Pathways to service inequalities among Latinos in the child welfare system
While the number of Latino children and families involved in the child welfare system continues to grow, our understanding of developing, implementing, and disseminating evidence-based child welfare practices that are culturally responsive to Latino communities remains unknown. As a preliminary first step to address these gaps in child welfare research and practice, efforts to identify factors that perpetuate and prolong disparate outcomes in achieving safety, permanency, and wellbeing are sorely needed. Given their contemporary day-to-day experiences in negotiating increasing demands and changing practice and policy procedures, caseworkers who primarily work with Latino children and families involved in the child welfare system were asked to participate in one of four focus groups. Content analyses illuminated factors that increase child welfare involvement and numerous barriers Latinos often experience in accessing culturally congruent services. Caseworkers provided recommendations that focus on developing organizational policies and procedures to address barriers. If disseminated and implemented, these recommendations may play an important role in providing child welfare services that promote positive outcomes among Latino children and families involved in the child welfare system.
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