South Asian immigrants' experience of child protection services: Are we recognizing strengths and resilience?

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Child & Family Social Work

Ethno-racial minority families who are involved with the child welfare system face particular challenges including differences in child rearing practices, cultures, values and the potential of biases, all of which may not address their particular needs as caregivers. Caregivers who self-identify as South Asian were invited to participate in this qualitative study.  During participant interviews (n=20) areas of exploration included but were not limited to: migration history, racial diversity, parent-child interactions, child welfare intervention, participants’ view of services, and recommended services.  Analysis of interviews with participants revealed several themes.  Participants expressed disappointment, as they had an understanding that the child welfare system was a service and support agency, but their interactions with the system lead them to believe the purpose is primarily investigative.  Families felt further disappointment with the lack of social supports experienced in their country of origin.  Systemic issues faced by participants include high worker turnover, frequent missed and rescheduled appointments resulting in confusion and interruption in service.  Some participants felt that it was a good lesson learned that helping professionals should not be trusted.  Authors suggest further examination of policies and programs in order to assess structural issues within organizations that pose barriers to best practices.   

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Canadian CW research
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