Incorporating Cultural Competence & Youth Program Volunteers: A Literature Review

Julianne Smith, Katherine E. Soule


The increasing diversity of youth in the United States necessitates a shift in the ways that youth services and programming are designed and implemented. This article examines existing scholarship on developing the cultural competency of volunteers in youth development programs in an effort to improve 4-H YDP protocol. Drawing from a diverse, interdisciplinary range of peer-reviewed, academic articles, this literature review plots out recent pedagogical trends, theoretical concepts, and empirical studies dealing with the cultural competence of service workers and mentors interacting with youth. Based on a synthesis of the findings, this paper presents guiding principles for increasing cultural competence of youth program design through both training and organizational changes.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Julianne Smith, Katherine Soule

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