Black Parents Ask For A Second Look: Parenting Under ‘White’ Child Protection Rules In Canada.
Banahene, Paul. Minka, Adjei Eric.
Published: November 2018
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 94 , p. 511-524
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Where children grow up has a major impact on what they become as adults. Towards achieving what is optimal for one's children, parents across cultures carry out different parenting practices. Despite this, Black parents in Canada feel their parenting practices are unfairly targeted by Child Welfare Agencies (CWA), resulting in the overrepresentation of Black children in the welfare system. This study presents qualitative findings on Black parents' knowledge, perceptions, and experiences of navigating through complex Child protection rules and processes in Toronto, Canada. Results revealed that Black parenting experiences are shaped and influenced by cultural knowledge and perceived anti-Black racism in Canada, yet Child Welfare Agencies hardly consider this information in their engagements with Black families. Further, most participants had negative perceptions of Child Welfare Agencies as people who disunite families and racially target Black families. The study reifies that Child Welfare Agencies in Canada need to take necessary steps to understand the complex contexts of Black parenting in order to engage Black parents positively in the child protection process, perhaps enabling more Black children to remain at home safely. Even where removal (protective custody) is the preferred plan, Child Welfare agencies will develop strategies to make better use of the potentials that birth parents possess in order to enhance Black children's lives. (Author abstract)
African Americans; Canada; cultural differences; child rearing; parent child relationships; child welfare services; racial disproportionality; foster children; parental attitudes; racism; family engagement; social workers attitudes; cultural competency; professional training;