VISTAS Counseling Children and Adolescents

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Essential Awareness and Knowledge for School Counselors Providing Diversity-Competent Parent Education and Consultation

Susan Bray, and Carmen Salazar


Research has shown that when schools and parents work together in a cooperative relationship that promotes student success, student academic success as well as the student’s emotional health is improved (Brendel, 1998). However, it is important that information provided to parents is culturally congruent. When school counselors provide culturally competent services, parents are less likely to reject the parenting information they provide, or reject suggestions for intervention because of cultural inappropriateness (Holcomb-McCoy, 2000). This is especially relevant considering that while most school counselors are representatives of majority culture, the demographics of schools most often includes a majority of individuals from diverse populations (Lindsey, Robins, & Lindsey, 2002).

Culturally competent counselors continually seek out knowledge and information about client culture and work to develop culturally appropriate interventions and strategies (Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992). Furthermore, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Ethical Standards (2004) includes provisions that the school counselor is “sensitive to diversity among families” (B.1) and that the school counseling program must “advocate and affirm students from all backgrounds” (Preamble). To help school counselors gain essential awareness of important cultural parenting practices and knowledge of culturally appropriate interventions for parent education and consultation, we provide information about three cultural groups: Latino, African American, and sexual minority families.

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