Although scholars in the applied social sciences and allied professions have paid increasing attention to many of the disparities experienced by African American youth, very few efforts have been made to increase awareness of how culturally responsive practice can inform prevention and intervention efforts with this population. In response, the authors present an overview of cultural factors among African American youth, including information on their ancestral heritage, language, and known findings from culturally responsive interventions, to establish guideposts for next steps required to advance practice within social work. Subsequently, the authors conclude by sharing implications for continued research with communities and preliminary steps for social work practitioners that work with African American youth and their families.
Husain Lateef and Dominique Horton
Daphne S. Cain and Terri Combs-Orme
Parenting is a key part of social-work practice and research, particularly in the child welfare arena. Despite significant research and theory in other disciplines about the importance of the parent–child relationship to the quality of parenting, the focus of social work appears to lie in narrow goals such as the prevention of abuse and child placement and to employ interventions that lack significant evidence of effectiveness. This entry summarizes social-work practice and research in the area of parenting and reviews the state of the art overall in research and knowledge about parenting.
Wendy Haight and Priscilla Gibson
Racial disproportionality in out-of-school suspensions (suspensions) is a persistent, multi-level social justice and child well-being issue affecting not only youth, families, and schools but society as a whole. It is a complex, multiple-level social problem that will require an equally complex response. The design of effective remedies will require adequate understanding of the problem as well as the historical and sociocultural contexts in which it emerged and is perpetuated. Progressive educators have offered a number of alternatives to harsh and exclusionary discipline, but research is needed to examine their effectiveness, especially in reducing racial disproportionalities.