The Spanish Translation Workgroup is a program aimed at improving client-facing materials for Spanish-speaking individuals. This program's purpose is to enhance equitable and inclusive tools that increase accessibility to services for Spanish-speaking clients. The workgroup focuses on translating client-facing materials into Spanish to ensure that individuals with limited English proficiency have access to important information and services.
The Spanish Translation Workgroup achieves its goals by providing high-quality translations of various client-facing materials, including program instructions, brochures, and other materials. By making these materials available in Spanish, the workgroup promotes equal access to essential services and promotes inclusivity for Spanish-speaking individuals.
The outcomes of this program are significant, as it helps to improve access to services and information for Spanish-speaking individuals. The translated materials are critical in ensuring that Spanish-speaking clients have equal access to services, and the program helps to promote inclusivity and diversity within the community. Overall, the Spanish Translation Workgroup is an essential program that promotes equity, inclusivity, and excellence in service delivery.
Need Addressed by the Program
The development of the Spanish Translation Workgroup program was prompted by a need to address several critical issues related to client access and staff retention in the organization. One of the primary problems was limited client access to client-facing Spanish internal database components, which hindered the organization's ability to provide essential services to Spanish-speaking individuals.
Additionally, there was a need to enhance the organization's cultural and linguistic competency in Spanish translations to ensure that these materials were accurate, relevant, and accessible to Spanish-speaking clients.
Finally, the organization recognized the importance of staff retention strategies to ensure that qualified individuals were motivated to stay with the organization and contribute to its long-term success. These needs were addressed by developing a program that focused on enhancing equitable and inclusive tools, promoting cultural and linguistic competency, and recognizing outstanding staff contributions.
The Spanish Translation Workgroup is a program developed by the Human Services Department (HSD) in Maricopa County, with the objective of increasing client accessibility and equity, and programmatic data efficiency. The program aims to translate client-facing components of the Department's internal database and other projects to make them accessible to Spanish-speaking clients. The workgroup was created to formalize and standardize the translation process, and to establish translation guidelines with a focus on cultural and linguistic competency in the Spanish language.
The development and implementation of the Spanish Translation Workgroup were initiated by a process that involved determining staff who currently receive Maricopa County's Multilingual Differential Pay and organizing them to increase the amount of staff working on Spanish translations. The workgroup was then managed to ensure that tasks were being completed efficiently and effectively.
The program's intended outcomes were to provide client access to client-facing Spanish internal database components, increase cultural and linguistic competence in Spanish translations, and develop staff retention strategies. To achieve these outcomes, the Spanish Translation Workgroup successfully translated all client-facing components of HSD's internal database. The workgroup also brainstormed, researched, and developed translation practices to increase accessibility to clients of all Spanish-speaking regions.
The Spanish Translation Workgroup's efforts also included organizing a structured two-week translation project to increase the number of staff eligible to participate in Maricopa County's Multilingual Differential Pay. The project resulted in ten staff receiving a pay increase of $0.30 per hour, and eligibility to take the Maricopa County Spanish test. Upon earning a passing score, staff will receive a pay increase of $1.00 per hour and become members of the Spanish Translation Workgroup to continue translation efforts of an internal database, as well as HSD materials, forms, and more.
Overall, the Spanish Translation Workgroup is a vital program that has increased the accessibility of client-facing materials to Spanish-speaking clients, promoted cultural and linguistic competence in translations, and implemented staff retention strategies. The program's time frame for development and implementation has been ongoing, with the workgroup continuing to translate materials, develop guidelines, and manage tasks to ensure that the program's objectives are met. The program's clientele includes Spanish-speaking clients of the Department of Human Services in Maricopa County and staff members who are eligible for Multilingual Differential Pay.
Responding to Economic Downturn
The Spanish Translation Workgroup program provides staff with a pathway to increase their income, which in turn, helps improve staff retention. By creating a formalized workgroup to translate client-facing components of the Department's internal database and other projects, the program offers eligible staff members the opportunity to receive Maricopa County's Multilingual Differential Pay. The program's efforts resulted in ten staff members receiving a pay increase of $0.30 per hour and eligibility to take the Maricopa County Spanish test. Upon earning a passing score, staff members would receive a pay increase of $1.00 per hour and become members of the Spanish Translation Workgroup to continue translation efforts.
By providing staff members with the opportunity to increase their income, the program helps to address the issue of staff retention. Staff members who feel valued and compensated fairly are more likely to remain with the organization. The program's structured approach to translation tasks also helps to ensure that staff members feel engaged and empowered in their roles, further contributing to staff retention.
The Spanish Translation Workgroup's efforts also helped Maricopa County's Human Services Department respond to the downturn in the economy. By decreasing the need to incur contracted Spanish translation costs, the program helped the department to save money and allocate resources more effectively. During times of economic uncertainty, organizations need to be strategic in their resource allocation, and the Spanish Translation Workgroup program offered an innovative solution to reduce costs while maintaining high-quality services to Spanish-speaking clients.
