Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Patrick Murphy

Second Advisor

Saralyn Ruff


Hispanic/Latinx cultural competency is desperately needed in our child welfare system. Hispanic/Latinx is the largest population in the California foster care system, 48.6% of California’s total foster care population (Population Reference Bureau 2021). There is a lack of cultural competency in the workforce available to address their specific mental health needs. A particular need and opportunity for improvement in the foster care system would be a commitment by public providers to make cultural competency a foundational workforce requirement. In this capstone thesis paper, I have investigated how public providers can recruit and retain a diverse and culturally competent workforce and resource family pool to better fund and support them in in addressing the current mental health crisis. This Capstone will assist public providers in developing strategies that increase awareness of cultural competency, mental health issues, and treatment. The policies and best practices suggested will assist them in addressing their foster youth’s trauma and continued issues related to separation and or abuse. The current mental health crisis being experienced by Hispanic/Latinx foster youth exist in large part due to the failure to develop a discourse on the need for culturally competent public providers to support the growing rural Hispanic/Latinx foster youth population. The informed policies that I will provide in this capstone thesis prioritize investment in staffing and cultural competency training of foster youth public providers in order to relieve the current mental health crisis.