Child Welfare

Report
How the Perspective of Fathers
Contributes to Disproportionality:
A Real Discussion
Kilolo Brodie, MSW, Ph.D.
California State University Stanislaus
Natasha Paddock, MSW
Regional Director – Region C
National Association of Social Workers - California
The purpose of this webinar is to:
1.
Better understand the relationship between father
involvement and disproportionality in child welfare
2.
Examine the barriers to father involvement including
institutional and social worker gender bias
3.
Discuss the benefits of incorporating co-parenting as
a method to improve parent communication
4.
Advocate for culturally relevant practices and increase
workers’ competence when working with fathers
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
1.
African American children are
disproportionately represented in child welfare
2.
African American children remain in foster
care longer than their counterparts
3.
Race + class = disproportionality (McRoy, 2008)
4.
Little focus/considerations for fathers in CPS
5.
Gender bias in child welfare
6.
Mother’s inclusion or EXCLUSION fathers
7.
Lack of research devoted to father
involvement and gender bias
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE:
Perceptions of Fathers:
1.
Ineffective & unimportant parents
(O’Donnell, 2001)
2.
Breadwinners vs. social/emotional
providers (Black et al., 1999)
3.
Conditioned to believe if they cannot
provide (financially), their presence is not
warranted (Greif et al., 2011)
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE:
Mothers as Gatekeepers of Fathers:
1.
May/may not provide father(s)’
whereabouts
2.
May/may not provide identifying
information
3.
General lack of communication about
fathers & paternal relatives
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE:
Transference (FATHERS):
1.Negative thoughts/beliefs about child welfare
2.Negative interactions/outcomes with women
Counter-transference (STAFF & SYSTEMS):
1.Negative outcomes of relationships with men
2.Unresolved issues between female workers and
men/father figures
3.Racial, social, educational, economic
stereotypes
4.Unintentional gender bias
Who is “the system”?
THEORIES, MODELS & FRAMEWORK:
1. Family
Systems Theory
2. Empowerment Perspective
3. Family-Centered Perspective
4. Co-parenting Model
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.
What are the experiences of
fathers regarding their parenting?


2.
Experiences (IV)
Parenting (DV)
How do fathers describe their
interactions with social workers?


Descriptions (IV)
Experiences (DV)
METHODOLOGY
Research Design:
Exploratory/descriptive study
 Mixed methods – focus groups
and self-administered surveys
 3 primary subject areas
o Fathering and co-parenting
o Fatherhood involvement
o Gender bias and social workers

METHODOLOGY
Sampling Plan
•
•
•
Nonprobability
Purposive
Targeted a mandated parenting class
for men
RECRUITMENT STRATEGIES & TECHNIQUES
•
CBO in the Bay Area
•
Gift card incentives were offered
METHODOLOGY
Instrumentation:



33 Likert scale items
Interview guide approach (focus groups)
3 main categories
o Fathering and co-parenting
o Fatherhood involvement
o Gender bias and social workers
METHODOLOGY
Instrumentation:


Questions constructed with feedback from
directors of CW orgs, CPS line workers, &
social science researchers, in conjunction
with a review of the literature, to determine
the appropriateness of the tool.
Face validity was determined.
METHODOLOGY
Protection of Human Subjects:



University IRB compliance
Informed consent procedures
Focus group confidentiality
METHODOLOGY
Data Collection:


Surveys were administered first,
followed by the focus group
discussions
4 separate focus groups within
one year
METHODOLOGY
Quantitative Data Analysis:


Univariate analysis
Descriptive statistics
Qualitative Data Analysis:


Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods:
qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston:
Pearson Education.
Displayed in tables
Findings: DEMOGRAPHICS
Sample
•
•
33 male respondents
All from racial minority backgrounds






