subsequently not administered or administered in a way that sabotages the integrity of the intervention. This paper examines cultural competence and explores the meaning of meta-cultural competency that is, the organization's culture, the client's cultural background, and how these factors are interpreted by practitioners within the organizational network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 13 2006



  • Cultural competence
  • Meta-cultural competence
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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