• June 2011
  • Vol. 12, No. 5

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Reducing Disproportionality Through Supervision

A recent article in American Humane's Protecting Children (Vol. 25) looks at the overrepresentation of African-American children in child welfare and offers innovative strategies for worker supervision that can increase the effectiveness of working with African-American families. Authors Donna L. Parrish and Brenden A. Hargett discuss three models of child welfare supervision—administrative, educational, and supportive—and suggest strategies for each type. Strategies include:

  • Monitoring workers' decision-making processes in the context of race
  • Providing non-African-American workers with training to successfully engage African-American families
  • Helping workers become more culturally competent and aware of culturally specific community resources

Other overall supervision strategies are offered, including:

  • Adding race to the supervisor case consultation checklist
  • Training workers on cultural implications in order to develop creative interventions for African-American clients
  • Recruiting and hiring diverse staff
  • Engaging in honest conversations with colleagues about race and discrimination
  • Using specific training tools to combat racism and promote cultural competency

The complete article, "Bridging the Cultural Divide: Innovative Supervision Practices to Impact Disproportionality With African American Clients in Child Welfare," is available on the Colorado Disparities Resource Center website:

www.colodrc.org/assets/docs/cdrc-bridging-cultural-divide.pdf (99 KB)

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