Child Welfare Practice in a
Multicultural Environment
A Core Class for New Child Welfare Workers
OBJECTIVES
This workshop is intended to...
• Facilitate self-reflection and openness to
cultural differences on the part of child
welfare workers and to assist the worker in
applying this material to work with
individuals and families in child welfare.
GROUP AGREEMENTS
• What do you need in order to feel free to
openly share with one another today?
ICEBREAKER
• Partner with someone else. Preferably,
someone you don't yet know all that well.
• In three minutes, identify as many things as
possible that you have in common (may not
include work-related items).
• Be prepared to share those items with the
group.
DEFINITIONS
•
•
•
•
•
•
Race
Ethnicity
Culture
Cultural Diversity
Cultural Awareness
Cultural Competence
Continuum of Cultural Competence
(Cross, Bazron, Dennis and Isaacs, 1989)
Cultural
Proficiency
Cultural
Competence
Cultural
Pre-Competence
Cultural
Blindness
Cultural
Incapacity
Cultural
Destructiveness
Slide Source: National Center for Cultural Competence, 2007
WHY IS CULTURAL
COMPETENCE IMPORTANT?
African American 15%
Latino
19%
Asian &
Pacific Islander 22%
White 41%
Other 1%
Native American 2%
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT
CULTURE
• Category One: Cultural Compatibility
• Category Two: Universalism
NASW Code of Ethics
• ... promote conditions that encourage
respect for cultural and social diversity
within the U.S. and globally. ... promote
policies and practices that demonstrate
respect for differences, support the
expansion of cultural competence, and
promote policies that safeguard the rights of
and confirm equity and social justice for all
people.
NASW Code of Ethics:
• …should act to prevent and eliminate
domination of, exploitation of, and
discrimination against any person, group, or
class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national
origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age,
marital status, political belief, religion, or
mental disability.
The Historical Context in Which
the System Arose
• The Pilgrims - the way they related to the
native population became the template.
• Assimilation - trying to become as close to
the dominant culture as possible.
• Acculturation - trying to embrace the
culture of origin, while participating in the
dominant culture.
The System that Arose
• Inequity.
• Discrimination.
• Overrepresentation.
The Impact of the System on
Certain Groups
African Americans • Increased inclusion of African Americans in
the child welfare system after WWII.
• Racism manifested in services developed,
inequitable treatment, and incomplete
efforts to change the system.
The Impact of the System on
Certain Groups
Native Americans • 1958 campaign to relocate Indian children
from reservations to orphanages and white
adoptive homes.
• Boarding School System.
• ICWA in 1978 - stemmed the tide.
The Impact of the System on
Certain Groups
Latinos -
• Language and cultural barriers to access.
• Transracial placements.
• Inequity of services.
RACIAL
DISPROPORTIONALITY
• Formula:
# of x children in foster care
# of x children in the population
RACIAL DISPARITY
• Formula:
# experiencing the event
# in the population
# of y children in foster care
Compared to
# of y children in the
population
NATIONAL FOSTER CARE
DEMOGRAPHICS
• Nationally, African-American children are about
3.5 times as likely as white children to be in state
protective custody.1
1 Child Welfare League of America - National Data Analysis System
http://ndas.cwla.org/research_info/specialtopic1a.asp
2 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)
http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report13.htm
3 U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000, special tabulation. Characteristics of Children Under 18 Years by Age,
Race, and Hispanic or Latino Origin, for the United States: 2000. http://www.census.gov
ENTRIES INTO FOSTER CARE
BY ETHNICITY
Entries(1)
Census Numbers
Year
Ethnicity
n
%
n
%
Rate
per
1,000
2006
Total
977
100.00
358,510
100.00
2.73
Black
474
48.52
51,533
14.37
9.20
3.375
White
235
24.05
81,839
22.83
2.87
1.054
Hispanic
202
20.68
111,884
31.21
1.81
0.663
Asian
57
5.83
90,494
25.24
0.63
0.231
Native
American
9
0.92
2,670
0.74
3.37
1.237
DM(2)
Needell, B., Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Shaw, T., Dawson, W., Piccus, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Smith, J., Dunn, A.,
Frerer, K., Putnam Hornstein, E., Ataie, Y., Atkinson, L., & Lee, S.H. (2007). Child Welfare Services Reports for California. Retrieved [month day,
year], from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research website. URL: <http://cssr.berkeley.edu/CWSCMSreports/>
THE COMMUNITY
DIMENSION OF CPS
• There have been a lot of social scientists
studying the effects of neighborhoods on
child development.
• At the same time, social workers have
adopted community-based approaches to
the delivery of child welfare services.