Providing materials in Spanish is an essential step in increasing access to human services programs for Spanish-speaking individuals. Language barriers can significantly impact a person's ability to navigate systems and access services, which can lead to disparities in health and social outcomes. By providing materials in Spanish, organizations can ensure that information about programs and services is accessible to a broader range of individuals, promoting equity and inclusivity. This can help to reduce disparities in health and social outcomes by ensuring that all individuals, regardless of language proficiency, have access to the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Additionally, providing materials in Spanish can help to build trust between organizations and the Spanish-speaking community, demonstrating a commitment to meeting the unique needs of diverse populations. Ultimately, providing materials in Spanish is a critical step in promoting health equity and ensuring that all individuals have access to the services and resources they need to thrive.
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Maricopa County's Human Services Department is committed to ensuring that all residents have what they need to achieve their fullest potential. To achieve this goal, county leaders are taking action to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into county operations. One way that the department is working to promote equity and inclusivity is through its Spanish Translation Workgroup, which is focused on increasing client accessibility and equity in HSD's programs and services.
Cultural Competence and Linguistic Competence
Through this workgroup, employees have gained a better understanding and appreciation of the differences in the local Spanish-speaking cultures, allowing them to broaden the reach of Spanish translations by tapping into established organizations that have standardized governmental terminology, researching regional colloquialism, and collaborating to determine the most understood use of words and terminology.
Expanding Access to Information in Spanish
The workgroup has also collaborated across divisions and programs to develop translation practices that address the cultural and linguistic needs of the Spanish-speaking community in Maricopa County. This has resulted in increased access to client-facing components of HSD's internal database, streamlining how limited English-proficient individuals can access HSD's services. By prioritizing the needs of the Spanish-speaking community and promoting cultural and linguistic competence among employees, Maricopa County's Human Services Department is working to ensure that all residents have equal access to the programs and services they need to thrive.
This approach not only promotes equity and inclusivity but also helps to build trust between the department and the communities it serves. Ultimately, by integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into its operations, Maricopa County's Human Services Department is helping to create a more just and equitable community for all residents.
This effort resulted in 10 staff members receiving a pay increase of $0.30 per hour, and eligibility to take the Maricopa County Spanish test, which upon earning a passing score will result in a $1.00 per hour pay increase.
Assuming a 40-hour workweek or 2080 work hours per year, the maximum cost for each employee who received the initial increase of $0.30 per hour would be $624 per year (2080 hours x $0.30 per hour). In total, the 10 staff received a maximum of $6,240 per year for these initial services.
Upon passing the certification test, the 10 staff would then receive an additional $1.00 per hour increase in pay. That would equate to a maximum of $2,080 per person or $20,800. In total, the program costs $27,040 to operate each year going forward with 10 certified employees.
Results/Success of the Program
The Spanish Translation Workgroup at Maricopa County's Human Services Department has been successful in meeting its objectives of improving staff retention, decreasing contracted translation costs, and increasing access to human services programs for Spanish-speaking residents. The program's success can be seen through specific examples and outcome measures.
One key achievement was the determination of staff who receive Maricopa County's Multilingual Differential Pay. The department partnered with Human Resources to obtain a list of employees who had received a passing score on the Maricopa County Spanish test and collaborated with HSD's Assistant Directors to select the most appropriate staff for the translation workgroup.
The creation of a formalized and standardized workgroup was another success. The workgroup has met weekly since August 2022 to strategize the best approach to translating copious amounts of material and develop best practices for translating, including technical support, resources, and a structure for ensuring accuracy.
The workgroup also focused on cultural and linguistic competency in the Spanish language, researching and collaborating to determine the most understood use of words and terminology by the local Spanish-speaking community. They removed regional colloquialisms, ensuring that the translated material was accessible to all Spanish speakers.
The management of the workgroup and their tasks was successful, with the group meeting their weekly translation goals and training and supporting staff who worked on Multilingual Pay eligibility. The department-wide communication was sent out to garner employees who were interested in becoming eligible to become candidates for the Maricopa County Spanish test. Ten employees volunteered to work on their eligibility requirements and each successfully translated an average of 22 hours in a 10-day work period.
The Spanish Translation Workgroup has been successful in achieving its objectives, resulting in increased access to human services programs for Spanish-speaking residents, improved staff retention, and decreased contracted translation costs. The program's success can be attributed to the determination of Multilingual Differential Pay eligible staff, the creation of a formalized and standardized workgroup, the focus on cultural and linguistic competency, and the effective management of tasks.
The workgroup successfully met its objectives by partnering with Human Resources to identify eligible employees for the Multilingual Differential Pay, creating a formalized workgroup that developed guidelines for cultural and linguistic competency, and managing their tasks to meet weekly translation goals.
Moreover, the workgroup achieved systemic change by becoming a hub where all HSD Divisions can funnel work to be translated, streamlining how limited English-proficient clients access HSD services. The workgroup's success energized and inspired other staff members to work on their Multilingual Differential Pay eligibility, which reduces employee attrition.
The most significant achievement of the workgroup is the opportunity it provided for employees to engage in meaningful team building, the discovery of cultural differences, and reflection on how HSD's language impacts the local community. The workgroup's expertise in multilingualism proved valuable to the department and the county, highlighting the importance of nuanced language in communication. One simple misunderstanding of a word could translate into a dire client experience, making the workgroup's contributions critical to the success of the department's mission.