Cultural Competence

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"7 Tips" Info. Sheets on Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

Here you can find two quick fact sheets on how caregivers can support LGBTQ+ Youth! From the Children’s Bureau.

Advancing Equity and Inclusion Through the Child and Family Services Reviews

A report on how federal Child and Family Service Reviews are advancing equity in services.

The Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) are designed to determine states’ compliance with titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, and to evaluate child welfare system performance and require states to make improvement in outcomes for children and families. To create a system that is effective and equitable for all, we must pay particular attention to the experiences of those who may be marginalized and more likely to have disparate outcomes.

Child Welfare Practice to Address Racial Disproportionality and Disparity

From the Children’s Bureau’s “Bulletins for Professionals” Series- April, 2021

This bulletin provides a brief overview on the issue of racial disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system and the factors that contribute to the problem. It then describes practices that child welfare caseworkers, administrators, program managers, and policymakers can implement to address these issues in general and at specific decision-making points along the child welfare continuum.

Counsel for Kids Promoting Race Equity

Black and Indigenous children are overrepresented in the child welfare system relative to their representation in the general population. High-quality legal representation can help confront and challenge racism in individual cases and is a key strategy for addressing systemic racial disproportionality and disparity.

Amplify the Child’s Voice!

Download this PDF reviewing the ways Counsel for Kids is promoting racial justice by providing representation.

Cultural Responsiveness

From the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Cultural responsiveness enables individuals and organizations to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values their worth. Being culturally responsive requires having the ability to understand cultural differences, recognize potential biases, and look beyond differences to work productively with children, families, and communities whose cultural contexts are different from one’s own. In this section you will find resources that describe the elements of being culturally responsive.

Focusing on Race Equity Throughout Change and Implementation

Addressing racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare requires agencies to intentionally focus on equity, including while planning for change and implementing new programs and practices.

Achieving equitable services and outcomes demands deliberate use of race equity and inclusion principles from the earliest stages of exploring a problem to identifying its causes and solutions to ensuring sustainable implementation.

This tip sheet includes questions for teams to consider throughout change and implementation processes. Child welfare leaders, implementation team members, and technical assistance providers can use the discussion questions to raise awareness, promote reflection, and encourage actions that center equity as a goal within any implementation effort.

LGBTQIA2S+ Resources

The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC- LGBTQ2S) was a 5-year grant established in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau to develop, integrate, and sustain best practices and programs that improve outcomes for children and youth in foster care with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions (SOGIE). 

This page presents resources developed by the QIC-LGBTQ2S in partnership with people with lived experience who helped implement the work of the QIC within their local implementation sites.

Parenting in Racially and Culturally Diverse Adoptive Families

From the Children’s Bureau’s “Factsheets for Families” series- Sept. 2020.

This factsheet provides information to help you and your family support your child in developing a healthy racial and cultural identity and live a vibrant multicultural life. It discusses the importance of examining your thoughts and biases and preparing your child to live in a society where race has a major impact on individual lives. You can use this factsheet as a resource for information on some of the potential rewards and challenges that come with choosing to live a multicultural and multiracial family life.

Race Equity Hub- NACC

From the National Association of Counsel for Children.

The child welfare system often perpetuates racism, bias, poverty,  and the trauma of family separation against children and families of color.  NACC encourages advocates and practitioners to resist these injustices by demonstrating cultural humility, pursuing antiracist practices, confronting personal privilege and bias, utilizing a race equity lens when making decisions, and promoting diversity and inclusion. This hub includes resources that support race equity, one of NACC’s core values. NACC will update this hub on a regular basis. 

Email [email protected] to share additional resources for posting on this hub.

Racial Equity Resources for Child Welfare Systems

From the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Historically, the child welfare system has struggled with achieving equity for all identity groups. There are myriad issues that contribute to the disproportionate adversity experienced by families of color. Additionally, children and youth from diverse populations are overrepresented in the system and may receive less consistent services. This disproportionality often results in unequal outcomes. 

It is therefore essential to address these issues at the individual and systems levels. Black, Brown, and Native children cannot be supported without simultaneously strengthening and caring for Black, Brown, and Native families. This includes systems investing in prevention services and wraparound services for struggling parents as well as antiracism training for child welfare professionals. Antiracism is defined by the active opposition of racist ideology and the promotion of racial tolerance. Below, find resources about implementing antiracism practices and working with diverse populations at the systems level.

SOGIE Center: Promoting the Wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Youth and Their Families

The National SOGIE Center has complied a databse of resources on serving LGBTQ+ youth and families in systems. This database is being continuously updated. Please send any resources you’d like us to include to [email protected].

Threading Equity Throughout Child Welfare: Podcast

This episode of the Child Welfare Information Gateway Podcast features a conversation with Aysha E. Schomburg, J.D., associate commissioner, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This conversation dives into each priority goal, including any Federal policy or guidance updates and recommendations, along with how these actions connect and relate to the work performed by frontline child welfare professionals.

Understanding the Past to Build a New Future: Advancing Racial Equity for Children, Youth, and Families

Information from this presentation can help participants expand their awareness of how and why racial and ethnic disparities exist in child welfare systems and in outcomes for children, youth, and families. Presenters explore some of the history that has created the modern-day U.S. child welfare system and examine how racial and ethnic disparities currently show up in this system. They also share examples and strategies for advancing racial equity, including meaningfully sharing power and decision-making with youth and families to build more equitable and responsive child welfare systems.

From the Capacity Building Center for States- 2021

Working with African-American Families

A resource list from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

This page highlights issues relevant to working with African-American families. This includes understanding the impact of historical trauma and ongoing trauma on African-American individuals and families as well as relevant cultural issues. Below, find resources to support child welfare professionals in working with African-American children, youth, and families, including state and local examples.

Working with LGBTQ+ Families in Foster Care and Adoption

From the Children’s Bureau’s “Bulletins for Professionals” Series- June, 2021.

This bulletin is designed to help child welfare and adoption professionals expand their cultural competence and skills when working with parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other diverse identities and expressions, including Two-Spirit (LGBTQ+) and same-gender or gender-diverse couples.

Working with LGBTQ+ Youth and Families

From the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Adolescence is marked by rapid physical development and emotional changes while youth work to develop autonomy and a sense of identity. This period is further complicated by child welfare involvement, which is often associated with changes in social support and placement. Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or another diverse identity (LGBTQ+) are overrepresented in the child welfare system and face several additional complex challenges beyond those typically associated with adolescence, including discrimination and threats to their physical and emotional wellbeing. It is therefore extremely important to understand how to strengthen protective factors and effectively work with this population. Resources on this page support child welfare workers serving this population, while subpages include resources for LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care and resources offering support and guidance for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.