Negotiating cultural values and expectations within the public child welfare system: A look at familismo and personalismo

Cecilia Ayón, Eugene Aisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines, from the perspective of parents and child welfare workers, how cultural values and expectations are integrated and negotiated in public child welfare cases. The study focuses on the experiences and interactions of Mexican families with the public child welfare system in Southern California. Grounded theory is used to complete the content analysis. Findings indicate that workers' efforts to provide culturally congruent services are limited by organizational structural factors. Consistent with the value of personalismo, parents stress the importance of a good relationship with their worker and the implications to their case. Specific recommendations to enhance service delivery include (1) developing services models that are informed by families served; (2) developing/providing ongoing training and evaluation to ascertain if services are in fact culturally competent; and (3) promoting a change in child welfare policy that reflects the diverse needs of families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

Keywords

  • Child welfare services
  • Culturally congruent services
  • Familismo
  • Mexican families
  • Personalismo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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