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Comprehensive, Culturally Approriate, and Competency-Based Workforce Development.

Cultural Responsiveness Academy

About Cultural Responsiveness Academy (CRA)

The Cultural Responsiveness Academy (CRA) was established in 2016 in response to the awareness that issues including disproportionality, disparity of services, and bias in decision making continue to impact the children and families involved in the Public Child Welfare System. The CRA provides a unique learning experience that emphasizes facilitated discussions. It is designed to create a space for self-assessment, the development of skills and strategies to manage bias, and the opportunity to contribute to a project that will improve cultural responsiveness across the County.

This learning opportunity is a 9 month commitment, that includes an eLearning, 7 monthly in-person classes including a simulation day, coaching and a group project that highlights a new way of being culturally responsive. There are 3 cohorts: Leadership, Line Staff, and Support Staff. Representation from each work location in each cohort would be advantageous to creating a comprehensive group project for the work location. Each group will have an opportunity to present their project to County Leadership at their Graduation Ceremony.

Engaging community stakeholders and County Staff to discuss the focus of the classroom curriculum is key in developing an experience that is impactful for each population. The participants are encouraged to be authentic in their discussions, and the Facilitators are tasked with modelling cultural responsiveness in the classroom.

Please contact the Program Manager, Wanjiru Golly, PhD, at

CRA Impact

By the end of the course our trainees have become so passionate and dedicated to making a change—its exciting! What our participants are saying about the CRA:

“Getting the conversation started and making it open. For some reason, the topic of race and social issues has become a taboo, especially in the workplace, however, whether we like to admit it or not, those issues play a role in our interactions with each other and our clients. This training definitely helped in breaking that barrier and silence on the topic and allowing for the conversation to begin on how we plan to make a change and a difference in what is taking place in our Agency.” ~ Manager

“The most positive result I am seeing for myself as a result of participating in CRA is that I am more sensitive to other’s cultural makeup, whatever that culture may be, Military culture, specific racial culture, religious culture etc. I am asking more questions of my clients in regards to how their specific cultural background might influence or be a component of the case.” ~ Supervisor

“I’m having deeper level of conversations with youth about their culture and values…We had a conversation about his identity…I dug deeper to have more of a conversation and understanding of the youth. Although the material is difficult I am learning a lot.” ~ Social Worker

CRA Graduates

Each series focuses on one population so as to focus on the discussions on the unique aspects of the population. The classroom discussions are facilitated by facilitators with the lived experience of the population of of focus. CWDS has partnered with San Diego and San Bernardino Counties:

CRA support staff

San Diego year 16-17 CRA Graduates (African American Series): Support Staff

CRA supervisors and social workers

San Diego year 16-17 CRA Graduates (African American Series): Supervisors and Social Workers

CRA managers

San Diego year 16-17 CRA Graduates (African American Series): Managers

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