Exploring Cultural Perspectives of Families

Families build the foundation of communities. As the demographic profiles of families in communities change, communities change. In order to design and deliver extension programs and services to effectively meet the needs of communities, it is important to understand the needs and wants of those who live there. Culture influences the values, beliefs, priorities and practices of families which shapes their needs and wants. Thus, it is important to understand the cultural background of families who live in communities. It is also important to understand how the cultural backgrounds of those who design and deliver services to families influence programs and services and their interactions with families.

This module can provide professional development to extension staff. However, activities in this module can also be used in extension programming to assist others in learning about the role of culture in families, and in how individual design and deliver programs and services. Information in this module also directly relates to information covered in other modules such as module 1 (Building Cultural Competence) and module 4 (Cultivating Community Leadership). It will be helpful for learners to have completed module 1 before they complete this module.

User’s Guide: Module 6 is designed to take learners approximately 9 hours to complete.

Unit 1: Importance of working with new audiences (2 hours to 3 days)

Activity 1: Learning about your community (2 hours)
Activity 2: Environmental scan (3 days)


Activity 2: Life Experiences Activity (45 minutes)
Activity 3: Reflecting on culture (30 minutes)


Unit 3: Building Relationships (3 hours)

Activity 1: Building Relationships (videostream and discussion questions) (30 minutes)
Activity 2: Sharing a Family’s Story (videostream and discussion questions) (30 minutes)
Activity 3: Reviewing Sharing a Family’s Story publication (30 minutes)
Activity 4: Family Scenarios One, Two, and Three (1 hour 30 minutes)
Additional Handouts: NEPEM and Family Support


Unit 4: Engaging New Families in Your Community (2 hours to several weeks)

Activity 1: Review Community Voices (1 hour)
Activity 2: Review one of the guides in the series, Welcoming New Iowans: A guide for Citizens and Communities. Building Respect and Tolerance for Immigrant and Refugee Newcomers http://www.bcs.uni.edu/idm/newiowans/handbook
Activity 3: Implement Community Voices (several weeks)