To meet the needs of the diverse children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system, agencies must be able to identify and deliver culturally relevant services, resources, and supports. When agencies are culturally responsive, they embrace equal access and nondiscriminatory practice and are better able to ensure the well-being of the families they serve. As a result, agencies can enact changes aimed at reducing disparity and disproportionality in their services and improve equitable family outcomes. On this page, find information about implementing child welfare practices with cultural humility and building culturally responsive child welfare systems.
Assessing the Racial and Ethnic Cultural Competence of Your Support Services (PDF - 348 KB)
Provides a toolkit that child welfare agencies can use to assess the cultural competence and racial equity of their workforce and practices and work towards implementing positive change in these areas.
Cultural Competency in Child Welfare Practice: A Bridge Worth Building
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services
Provides tools to address diversity and cultural competence, including practice considerations for refugee and immigrant populations.
Cultural Humility Practice Principles (PDF - 175 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2019)
Explains cultural humility and lists practices that child welfare professionals can use to incorporate cultural humility into their work.
Culturally Effective Organizations
FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Abuse
Discusses the importance and elements of cultural responsiveness when working with children and families.
Culturally Responsive Engagement and Partnership [Video]
Capacity Building Center for States (2021)
Explores the importance of and distinction between cultural competency, cultural humility, and cultural safety, and how they affect an organization’s ability to be inclusive of those involved with the child welfare system.
Cultural Responsiveness to Racial Trauma: Understanding Racial Trauma, Why It Matters, and What To Do (PDF - 230 KB)
St. John, Endale, & National Child Traumatic Stress Network Culture Consortium (2020)
Explains racial trauma and how child welfare systems can become more culturally responsive by understanding and acknowledging historical and present-day racism.
Developing Culturally Responsive Approaches to Serving Diverse Populations: A Resource Guide for Community-Based Organizations
López, Hofer, Bumgarner, & Taylor (2017)
National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
Provides ways to help community-based organizations recognize and serve the needs of diverse populations.
Elevating Culturally Specific Evidence-Based Practices
O’Brien, Evans, Heaton, Hyland, & Weiner (2021)
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Highlights the need to advance evidence-based child welfare prevention interventions developed by and designed for people of color to combat disproportionality in the child welfare system.
Improving Cultural Competency in Child Welfare [Webinar]
RedMane Technology (2023)
Shares a conversation with child welfare leaders from across the country on strategies child welfare professionals can use to incorporate cultural responsiveness into their practice.
Seeking Equity Calls Us to Cultural Humility
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2021)
Children’s Bureau Express, 22(4)
Explains that cultural humility includes an examination of biases, open dialogue with families, and proactive efforts to address systematic inequities. The article shares cultural humility practice principles that can help child welfare agencies improve outcomes for children, youth, and families.
Understanding Racial Trauma and Institutional Racism to Improve Cultural Responsiveness, Race Equity, and Implicit Bias in Child Welfare Cases [Webinar]
National Association of Counsel for Children (2020)
Describes how a community approach to child welfare can help address inequities in the system and offers ways child welfare agencies and community partners can improve their cultural responsiveness. This free webinar requires users to input their name and email address to view.