African American
Asian
Latino
Middle Eastern
Pacific Islander
Latino & African American
Findings: DEMOGRAPHICS
Findings: DEMOGRAPHICS
Age
Frequency
Valid Percent
Cumulative
Percent
20-25
7
23.3
23.3
26-30
6
20.0
43.3
31-35
5
16.7
60.0
36-40
5
16.7
76.7
51+
3
10.0
86.7
under 20
2
6.7
93.3
46-50
2
6.7
100.0
Findings: DEMOGRAPHICS
Findings: FATHERING & CO-PARENTING
What does co-parenting mean to you?
Frequency
Valid
Percent
All responsibilities divided in half (50/50)
18
54.5
Parents agree 100%
6
18.2
Parents share joint legal and physical custody
3
9.1
Both parents sign legal paperwork & joint custody
2
6.1
All responsibilities are shared 50/50 & parents
must agree 100%
1
3.0
All responsibilities are shared 50/50 & both
parents sign legal paperwork
1
3.0
All responsibilities 50/50 and joint legal &
physical custody
2
6.1
Total
33
100.0
Findings: FATHERING & CO-PARENTING
Findings: FATHERING & CO-PARENTING
Conflict
About…
Some of the All/Most of
Never/
time
the time
Very rarely
Where children live
57%
24%
18%
Father spends money
57%
15%
27%
Mother spends money
54%
21%
24%
Visitation
60%
15%
24%
Child support
69%
15%
15%
Findings: FATHERING & CO-PARENTING
How often do
you & child’s
mother…
Never/
Very rarely Some of the All/Most of
time
the time
Make important
decisions together
22%
19%
59%
Discuss school progress
27%
14%
59%
Discuss discipline
22%
29%
48%
Findings: FATHERHOOD INVOLVEMENT
Findings: FATHERHOOD INVOLVEMENT
Findings: FATHERHOOD INVOLVEMENT
Always/
Most of
the time
Not very
involved
Not involved
at all
How involved are you in
your children’s lives?
94%
3%
3%
How involved is your side
of the family?
78%
19%
3%
Does your family support
your child’s events?
87%
6%
6%
Findings: GENDER BIAS & SOCIAL WORK
Never/
Very
rarely
Some of
the time
All/Most of
the time
Felt treated w/ respect
52%
5%
42%
Felt valued
55%
15%
35%
31%
21%
47%
47%
12%
41%
SW saw me as important
an factor in child’s life
SW believed my role was
for financial support
Findings: GENDER BIAS & SOCIAL WORK
SA
SW treated me the
same as the
children’s mother
SW didn’t want
my input
regarding the
child’s case
A
D
12% 17% 35%
5%
SD
Not
Sure
0%
35%
11% 22% 28% 33%
Findings: GENDER BIAS & SOCIAL WORK
Female social worker included me in the case plan
Never
Very rarely
Some of the time
Most of the time
All of the time
29%
6%
35%
12%
17%
Findings: GENDER BIAS & SOCIAL WORK
Have you ever had a male social worker? (n=23)
 87% = “No”
**Was your experience with male social workers
any different from working with female social
workers? (n=8)
 0% = Very different
 37% = Some difference/Not much difference
 50% = Not sure
Findings: GENDER BIAS & SOCIAL WORK
If you’ve never had a male social worker, do you
think it would have made any difference? (n=15)
 7% = “Yes”
 53% = “No”
Findings: QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS/CODING
Neuman’s 5-part plan:
Sorting & Classifying - Data were organized by each
survey question
Open Coding - Assigned initial codes or labels to
condensed data into categories; Themes/labels were
created based on our 2 research questions, the literature
review, and frequency of terms used by participants
Axial Coding – Organization of the themes;
concentrated on process and conceptual categories
Findings: QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS/CODING
Neuman’s 5-part plan (cont.):
Selective Coding – Scanned the data again and
reviewed the previously established codes; selected
cases that illustrated major themes & concepts
Interpreting & Elaborating – Identified major themes
and categories are related to the literature (existing
knowledge base); noted comparisons and contrasts;
Offered explanations for the findings; working theory
(explanations) were then formulated
QUALITATIVE THEME:
“DYNAMICS”





[CPS] “is implosive…breaking you down from
the inside” – the CW system
“CPS is like the police, like the enemy”
“the courts are biased” – proponents of mothers
“it’s real Jim Crowish” – the CW system
“[Social workers] make it so mom will be the
best parent [and the one] with services” – bias
Summary of the Findings





