In response to the needs of growing immigrant populations in the United States, social service agencies are developing culturally appropriate interventions and recruiting bilingual and bicultural practitioners. While few studies have explored social work practices with immigrant children and families in the child welfare field, very little is known about the experiences, perceptions, and practices of child welfare social workers who are immigrants themselves. This study applies the socioecological framework to identify strengths and challenges among immigrant social workers at different system levels. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with ethnic Chinese immigrant social workers who work or have worked in a family supportive service program in New York City. Findings from this study reveal that, at the individual level, immigrant social workers expressed the following advantages: 1) engaging families through emotional connections, 2) being a role model for families, 3) performing as a mediator between parents and children, and 4) being open-minded to different cultures. They also experienced challenges such as 1) unfamiliarity with Chinese subcultures, 2) power imbalance with clients, and 3) clients' resistance. At the agency and community levels, immigrant social workers were likely to 1) provide culturally appropriate services and 2) become a cultural broker for colleagues within the agency and for other professionals in the larger community. Particularly, immigrant social workers were building a community with available and accessible services for diverse groups. But they encountered agency and community discrimination and/or exploitation and felt insecure about their jobs due to their immigration status. Implications for practice and future research were discussed in order to improve professional development and working environments of immigrant social workers, as well as to enhance the quality of service delivery to immigrant children and families.
Children and Youth Services Review – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.
Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.
It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera