Examining African American fathers’ involvement in permanency planning: An effort to reduce racial disproportionality in the child welfare system

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tanya M. Coakley, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Children of color are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. In 2005 they comprised 53% of the 513,000 children in out-of-home placements in the United States [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau (2006). Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Retrieved on June 12, 2007 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report 13.htm]. On average, they stay in foster care longer than Caucasian children [Hill, R.B. (2006). Synthesis of research on disproportionality in child welfare: An update. Washington, D.C.: Casey—CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in the Child Welfare System. Retrieved April 11, 2007, from http://www.caseyfamilyservices.org/pdfs/0226_CC_BobHillPaper_FINAL.pdf]. There is virtually no empirical research on African American fathers' involvement in permanency planning, which makes it difficult either to understand the relationships among fathers' involvement, agency practices, and children's permanency outcomes or to identify which types of efforts are most effective to involve African American fathers. This study examines the extent to which African American fathers' involvement in permanency planning influences children's placement outcomes using a secondary data analysis of 88 children's child welfare case records. Findings show that children were reunited with birth families more often and had shorter stays in foster care when their fathers were involved. This study contributes to the emerging research on fathers' involvement and explores agency practices that account for extended lengths of stay in foster care for children of color. Recommendations are provided for child welfare policy, practice, and research.

Additional Information

Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 407-417
Language: English
Date: 2008
black fathers, father involvement, permanency planning, child welfare, disproportionality, overrepresentation

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