SW gender did not matter
Father self-identified as “active” and
“involved” (even though some fathers had
court orders to stay away from their children)
High involvement of paternal relatives
Many of the fathers reported being gainfully
employed with a skilled trade
Overall, the fathers reported a positive coparenting experience
Limitations of the Study
•
•
•
•
Survey Language
Sample size
Social desirability
Instrument not pretested
Implications for the Future of
Child Welfare Research
 Sampling more fathers of color- African
American fathers
 Operational definition of “active” and
“involved”
 The impact of gender (male) on child
welfare case planning
Implications for the Future of
Child Welfare Education



Title IV-E child welfare training
projects
Social work education - GP, HBSE,
research and field practicum
Paradigm shift - value placed on
fathers
Implications for the Future of
Child Welfare Practice



Legislation that supports low-income fathers and
addresses barriers to father involvement
(employment, housing, and child welfare
visibility)
Collaboration of services (mental health, criminal
justice, public social services, child welfare) that
addresses inter-systemic issues concerning
fathers
Mandated child welfare trainings that emphasizes
cultural awareness of low income communities
and best practices for engaging fathers
Tipping the Scales
Disproportionality
Father Involvement
•Family History
•Extended Relatives
•Resources
References
• American Humane Association. (2013). Fatherhood initiative. Retrieved from
http://www.americanhumane.org/children/programs/fatherhood-initiative/
• Black, M. M., Dubowitz, H. Starr, Jr, R. H. (1999). African American fathers in low
income, urban families: Development, behavior, and home environment of their
three-year-old children. Child Development, 70(4), 967-978.
• California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC). (2013). Title IV-E child
welfare training program. Retrieved from http://calswec.berkeley.edu/title-iv-echild-welfare-training-program.
• Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2010, August). National quality improvement
center on non-resident fathers and the child welfare system discretionary grant.
Retrieved from
https://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/qicnrf.cfm
• Coakley, T. M., (2008). Examining African American father’s involvement in
permanency planning: An effort to reduce racial disproportionality in the child
welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 407-417.
References
• Coakley, T. M., (2013). The influence of father involvement on child welfare
permanency outcomes: A secondary analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 35,
174-182.
• Council on Social Work Education. (2012, August). Educational Policy and
Accreditation Standards (Educational Policy 2.3—Signature Pedagogy: Field
Education). Retrieved from http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=41861
• Curtis, C., Denby, R. (2011). African American children in the child welfare system:
Requiem or reform. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 5, 111-137.
• English, D. J., Brummel, S., & Martens, P. (2009). Fatherhood in the Child Welfare
System: Evaluation of a Pilot Project to Improve Father Involvement. Journal Of
Public Child Welfare, 3(3), 213-234.
• Friere, P. (2002). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: The Continuum
International Publishing Group, Inc.
• Greif, G. L., Jones, J. T., Worthy, J., White, E., Davis, W., & Pitchford, E. (2011).
Working with urban, African American fathers: The importance of service provision,
joining, accountability, the father-child relationship, and couples work. Journal of
Family Social Work, 14(3), 247-261.
References







Hines, A., Lee, P., Osterling, K. & Drabble, L. (2007). Factors predicting family
reunification for African American, Latino, Asian, and White families in the child
welfare system. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 16(2)m 275-289.
African American, Latino, Asian, and White families in the child welfare system.
Journal of Child & Family Studies, 16(2)m 275-289.
Lee, J. A. B. (1996). The empowerment approach to social work practice. In F. J.
Turner (Ed.), Social work treatment (pp. 218-249). New York, NY: The Free
Press.
McRoy, R. G. (2008). Acknowledging disproportionate outcomes and changing
service delivery. Child Welfare, 87(2), 205-210.
National Fatherhood Initiative. (2006). Fathering attitudes survey. PDF
O'Donnell, J. (2001). Paternal involvement in kinship foster care services in one
father and multiple father families. Child Welfare, 80(4), 453-479.
Pillari, V. (2002). Social work practice: Theories and skills. Boston, MA: Allyn &
Bacon.
References




Sheafor, B. W., & Horejsi, C. R. (2006). Techniques and guidelines for social
work practice, 7th ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Wilson, W. J. (1980). The declining significance of race: Blacks and changing
American institutions, 2nd ed. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL.
Zastrow, C. (2008). Introduction to social work and social welfare, 9th ed.
Belmont, CA: Thomson/Brooks Cole.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2007). Understanding human behavior and
the social environment, 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Brooks Cole.

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