CHILD ABUSE AND
NEGLECT REFERRALS BY
ZIP CODE
•
Needell, B., Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Shaw, T., Dawson, W., Piccus, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Conley, A., Smith, J., Dunn, A., Frerer, K., Putnam Hornstein, E., &
Kaczorowski, M.R., (2006). Child Welfare Services Reports for California. Retrieved [month day, year], from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research website. URL:
<http://cssr.berkeley.edu/CWSCMSreports/>
Age-Adjusted Diabetes
Hospitalization Rates
Age-Adjusted Asthma
Hospitalization Rates
Parolees
Probationers
Rate of Hospitalization for
Assault
Percentage of Persons Not High
School Graduates
Homicide Victims and
Percentage of Persons in Poverty
POWER ANALYSIS
• Identify the systems
that keep the
community
disconnected from the
right supports and
services.
Chisom, R.; Dunn, J. (2007) Undoing Racism / Community Organizing Workshop.
The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Former Texas Judge Scott McCown
(1998) called CPS…
“a leaky rescue boat, so heavily loaded with
children…that it moves slowly to the scene of
the next crisis and once there has little space
for new passengers.”
• “Do child welfare researchers,
policymakers, and practitioners believe that
it is ethically acceptable to be involved in
improving the efficacy of a system that
takes these children without simultaneously
being involved in remedying the problems
that bring the children to the system?”
- Mark E. Courtney 1996
Courtney, M.E., Barth, R.P., Berrick, J., Brooks, D., Needell, B., & Park, L. (1996). Race and child welfare services: Past
research and future directions. Child Welfare, 75 (2), 99-137.
A PROPOSED MODEL
CLASS
GOVERNMENT
AGENCIES
RESIDENTIAL
SEGREGATION
SUBSTANCE
USE
VIOLENCE
NUTRITION
SCHOOLS
PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY
Socio-Ecological
Individual
Health
Knowledge /
Awareness
GENDER
SOCIAL &
PHYSICAL
ENVIRONMENT
CHRONIC
DISEASE
INFANT
MORTALITY
LIFE
EXPECTANCY
INJURY
(INTENTIONAL /
UNINTENTIONAL)
Iton, Witt, Siegel, & Raya, 2007
Genetics
UPSTREAM
IMMIGRATION
STATUS
INFECTIOUS
DISEASE
Medical Model
DOWNSTREAM
ETHNICITY
CORPORATIONS
& OTHER
BUSINESSES
Access to
health care
RACE
• “Perspectives that conceive of
neighborhood effects as results produced
only by the ‘culture’ or ‘personality’ of a
neighborhood will be incomplete, as will
approaches that focus only on
governance or contextual factors. All of
these factors together have an effect on
residents and on the social dynamics of a
community…”
- Equality of Opportunity and the Importance of Place: Summary of a
Workshop
Culture and Human Behavior
• Workers unaware of culture’s impact
on human behavior participate in
creating a system that is not fair and
equitable.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/18126390#18126390
• Cultural racism …is like smog in the air.
Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other
times it is less apparent, but always, day in
and day out, we are breathing it in. None of
us would introduce ourselves as “smog
breathers” (and most of us don’t want to be
described as prejudiced), but if we live in a
smoggy place, how can we avoid breathing
the air?
-
Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.
Author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
3 Points About Culture:
1 Culture provides the lenses through which
we see the world, process information, and
communicate with others.
2 Cultures evolve mechanisms for dealing
with the duality of good and bad, built upon
the cultural means of dealing with
difference.
3 Points About Culture:
3 Cultures evolve different responses for
behaviors that are considered as deviant or
antisocial.
Structural Racism
The inequality and bias based on race that is built into the
economic and social structure of society, with one race
having a superior position and receiving greater
political, economic and social advantages than other
racial groups. (CARTA, 2005)
•Institutionalized racism – differences in access to goods, services
and opportunities according to race.
•Personally mediated racism – prejudice and discrimination by
individuals against others based on their racial or ethnic background.
•Internalized racism – acceptance by members of a stigmatized
racial/ethnic group of negative messages about their abilities and
value.
Structural Racism’s Impact
Institutionalized
Self-devaluation
Resignation
Hopelessness
Self-deprecating
behaviors
Political Power
Housing
Employment
Health Care
Access
Differential
Assumptions
and Actions
based on race
Family Factors
Outcomes
Adapted from: Jones, C.P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic
framework and a gardener’s tale. American Journal of Public
Health, 90, 1212-1215.
Structural Racism Matters
for Youth Well-Being
Structural Racism
Critical Elements of
Adolescent Development
Industry
Identity
Protects
Impedes
Residential Segregation
- School Segregation
- Occupational Segregation
- Interpersonal Bias
- Negative media messages
- Institutional bias
Youth
Behaviors
Intimacy
& Trust
Adapted from: Sugland, B., Innocent, M.A., Ross, K. et al. (2005). Disparities in Adolescent
Sexual & Reproductive Health: The Case for Structural Racism. Discussion Paper.
CARTA, Inc. Baltimore, MD.
“Not everything that is faced can be
changed, but nothing can be
changed until it is faced.”
- James Baldwin
MESSAGES
•Respond to items 1 - 4 with brief answers.
Then discuss your answers with others in
your small group.
•Some messages may be explicit, while others
may be implicit.
•After sharing your answers, discuss the
implications of your acculturation process.
INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON
THE FAMILY
How may your views of family differ from
your clients’ views with respect to…
•Structure, Roles, Responsibilities?
•Setting Limits?
•Symbolism?
KNOWING WHO YOU ARE
•
•
•
•
Overall impressions of the concepts regarding
racial and ethnic identity?
Top two or three points highlighted that you
would want to address in your day-to-day
practice?
Any concerns about working with youth around
these issues? If so, please describe them.
How can you further integrate racial and ethnic
identity work with youth into your day-to-day
practice?
Cultural Factors that Impact
Intervention and Communication
• Jargon can be a barrier to understanding.
• To learn the use of another’s language is to
enter into the world of the other.
• Launching into data gathering focused on
the presenting problem may be seen as
disrespectful.
• Words and phrases may have different
meanings for different cultures.
• Looking a person in the eye can have many
meanings.
• So can avoiding eye contact.
• Calling someone by his/her first name.
• Religion and/or spiritual beliefs.
BASIC ETHNOGRAPHIC
TECHNIQUES
• Ethnographic interviews employ descriptive
and structural questions.
• The strict inclusion, rationale, and meansends questions tend to be used the most.
• The ways that questions are asked can either
facilitate or disrupt the development of
rapport and an effective interview.
NINE DIMENSIONS OF
SOCIAL SITUATIONS
•
•
•
•
people involved
places used
individual acts
groups of acts that
combine into
activities or
routines
•
•
•
•
•
events
objects
goals
time
feelings
SCENARIOS
• What might be the cultural issues/dynamics of
this situation?
• What effect do the cultural issues/dynamics
have on the client?
• How would you explore this to find out more?
• What might be some ways to work with this
client so that the cultural issues are an integral
part of the solutions and strategies?
• “We must be willing to ask ourselves
through what lens or filter are we making
our decisions? What criteria are we using to
judge the actions of our youth in care that is
conscious and institutionally sanctioned vs.
the criteria that is less conscious and needs
to be brought to the surface.”
-Deputy Commissioner Joyce Burrell
JMATE Conference March 25, 2008 Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC
UNDERSTANDING
PERSONAL BIAS
•What are your values about
what you observed?
•What do you believe about
these behaviors?
•What are the client’s values
about this situation?
•What are the organization’s
values about this situation?
•What other values might be
considered in this situation?
•What are the supervisor’s
values about this situation?
•What do you think of these
other values?
•What data did you observe?
•What did you pay attention to
and report?
•How did you decide to pay
attention to this data?
•What did others observe and
report?
•What did the client observe and
report?
•What data is missing? (from the
perspective of the client, another
worker, or the supervisor).
UNDERSTANDING
PERSONAL BIAS
•What conclusions support
your action?
•Which of your values are
reflected in your action?
•What values did you use to
take this action?
•What actions might the
client, supervisor, or
organization take in this
situation?
•How do you know this?
What tells you this?
•What data did you use to draw
your conclusions?
•What values did you use to draw
your conclusions?
•How do your conclusions reflect
your values?
•What conclusions might the client,
supervisor, or organization have
about the situation?
•How do you know this? What
tells you this?
What have you learned about how your biases/values guide the conclusions you make?
KNOWLEDGE
• Cross-Cultural Knowledge—Social workers shall
have and continue to develop specialized
knowledge and understanding about the history,
traditions, values, family systems, and artistic
expressions of major client groups served.
- NASW Standards of Cultural Competence
Applying Cultural Knowledge to
Child Welfare Practice
• When providing services to clients of
different cultures, workers should examine
their own Attitudes, Knowledge and Skills.
DEALING WITH
INTOLERANCE IN OTHERS
•
•
•
•
•
•
Assume Good Intent and Explain Impact
Ask a Question
Interrupt and Redirect
Broaden to Universal Human Behavior
Make It Individual
Say Ouch!
Culturally competent workers...
•
Invite those who are different from themselves to be their cultural
guides;
•
Learn as much as they can about an individual’s or family’s culture;
•
Recognize how their own background influences how they view others;
•
Work within each person’s family structure;
•
Recognize, accept, and when appropriate, include the help of natural
helpers;
•
Respect traditions where gender and age may play an important role;
•
Include cultural leaders in neighborhood outreach efforts.
5 Elements of Cultural
Competence
1
2
3
4
5
Awareness and acceptance of difference;
An awareness of one’s own cultural values;
Understanding the dynamics of difference;
Development of cultural knowledge;
Ability to adapt practice skills to fit the
cultural context of the person’s value
system
What is our role in identifying and
addressing bias in the system?
• Some say that racism is a national disease
and that, “getting sick was not our fault,
getting well is our responsibility.”
Cultural competence is a life’s
journey … not a destination
Safe travels!
T.D. Goode
Slide Source: National Center for Cultural Competence, 2006
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Child Welfare Practice in a Multicultural Environment