Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Chukwuka


The proposed study contributes to the knowledge about African-American fathers and child welfare services. Unchallenged stereotypes about African-American fathers are addressed and their perception of previous unfair treatment by past governmental interventions is examined. The impact of psycho-social growth, racial discrimination and risk of harm on African-American families are reviewed via the research review.

The research problem examines the relationship between African-American fathers' trust/distrust of governmental agencies and the fathers involvement with a child welfare agency (CWA). The design of the research includes a questionnaire that was designed to collect data from a sample of 50 African-American fathers that have children in foster homes of CWAs in the Atlanta area. The instrument of measurement was designed to allow for an analysis that compares the variables and reports significant relationships. A five point Likert Scale was used to operationalize several types of potential risk of harm that could be associated with involvement with CWAs. A questionnaire was also created to measure caseworkers perception of involvement. The findings from an eventual sample of 20 appear to clearly indicate that those fathers that trust the child welfare agency have higher involvement in recommended services than those fathers that 1 do not trust the agency. The study also appears to validate the theory that those fathers with highest distrust perceive involvement with CWAs inherent with risk of financial loss.

The findings have practice and policy implications for child welfare professionals who are increasingly being held more accountable to service and utilize the resources of African-American fathers. This study demonstrates the need for additional study that addresses the questions posed from the perspective of the African-American father and specific ways to engage them.

washington_gregory_1999_redact.pdf (1572 kB)
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