May 2019 Educator | Resource of the Month

The Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice Educator|Resource is a monthly feature that highlights curricular resources and social work educators who address diversity and justice.

Developing a Culturally Tailored Intervention

Social workers strive to use interventions and treatments that are evidence-based (EB). However, many EB interventions are not validated with people from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic populations. Regarding autism intervention research, of 408 studies on 27 EB practices only about 18% of the studies reported race, ethnicity, or nationality of participants. This pattern is likely to be the case in other social work practice areas. Social work educators, researchers, and students can be on the cutting edge, not only including diverse populations in intervention research but also culturally tailoring interventions for underserved populations.

This Educator|Resource will demonstrate ideas for developing or adapting a culturally tailored intervention based on collaboration with community-based partners. The resource will highlight a program designed to address disparities for Latinx children with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

Teaching Resources

How to do Cultural Tailoring (PPT) PTA Sessions Overview
Parents Taking Action (PTA) Intervention Provider Interaction and Health Care Use
PTA Knowledge Translation Document Bibliography of Articles on Culturally Tailored Interventions by Sandra Magaña

About the Educator

Sandy Magaña, PhD, MSW, holds the professorship in autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities in the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work.  Dr. Magaña has led research on the cultural context of families who care for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities for more than 20 years. Her current research includes investigating racial and ethnic disparities among children with autism and developmental disabilities and developing culturally relevant interventions to address these disparities.

Educator Q&A

What led you to get involved in developing culturally tailored interventions?
My research program started with investigating the experiences of Latino families of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. From this research I generated findings that showed the challenges and needs of this population, and I found myself writing implications for practice that no one was likely to use. Read the full Q&A.  

The views expressed in the Educator|Resource Q&A are those of the educator(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council on Social Work Education.

 Interested in contributing to the Educator | Resource of the Month? Please contact Dr. Yolanda Padilla, CSWE Diversity Center Director, at [email protected].