Who CARES? Interprofessional Competencies for Meeting the Complex Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Foster Youth With Disabilities
Keywords:Foster youth, foster care, child welfare, culture, disability
AbstractThis paper highlights effective interprofessional competencies for school professionals who are interested in improving the educational path of culturally diverse foster youth who are at risk of a disability or who have a disability. The interprofessional competencies were developed based on the lessons learned in the first three years of a federally funded grant. We propose cost-effective ways to address shortages of highly qualified school personnel to work with diverse foster youth with disabilities. Recommendations to improve practice with diverse foster youth with disabilities include increasing the number of Culturally Affirming and Responsive Education Specialists (CARES; school social workers, school counselors, and school psychologists) who are trained to respond to the educational and mental health needs of diverse foster youth with disabilities, who are culturally competent, who are advocates in schools, and who are skilled at interdisciplinary service delivery.