Language Is Not Enough: Institutional Supports for Spanish Speaking Client-Worker Engagement in Child Welfare.
Lanesskog, Deirdre. Muñoz, José. Castillo, Koressa.
Published: September-October 2020
Journal of Public Child Welfare
Vol. 14, No. 4 , p. 435-457
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
711 Third Avenue
New York, NY 20017
Latino immigrant families in the child welfare system are more likely than their U.S. born peers to experience barriers to the supportive services their families need. These clients must engage with their social workers to overcome obstacles including communicative challenges, cultural differences, limited Spanish language referral services, ineligibility for public programs, and fear of government authorities. This study used interviews with Spanish speaking clients and social workers in one child welfare agency to examine clients’ and workers’ perceptions of their relationships and the barriers and facilitators of their work together. Our findings suggest that child welfare agencies might better support Spanish speaking clients and workers by adopting strategies to strengthen workers’ cultural competency, to reduce barriers to referral services, and to provide appropriate supervision to Spanish speaking workers. These institutional supports are needed to support client-worker engagement and enhance service delivery for Latino immigrant families. (Author abstract)
CHILD WELFARE WORKERS; IMMIGRANTS; LATINOS; ENGAGEMENT; COMMUNICATION; CULTURAL COMPETENCY; SERVICE DELIVERY; SERVICE PLANNING