Confronting Racism | Engaging Partners | Finding Solutions
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare CW360° Summer 2021
SHIELDS contributed under the Practice section to the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare’s annual issue of CW360° that provides information affecting child well-being today. Preparation for each publication of CW360° begins with an extensive literature review and an exploration of best practices in the field. The practice section features articles on promising practices related to mandated reporting, relative and kin search/engagement, tools to address racism, and examples of successful program implementation.
Addressing Racism in the Child Welfare Industry Through the Family-Centered Service Model
As an industry, we need to address systemic racism in child welfare. Agencies, firms, and universities develop training models to educate social workers on systemic racism, implicit bias, and other topics. These courses attempt to improve how social workers provide services to a diverse population and communities of color. However, regardless of the effectiveness of these courses or how many times social workers complete them, systemic racism is present in the child welfare system.
We have a 30-year history of providing multiple services to multiple members within the same family. It is distinctly through this approach that we can develop a bond that overcomes implicit bias and preconceived notions a clinician may hold coming into the job. Clinicians, case managers, and counselors learn a great deal as they collaborate to provide services to a family. They develop a better understanding of the family and their culture, and experience a first-hand account of generational trauma that families face. Most importantly, they root for the family: They want the family to succeed.