This qualitative study examines the Minnesota One-Stop for Communities Parent Mentor Program (MPMP). African American parents previously involved in the child welfare system conceptualized and spearheaded this program for parents currently involved in the system to reduce the involvement of families of color in child welfare, provide support and build protective factors. The MPMP exists alongside of, not as part of, state, county or tribal child welfare systems. This study included 15 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with parent mentors, parents and stakeholders, as well as participant observations and document reviews. Findings establish transferability of some of the positive findings of previous qualitative research on programs embedded within child welfare systems to the MPMP including the centrality of relationships to successful mentoring. It builds on existing research by providing insights into how to reduce racial disparities in the involvement of families of color in the child welfare system. Participants argued that by positioning their program outside of the formal child welfare system, they were better able to build trust and engage parents from African American and Indigenous communities, more flexibly address parent needs, and include parent mentors with a wide variety of life experiences. Implications for future research are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This report was supported by the Gamble-Skogmo Endowment in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota; and Grant-in-aid from the University of Minnesota.The authors would like to thank the parents, mentors and professionals for sharing their experiences and insights, and for their collaboration throughout this study. This study was supported by the Gamble-Skogmo Endowment at the University of Minnesota, School of Social Work.
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd
- Child welfare
- Helping relationships
- Indigenous social work
- Parent mentors
- Racial disparities