Implementing Multicultural Competence Training in Saginaw County

Currently Saginaw MAX, in partnership with the DMC Project, is rolling out a second year of CBMCS Multicultural Competence Trainings to cover the expanse of Saginaw County's multiple child-serving systems staff, community partners, and families and youth served by our system of care, in an effort to promote multicultural awareness, sensitivity and responsiveness and thus work towards decreasing disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The Saginaw MAX effort is funded by a 6-year children's mental health federal grant awarded in 2010 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is focused on improving outcomes for families with children who have complex behavioral challenges and who have been involved in multiple child-serving systems (i.e. public mental health, education, juvenile justice, and child welfare). The Saginaw DMC Project is part of the work of the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice and is funded by a DMC reduction grant from the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice. The mission of the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice is to reduce racial disproportionality and disparities in Michigan's child welfare and juvenile justice systems through a data-driven approach.

National and Michigan-specific studies have shown that minority children, especially African-American children, stay in the child welfare system longer and are far more likely to exit the system without reunifying with family, being adopted, or achieving some other type of permanency. Locally, over the past 3 years Saginaw County has engaged in a DMC Project that has begun collecting and analyzing data and has determined that there is disproportionate contact at key decision points within the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The Saginaw DMC Project is currently working on bringing forth strategies to reduce disproportionate contact in these systems. One such strategy is using the California Brief Multicultural Scale (CBMCS) Multicultural Training Model to train staff at all levels, across systems.

In the fall of 2013, the DMC Project was awarded a special 1-year DMC reduction grant from the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice. The DMC Project's reduction grant goal was to train 280 individuals across 7 sectors of the community covering law enforcement, courts, the Department of Human Services, the education community, public mental health, faith-based organizations, and families and youth served by these systems. In order to achieve the training goal, it was also proposed that the capacity to present the CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training would be expanded. Saginaw County's CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training Model was developed to meet the need to expand our training capacity and then train 280 individuals across systems and ultimately meeting the goals of the reduction grant. Implementing the Saginaw Model enabled us to train a cohort of 21 diverse facilitators and supports to present the intensive 3-day multicultural training at the highest level of quality and professionalism that the training demands. To this end, we are presently getting support and advanced training, coaching, supervision from CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training Master Trainer, Dr. Gloria Morrow. Dr. Morrow is co-developer and co-author of the California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CBMCS) as well as the resulting CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training. Dr. Morrow trained the cohort of 21 individuals representing a cross-section of the community including faith-based partners, in the intensive 4-day CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training of Trainers in November of 2013.

To become certified as a CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training facilitator an individual must successfully complete prerequisites, the 4-day Training of Trainers, a series of six 2-3 hour coaching calls, and 2 supervised 3-day training practicums. At present the CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training Team consists of 2 nationally certified trainers, 4 locally certified trainers, and we are currently running a second group of 7 facilitators-in-training through the series of coaching calls and supervised practicums. There are also 8 individuals being trained as support. Both, facilitator and support are essential to presenting a successful and meaningful training.

To date, the 2014 training schedule is:

May 20, 21, and 22
June 11, 12, and 13
August 12, 13, and 14
September 10, 11, and 12

For more information about the Saginaw Model, or the CBMCS Multicultural Competence Training, please contact Dalia Smith at 989-498-2270, or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .