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Practice Guide Helps Caseworkers Serve African American Families

2/7/2007:   Through its Children of Color Outreach program, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has published a tool entitled, A Practice Guide for Working with African American Families in the Child Protection System. The publication is meant to help social workers address the systemic overrepresentation of African American children and families involved in child protective services.

The Practice Guide does not dwell on the historical aspects of the disparity, but focuses instead on the affect of other systems on the lives of African American families involved in the child protection system, including courts, schools, and law enforcement. The publication focuses on practice and systemic change at the caseworker level by helping caseworkers
  • augment or develop their best-practice skills in client engagement;

  • understand cultural differences between caseworkers and African American clients;

  • appreciate different world views shaped by family tradition, race, culture, and socioeconomic factors; and

  • develop new methods of engagement that can lead to improved child safety and well-being for African American children.

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