Cultural safety and social inclusion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cultural safety is an approach to healthcare delivery that was developed in New Zealand in the 1980s. Currently, cultural safety is the preferred approach in healthcare education and healthcare practice, in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, and is increasingly gaining attention in the USA. This chapter reviews the concepts of cultural safety and explores some of the complementary areas between cultural safety and social inclusion. Cultural safety and social inclusion both relate to health and human services professional practice, organizational settings, and policy concerns. Cultural safety has been more heavily focused within healthcare education and services while social inclusion has had a more expansive reach, with application at a societal level and across more domains, such as in housing, employment, community safety, and poverty. A key point of departure between cultural safety and social inclusion is the foundation of a decolonizing perspective in the cultural safety model. Cultural safety focuses on decolonizing healthcare practice and systems through critical self-reflection. This necessarily centers on the impacts of colonization on Indigenous populations with an understanding that learning from this frame develops a critical consciousness that enables culturally safe care and environments with an inclusive understanding of culture. Directions for future research and practice implications are discussed. To achieve health equity, working toward culturally safe social inclusion is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Social Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Practices in Health and Social Sciences
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030895945
ISBN (Print)9783030895938
StatePublished - May 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences

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