History of Minority Populations in the Child Welfaire System Essay

History of Minority Populations in the Child Welfare System Sara Starnes BSHS/302- Introduction to Human Services Sylvia Head Axia College of the University of Phoenix The articles I chose were, “Minority children and the child welfare system: An historical perspective”. This article covers a minority that receives help from a human service program; going in to detail about the interworking of the services, the role of the government, civil rights, transracial adoption, and the recent changes between 1970- 1988.

The article discusses African American children, Native American children, Hispanic American children and the child welfare system and the many ways the services varies during the discussed years. This article also gives a broader view of how these children have been treated and the interventions that have changed over the years discussed. The article starts off with discussing the treatment of minority children in the U. S. child welfare system and how racism has manifested in inequitable policies and how the services are lacking.

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The article says that the system responds slowly to crises in minority’s families more slowly than they would for the majority and that they have less access to support services such as day care and homemaker services having less comprehensive service plans when it comes to African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Statistically is says that between 1970 and 1980, the proportions of racial and ethnic minorities in the general population increased from 16. 7 percent to 20. 2; a 52 percent growth compared to the 48 for nonminority (Leobardo, 1987).

The Census data for the year 1980 revealed that 78. 7 percent of the white population was under the age of 19 and that 21. 3 percent were minority (Bogue, 1985). During these years the Census could not be very accurate for all the minorities because the data was not available due to the lack of uniformity in defining racial and ethnic categories. Further the article discusses the experiences of African American children in the child welfare system saying that it has varied, that they have been served by a white system, but that they are subjected to harsher treatment.

The article explains that they system of services is provided by the majority, or “white” workers and that the service itself is segregated (Frey, 1981). The article explains that the Native American population suffered high infant mortality rates, and increased numbers of orphans because of the even higher adult mortality rate. That due to low income, high unemployment, poor housing, suicide, and substance abuse that the child welfare had a hand in this destruction. In 1977, 25 to 35 percent of the children in foster care were Native American children.

Also that about 80 percent of these placements was “white” households (Unger, 1977). Covering the Hispanic American children the article discusses that 7 percent of the children in the child welfare system in 1977 were Hispanic (Shyne & Schroeder, 1976). The article also says that due to the Hispanic “lifestyle” many families were denied eligibility for income assistance; which is in regards to their reproduction rate. Furthermore, during this time period in the development of the child welfare system it was not structured to help minority.

A lot has changed over the last thirty years including the passing of the “No child left behind act of 2001. The child welfare system has made great strides in changing their services including becoming devers in staffing. There are now policies in place to keep racism out of the human services fields. The next article is called “Improving Coverage And Access For Immigrant Latino Children: The Los Angeles Healthy Kids Program” covers challenges the Latino children face and the healthy kids program, which has provided health coverage to uninsured children in families that are living below poverty level and are ineligible for Medicaid.

The article also discusses that while the program has had many successes finances have limited its ability to cover all children in need of health services who currently do not have any form of health care coverage because the lack of funding. The next article called “Cultural Competence in the Assessment of Poor Mexican Families in the Rural Southeastern United States. Child Welfare”,  says there are an increasing number of poor Mexican families moving in the rural areas of Southeastern United States. Many of the growing population are displaced laborers with little education.

Child welfare workers struggle to provide the many needs of this growing culture. Disruptions in the family life cycle, directly affects the role of social support in family adaptation. Child welfare workers in these rural communities need to obtain the necesary knowledge and attitudes to create culturally competent assessments for the proper interventions with poor Mexican immigrant families. References: Hill, I. , Dubay, L. , Kenney, G. , Howell, E. , Courtot, B. , & Palmer, L. (2008, March). Improving Coverage And Access For Immigrant Latino Children: The Los Angeles Healthy Kids Program.

Health Affairs, 27(2), 550-559. Retrieved May 15, 2010 from EBSCOhost database Tina U Hancock. (2005). Cultural Competence in the Assessment of Poor Mexican Families in the Rural Southeastern United States. Child Welfare, 84(5), 689-711. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from Career and Technical Education. (Document ID: 924613531) from ProQuest database Hogan, P. , & Sau-Fong, S. (1988). Minority Children and the Child Welfare System: An Historical Perspective. Social Work, 33(6), 493-498. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.


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