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Cultural Sensitivity with the GAIN

Cultural Sensitivity with the GAIN

Any assessment, including the GAIN, is only as culturally sensitive as the professionals putting it to use. The importance of cultivating the cultural competence of those who administer and interpret assessments cannot be overstated.

Culture consists of more than just race and ethnicity. It also includes the beliefs, behaviors, backgrounds, customs, and characteristics that define a population. Within every culture exists both cultural diversity and individuality, reminding us that even persons with similar cultural backgrounds will be defined by unique experiences.

The GAIN Coordinating Center (GCC) has taken an active role in the development and use of materials, presentations, and workshops to support more effective interviewing and treatment planning with culturally diverse groups. These efforts are largely guided by the GAIN Cultural Sensitivity Advisory Council and a number of independent workgroups supported by the GCC, and through a Cultural Sensitivity Summit held in San Antonio, TX, in 2010.

The purpose of the GAIN Cultural Sensitivity Advisory Council is to provide guidance to the GCC as it continues to incorporate culturally sensitive adaptations into GAIN assessments, training materials, clinical reports, and other products and services. The council is made up of GAIN-certified trainers and clinicians from diverse cultures with special expertise in cultural diversity and sensitivity. Members of the GCC rely on the council for assistance in determining culturally appropriate routes to take with new materials and procedures. The council also responds to culturally related questions from members of the GCC or external GAIN users. Their goal is to continue developing the GAIN's adaptability for use with diverse cultural populations.  

Workgroups have included those focused on the needs of African Americans, Hispanic/Latino individuals, Native Americans, Asian Americans, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and members the GLBTQ community. Most recently, a workgroup focusing on the needs of clients in rural and small communities was organized. This group was established in recognition of the regional differences that play a part in maintaining the validity of the GAIN assessment. Each of these workgroups has given special attention to the unique needs, treatment disparities, and implications of providing treatment services to special populations. Most workgroups have given presentations, published papers, or contributed in other ways to help minimize interviewer, instrument, and systemic bias in GAIN interviewing and interpretation.

To learn more about cultural sensitivity with the GAIN, please contact us.