Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Zoila Gordon


African American communities have been subject to institutional and societal inequalities for much of our nation’s history. A review of the literature has shown that these families have unequal access to resources and opportunities, especially in the comparison to the rest of the population. These factors may contribute to African American children having higher rates of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect, as well as the amount of time that these children spend in the foster care system. A qualitative study was conducted in the form of focus groups. The study examined the African American community’s perspective of the child welfare system and the social workers they may have come in contact with in the scope of their possible child welfare experience. Common themes that emerged included a lack of understanding of both the system and services provided, a sense of mistrust between the community and government agencies, and the need for more resources specifically for the African American community. Proposed solutions to alleviate the disproportionality problems in child welfare included social workers teaming with families, mentorships between African Americans, and collaborations with other agencies.

Included in

Social Work Commons