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Minority Populations In Us Welfare Essay

641 words - 3 pages

Minority Populations in the U.S. Child Welfare System
Diane Blanscett
BSHS 301
November 1, 2010
Caroline Nyairo MSC, Marriage and Family Therapy
Minority Populations in the U.S. Child Welfare System
History of Minority Populations
During the 1700s and the 1800s, the United States went through political, economic, and environmental upset that caused a large number of orphans. Most of the children roaming the streets were of immigrants who could not care for them because of economic issues or because they were single parent homes. Society had little tolerance for the children. During the mid- 1800s, there was a shift in attitude toward children because of the number of families affected by the Civil War. Compassion and understanding toward the orphans became the mainstream thought. In addition, there was a shift in religious belief, and that led to the belief that children were to be cared for, and sheltered.
During the mid-1800s, families who could not take care of ...view middle of the document...

In 2003, there were approximately 523,000 children in foster care. Among these statistics, 48% of these have family reunification as the goal of the treatment plan. The ethnicity of these cases are 39% White, 35% Black, 17% Hispanic, and 8% other ethnicities.
The three basic goals of federal and state law for placement are (1) Safety from abuse and neglect, (2) Permanency in a stable environment (with biological family if possible) and (3) Wellbeing of the child.
Intervention Respecting Cultural Diversity
During the early years of child protective services, there was not much notice of cultural diversity. Black children were often placed with other ethnicities without concern for the heritage of the children, and without concern for how important “belonging” is. After many years of ignorance, cultural backgrounds are a consideration when placing a child with a family. However, he will be placed with a culturally diverse family if the other option is homelessness or an institution.
Cultural Competence Practice in Child and Family Service Settings
In the past, children could be taken from their family due to a lack of understanding based on cultural differences between the social worker and the family. Due to the hard work of minority human service workers, and the destructive history of cultural genocide of Native Americans, the social workers of today receive training in cultural diversity, and are aware of a culturally different society. Today a part of the requirement for working the human service profession is to receive cultural awareness training, and most facilities have certifications to that affect.
Human service profession is a growing field, and there will always be change. Society has changed its point-of-view from “It’s none of my business” to “The children deserve this.” In recognition of the children’s needs, the human service profession has grown to recognize the differences and the similarities. The ultimate goal of working with the families is reunification, and understanding that not all children will go home, or placed with relatives is the first step. In addition to where the children will be safe, the human service worker must be aware of the cultural needs, and the necessity of ethnical identification.

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