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Article
Individual and Systemic/Structural Bias in Child Welfare Decision Making: Implications for Children and Families of Color
Children and Youth Services Review (2013)
  • Ben Anderson-Nathe, Portland State University
Abstract
The factors contributing to observed racial disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system have been the subject of national discourse for decades. This qualitative study used focus groups to engage child welfare and collaborating system decision makers, community partners, and families in a subjective interpretive analysis of racial disproportionality and disparity that had been demonstrated by a previous quantitative analysis of Oregon's child welfare system. Thematic analysis yielded eleven themes from the participant focus groups, four of which clustered around individual and structural/systemic bias and are examined in this paper: visibility bias; cultural bias and insensitivity; personal influences on determination of minimally adequate care; and foster and adoptive parent recruitment and licensing practices. Participants offered recommendations to improve outcomes for children and families of color in light of these observations: increase awareness of bias, create checks and balances in decision-making, contract with and hire culturally and racially diverse professionals, and increase funding for training.
Keywords
  • Child welfare -- United States,
  • Social work with children -- United States
Disciplines
Publication Date
September, 2013
Publisher Statement
Copyright (2013) Elsevier
Citation Information
Ben Anderson-Nathe. "Individual and Systemic/Structural Bias in Child Welfare Decision Making: Implications for Children and Families of Color" Children and Youth Services Review Vol. 35 Iss. 9 (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ben_anderson-nathe/2/