Navigating cultural differences and ethical dilemmas when working with culturally diverse families

Personal & Lifestyle > Cultural6/26/2024 3:00 AM

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Many practitioners strive to support all families in ways that are culturally appropriate and sensitive. However, when practitioners work with children and families from a different culture than their own, they may receive questions or hear experiences that differ from the norms, knowledge or expectations of their own culture. In these situations, practitioners may feel uncertain about how to navigate these cultural differences.

Ethical dilemmas can arise when practitioners’ own values or opinions around equity, fairness or parenting practices differ from those of the family they’re working with. For example, differences around the expected responsibilities appropriate for a child to take on.

Practitioners may feel uncertain about how to best support the mental health and well-being of the child and their family while maintaining cultural respect, humility, and curiosity. Through self-reflection and improved cultural awareness, practitioners can avoid unintentionally imposing their own beliefs and expectations on families. This can reduce the risk of the child and their family feeling misunderstood or isolated from services.

This webinar will help you: 

  • maintain humility and curiosity when cultural differences and ethical dilemmas arise in your work 

  • navigate conversations with children and families from cultures that are different from your own, particularly when cultural differences arise, so that you can maintain culturally sensitive practice

  • reflect on and challenge your own assumptions, judgments, and biases when ethical dilemmas arise due to cultural differences.

This webinar will interest practitioners who work in the child and family sector – such as psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, nurses, teachers and support workers – who want to develop their confidence and cultural humility when working with culturally diverse children, parents, families and communities.

This webinar is co-produced by CFCA at AIFS and Emerging Minds in a series focusing on children’s mental health. They are working together as part of the Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

Presenters: Pshko Marden, Rhett McDonald, Hala Abdelnour and Amanda Kemperman.


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Australian Institute of Family Studies

Australian Institute of Family Studies

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) conducts research to inform government policy and family services. They provide evidence-based research reports, snapshots, and facts and figures on a range of topics including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, adolescents and young people, adoption, ageing, alcohol and other drug use, carers, child abuse and neglect, child care and preschool, and many more. AIFS also offers practice resources such as webinars, practice guides, policy and practice papers, and resource sheets to support professionals working in the family sector. Additionally, AIFS organizes the AIFS Conference, a biennial event that brings together policy makers, practitioners, and researchers to exchange ideas and network.