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The african family

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  • 1. African Tribes Afar Anlo-Ewe Amhara Ashanti Bakongo Bambara Bemba Berber Bobo Bushmen/San Chewa Dogon Fang Fon Fulani Ibos Kikuyu Maasai Mandinka Pygmies Samburu Senufo Tuareg Wolof Yoruba Zulu
  • 2. The African Family ♦ Collectively Thinking People: Village, Amass, Accumulative, Concentrate, Congregate, Assemble, Flock, Gather It takes a village to raise a child. Blended Families made one family. Unity
  • 3. The African Family ♦ Our families consist of Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle (if single), Auntie (if single), Mother, Father, children, and community. That was the collectively thinking we shared in times pass. That was the nucleus of the African family.
  • 4. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism ♦ During the seventeenth century, slaves had little opportunity to establish family units. Newly imported African slaves were often kept in sex-segregated quarters. In the Chesapeake colonies and the Carolinas, most slaves lived on plantations with fewer than ten slaves. These units were so small and so widely dispersed, and the sex ratio was so skewed (two women for three men) that it was difficult for slave men and women to find spouse of roughly the same age.
  • 5. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism ♦ A high death rate compounded the difficulties slaves faced in forming families, since many slaves did not live long enough to marry or, if they did, their marriages were brief
  • 6. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism ♦ By the 1770s, slaves had succeeded in creating a distinctive African American system of family and kinship. To sustain a sense of family identity, slave children were often named from parent or other blood kin or given a traditional African name. ♦ The major reasons why slaves fled their masters’ plantations was to visit spouses, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
  • 7. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism ♦ 1950s, African American culture places greater emphasis on ties to a network of kin that can extend over more than one household. Extended kin such as the grandparents, parents, and children who provide and to receive more help from each other. They also live together more often about half of all middle-aged African American women, live in a threegeneration household at some point.
  • 8. Daniel Patrick Moynihan The Negro Family: The Case For National Action (1965) ♦ Produced as part of LBJ’s war on poverty ♦ “At the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family” ♦ Argued patterns observed by Frazier were growing and would not stop without intervention ♦ Advocated coordinated government programs to strengthen black family
  • 9. Moynihan Report Controversies Moynihan had it backwards: ♦ single parenthood was the consequence of poverty, not the cause of it. ♦ Moynihan ignored the strength and resilience of the black family, and denigrated black culture ♦ Dozens of historical studies argued that black families in the nineteenth century were maleheaded, nuclear, just like white families
  • 10. No marriage boom for black men ♦ After the war, blacks were forced off southern farms by mechanization and consolidation of sharecropping farms. ♦ This resulted in massive dislocation and a rise of young men with no occupation. ♦ Without the shift from farming into no occupation, there would have been a substantial black post-war marriage boom. ♦ There was no marriage boom for blacks because there was no economic boom for blacks.
  • 11. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism Shifts in the approach to societal problems during the twentieth century helped to shape child welfare policies. Roberts explains in Shattered Bonds, “by the early twentieth century, rescuing children from maltreatment by removing them from their homes was part of a broader campaign to remedy social ills, including poverty. This movement created the juvenile courts, opposed child labor, lobbied for mandatory school attendance laws, and established pensions for widows and single mothers to reduce the need for child removal. It judged poor families by an elitist standard and ignored black children altogether Roberts (2002b:14).
  • 12. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism Roberts goes on to explain that the “early reformers tied children’s welfare to social conditions that could only be improved through societal reforms. This movement ended in the 1970s, with the emergence of a new emphasis on disassociating unpopular poverty programs from the problem of child abuse. The intent was to show that abuse was a problem for all of America, not just for those in poverty Roberts (2002b:14).
  • 13. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism This change created a focus on saving the child, while the family was de-emphasized as a factor in helping children. The rules governing the administration of welfare programs became more restrictive, with regulations designed to change behavior. Systemic and individual bias inherent in policies and procedures ensured the removal of children from their families instead of offering supports for children while they remained with their own families. At the same time, the visibility of the impoverished and specifically minority families became more pronounced Roberts (2002b:14).
  • 14. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism The investigation and substantiation processes utilize certain assessment protocols, investigative requirements an procedures, and methodologies to confirm the actions taken or rationale for the exclusions. There is evidence suggesting that race plays a role at the investigation decision point. As reported by Hill, Sedlak and Shultz’s 2001 reanalysis of National Institutes Health (NIH-3) data found “higher rates of investigations for Africa Americans than Caucasians: (a) among children who were emotionally maltreated or, physically neglected; (b) among children who suffered serious or fatal injuries; (c) when reports came from mental health or social service professionals; and (d) when the parents were substance abusers Hill (2001: 5).
  • 15. The African American Family the Creation of Separatism Also, even though data from the National Incidence Studies (NIS) of Child Abuse and Neglect have consistently indicated that there is no significant racial difference in the overall incidence of abuse and neglect between minority and white children, the data do indicate disparities in investigations of child abuse and neglect: ♦ African American children who were emotionally maltreated or physically neglected were much more likely to be investigated than white children similarly maltreated. ♦ African American children who suffered fatal or serious injury were much more likely to receive CPS[Child Protective Services] investigation than white children with comparable severe injuries. ♦ African American children whose maltreatment was recognized by mental health or social service professionals were more likely to be investigated than comparable white children. ♦ African American children whose perpetrator was involved with alcohol or drugs were much more likely to receive CPS investigation Sedlak and Schultz (2005: 114 -115) .
  • 16. I believe that every African American child has a purpose, a “gift to offer the world.” However, in America’s society the dangerous outcomes of childbirth are insufficient or imaginary health care, poverty, lack of proper food or education for nourishment. In addition, poor housing conditions, juvenile systems, and the most dangerous “The Child Welfare System.” While African American children make up about one-fifth of the children in this country, research indicates that they make up two-fifths of the children in the child welfare system (Roberts 2002a: 3). Children of color are more likely to be detached from their parents, the family unit and the community they are familiar, placed in out-of-home, institutions group homes and outof- state care. They also are more likely to remain in care for longer periods than Caucasian children are. In addition, to all the other affiliations of being an African American child the chances of the survival during the early years makes the child turn against his/her self.
  • 17. Public Policies and Practices in Child Welfare Systems that Affect Life Options for Children of Color ERNESTINE F. JONES
  • 18. Micro-Mezzo, Macro Intervention ♦ The Wraparound approach ♦ Realize that African Americans have different communication styles. ♦ Appreciate the diversity of family types among African Americans ♦ Encourage political advocacy/Community Organizing
  • 19. References ♦ Dhooper S. and Moore S. (2001: 99-103) Social Work Practice with Cuturally Diverse People. Sage Publication, Inc. ♦ Hill, R. 2001. Disproportionality of Minorities in Child Welfare: Synthesis of Research Findings. Paper prepared for Race Matters Consortium. http://www.racemattersconsortium.org/docs/whopaper4.pdf. ♦ Roberts, D. E. 2002a. Racial Disproportionality in the U. S. Child Welfare System (Working Paper #4): Documentation, Research on Causes, and Promising Practices. Northwestern University School of Law, Institute for Policy Research (August). ♦ Roberts, D. E. 2002b. Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare. New York: Basic Books/Civitas. ♦ Sedlak, A., and D. Schultz. 2005. Race Matters in Child Welfare: Race Differences in Child Protective Services Investigation of Abused and Neglected Children. CWLA Press. ♦ University of Minnesota Population Center African-American Families http://ipums.org