Cultural Humility and Ethnographic Interviewing

We have developed this programme to cover cultural humility and ethnographic interviewing for practitioners working with children and families. We collaborated with families and caseworkers involved in child protection and care proceedings in Children’s Services to make this course relevant.   It responds to the difficulties practitioners encounters in their work with an ever-changing diversity of clients.

How can the practitioner gather information, assess, analyse, and respond to the problems facing families whose backgrounds, lives and lived experiences are significantly different? How do you determine what questions to ask? Once you know what to ask, how do you ask them? What’s the plan? How will you decide what to put in the plan?

The problems can be complex, with differing views and standards about acceptable parenting strategies; however, we need to get it right for vulnerable children as the stakes are high when assessing the risk of harm.

Target Audience

Originally, we created this programme for social workers but it suitable for all practitioners working with children and their families.

Learning Objectives

We aim to deliver a programme to ensure practitioners develop skills and techniques appropriate to improving culturally competent practice. By attending this one-day programme, you should be able to:


  • Identify how culture influences identifying the problem, seeking support and accessing services.
  • Recognise and discuss the influence of culture on the communication between workers and families and understand how to accommodate different communication styles
  • Define ethnography the context of safeguarding, permanence, welfare, and cultural humility.
  • Identify the goals, strategy, and methods of ethnographic interviewing relating to cultural humility.


  • Using a safeguarding scenario and ethnographic interviewing approaches, obtain culturally specific details relating to child safety from family members.
  • Using an assessment case scenario, construct at least four ethnographic interview questions to obtain cultural information and perspective.


Participants will:

  • Commit to uncovering biases, practising self-correction, using reflection in action as part of their practice.
  • Commit to understanding and recognising how personal beliefs, values, norms, and world views can influence case decisions and outcomes for children and families.
  • Use a culturally responsive approach to engage, assess and support family relationships, safety concerns and children’s welfare.
  • Collaborate with families using culturally responsive strategies to engage, problem-solve to promote children’s safety, permanency, and welfare.