African-American children and youth are disproportionately represented in the U.S. foster care system, which can have strong implications for screening and assessment, service provision, and even achieving permanency. Culturally sensitive, evidence-supported interventions for African-Americans are critical to decreasing families in care and improving outcomes. This section contains resources to help workers, agencies, and systems related to child welfare and behavioral health better understand and enhance their cultural competence in working with African-American children, youth, and families.
Bridging Research and Practice in Trauma: Impact on Children, Families and Communities and Effective Interventions: Historical Trauma and Its Effects on American Indian and African American Children and Their Families
University of Minnesota, Children, Youth and Family Consortium
Presents materials from workshops focused on historical trauma and its impact on African-American and American Indian families. The objective was to analyze the impact past social policies have had on health issues with African-American and American Indian families and their children, including health disparities within these two groups.
Changes in Family Structure: The Consequences for Children's Well-Being (PDF - 477 KB)
Bachman, Coley, & Carrano (2010)
National Center for Family and Marriage Research
Investigates the connection between family structure and potential cognitive well-being and stability in children. The study examined a sample of low-income African-American and Hispanic children.
Infusing Culture into Practice: Developing and Implementing Evidence-Based Mental Health Services for African American Foster Youth
Briggs & McBeath (2010)
Child Welfare, 89(1)
Reviews the consequences of the insufficient access to culturally sensitive, evidence-supported interventions for African-American youth in foster care. The authors describe a framework for the development of culturally appropriate mental health interventions responsive to the needs of African-Americans.
Middle Class African American Mothers' Depressive Symptoms Mediate Perceived Discrimination and Reported Child Externalizing Behaviors
McNeil, Harris-McKoy, Brantley, Fincham, & Beach (2014)
Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(8)
Presents results of a study that explored the effects of perceived discrimination on youth outcomes and examined the potential mediating role of maternal depression. Maternal perceived discrimination accounted for variability in reported child behaviors.
Parenting a Child With a Disability: The Role of Social Support for African American Parents (PDF - 407 KB)
Ha, Greenberg, & Seltzer (2011)
Families in Society, 92(4)
Presents an article that examines the impact of having a child with a disability on parents' mental and physical health among urban-dwelling African-Americans. The article also examines the extent to which positive and negative social interactions with family members influence the impact of child's disability on the parents' ability to adapt.
Predictors of Treatment Engagement in Ethnically Diverse, Urban Children Receiving Treatment for Trauma Exposure
Fraynt, Ross, Baker, Rystad, Lee, & Briggs (2014)
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Presents a study that examined whether racial/ethnic disparities exist in treatment duration and completion in minority children seeking treatment for trauma exposure from a child abuse prevention and treatment agency in southern California. The results indicated that African-American children had significantly shorter trauma-informed treatment duration and higher rates of premature termination than Spanish-speaking Latino children.
Resilience in Black Families
In Handbook of Family Resilience
Explores how many African-American families are able to succeed in the face of social, economic, educational, and political adversities in addition to adversities that confront them at the level of the individual family; characteristics of resilient black families; the benefits of studying black families through the lens of resilience; and barriers that interfere with such study.
Resilience Despite Risk: Understanding African-American ACOAs' Kin and Fictive Kin Relationships
In Handbook of Family Resilience
Examines how kin relationships contribute to the resiliency of African-American adult children of alcoholics. The importance of fostering social and kin relationships is emphasized.
Social Work With African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Social Policy
Presents an in depth look at African-American males as an underserved population. This book examines qualitative interviews as well as comprehensive surveys and data sets addressing African-American males' physical, mental, and spiritual health and emerging family roles within both individual and communal contexts.
Trauma and Substance Abuse Among Child Welfare Involved African American Mothers: A Case Study
Blakey & Smith Hatcher (2013)
Journal of Public Child Welfare 7(2)
Uses a multiple embedded case study design to highlight the experiences of African American mothers with substance-abuse histories who were trying to regain custody of their children.
Treatment Outcome for Low Socioeconomic Status African American Families in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: A Pilot Study
Fernandez, Butler, & Eyberg (2011)
Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 33(1)
Presents research results on the efficacy of parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) in 18 socioeconomically disadvantaged African-American families of children with disruptive behaviors. Mothers reported significant improvements in child disruptive behavior but not in maternal depressive symptoms or parenting stress.