Wednesday, October 21, 2015


If you have been reading my blog, you will notice there are different topics I talk about all relating to child welfare and minorities. Last night, in my child and youth social policy class I was listening to a classmate present on comprehensive sex education classes. Well, I started to think about how important is it to provide education on communication and relationships. In society, we communicate in a lot of ways through phone, face to face, email, text messaging, social media, Skype. We now have so many ways to obtain knowledge.

So I started to think, how often do children and parents communicate? I have worked with families from different backgrounds and I have often wondered. How are they taught about relationships and communication? Does everyone know how important communication is? Do we realize how important human relationships are?

Human relationships are so important that we need to learn how to value them and also distinguish what is healthy and unhealthy. I can't remember a time where I was taught how to effective communication or how to have a healthy loving relationship with others.

These things matter, these things need to be taught because everyone doesn't naturally know how to be an effective communicator.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone about communication and giving examples on how we can miss a lot in communication. We will hold grudges and not be open to listen to one another.

Everyone should attend a class that focuses on effective communication and how to have healthy relationships. If we teach these classes early and in the schools. We can reduce a lot of issues and social problems. Think about when people do not communicate their needs, issues, and wants. Meditate on how it feels when you can't voice your opinion. Think about how clients feels when they are in their situations and feel like no one hears them. Communication can help start the conversation and set a lot of people free.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Many families in the African-American community are led by single mothers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million homes do not have the biological father in the home. Previously, I have written about disproportionality in the child welfare system, and how we need to further engage fathers.

 First, we have to understand history to better understand why there is this phenomenon. Slavery is the root of American history, and there is no way around it. The impact of slavery is still very present today. We have a new form of slavery, which is the criminal justice system. During the colonial period, Africans were not valued as humans and were not allowed to get married, and were often split up during the slave trade. Fast forward to the 1950's and 1960's, unemployment in the black community was escalating.  Under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, women could not receive benefits if they were married, or their husband resided in the home. This created the lasting effect of fatherless homes.

Now, in 2015, we still have single-parent homes than ever. Leaving social workers puzzled on how to make social change. We want our clients to be self-sufficient, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. There are a lot of restrictions that prevents us from being change agents. The common person would say get a better job or go to school. However, in some cases that is easier said than done. We look at the lack of programs for fathers. How come fatherhood programs aren't taught in schools? That's where a lot of the fathers are located in schools, and in the community. Also, we can't discount the prison system.

Since 2001, 1 in 6 African-American men has been incarcerated. That is an epidemic!

So what can we do as social workers?

First, we need to start having discussions that this phenomenon is occurring and be aware that this is not only impacting African American men but Latino and Native American men as well. Then we need to attend city council meetings/ town hall meetings to make our elected officials aware of the statistics plaguing our communities.

We need to work with other community partners to advocate for policy changes that targeted African American men. If a lot of the fathers are locked up, how are we giving our children a chance to thrive?

We must organize and lobby on the state and federal level to get our elected officials to make policy changes to provide more prevention as well as programs and services for the prison population.

Now, let's open up a discussion here, what else can we do in order to tackle this social issue?
Please comment below! Thank you for reading.